peach cobbler

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Few things describe summer more perfectly than peach cobbler. Peaches are just so squarely drippy in the way that summer things were meant to be.

Ice cream — also squarely drippy, also destined for summer — in a cooling melt, slides away from its cone under the melody of a summer sun that makes bones loose enough for dancing.

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Summer, so full of things naturally bursting with sappy fruit, doesn’t make us believe in some notion (false) that the best tasting is also the best overdressed thing at the party. In fact, fruits sloppy and bruised, slumping and sunken over with a thinly crisp crust are the best ones: summer fruit is juicily messy, with an affinity for your chin. Unforgiving.

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Summer says, “Let’s just sink our teeth into ease,” hitching itself to slippery syrup like a mango.

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A sloppy cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream swimming on its back, is something so dearly, classically, cliché (the kind you almost live to believe in) like those nights in Paris, when the street lamps come to twinkle loudly as darkness stains the air with quiet and for the first time you hear the clarinetist that has made Paris so utterly famous abroad… and as expected, he appears at the moment that you waited longest for. The best tasting cliché of the season. Ever so lightly:

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Crisp-topped smooshed fruit. A Southern gent’.

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Loosely adapted from Epicurious.com.

for the peach filling: 

  • 8 large peaches, cut into 1/4″ wedges
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

for the biscuit topping:

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, chopped into 1/2″ chunks
  • 1/3 cup boiling water

Grease an 8×8″ square baking pan. Preheat oven to 425 F.

Toss peach wedges with sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and corn starch and set aside to macerate.

Meanwhile prepare dough topping. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Sprinkle butter chunks across dry flour mixture and using a pastry blender, begin to cut cold butter into the flour mixture as you would make a pie crust or basic biscuit. Continue cutting butter into flour mixture until mixture is rough and crumbly, resembling small sandy peas.

Bake peaches for ten minutes in the oven. Using a rubber spatular or fork, begin pouring hot water into large bowl of rough dough, clumps will begin to form as the dough thickens and begins to cohere. Toss gently with your spatula or fork until the dough is moistened evenly, but not overworked.

Remove peach pan immediately from the oven and dollop dough ontop of hot peaches then return to the oven to bake an additional 25-30 minutes. Biscuit topping should be golden brown and bubbling with peaches. Cool on a wire rack.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or at room temperature.

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