Sunday, September 22, 2013

Peach Cobbler

Yummy note: This summer, the kids and I sure loved hitting all of the amazing farmer's markets around the area. They made me quite proud the other morning, when the farmer was asking them what each vegetable or fruit was, and my kiddos correctly answered about 80 percent of his questions right! My oldest could recognize zucchini, kale, squash, red bell peppers, and garlic; while my youngest identified melons, carrots, apples, and these amazing looking peaches. So we ended up with a bunch of peaches we found at the farmer's market, and I wasn't quite sure what we were going to do with them all at first, other then to just enjoy eating them fresh! Then came along the Secret Recipe Club assignment for the month of September. Well, hello and thank you to Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake, as she had some great peach recipes I could pick from to use them up on; like a Tomato Salad with Peach and Basil Vinaigrette or a Peach Upside Down Chiffon Cake. Then just recently Liz featured a Peach Galette. All great choices, I'm sure, but for some reason, I realized I've never really made a true cobbler before and this Peach Cobbler looked awesome. I've made various fruit crisps but not cobblers, and there is a real difference between the two in the topping category. The cobbler was more of a buttery biscuit like topping, while the crisps are more like an oatmeal cookie topping. Both equally delicious in their own rights! 

Peach Cobbler

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 cup of flour
1/4 tsp of salt
1 tbsp of baking powder
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of milk
6-8 peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced - *See picture for easy peach prep techniques.
1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
1 tsp of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place butter in large baking baking dish and place in the oven to melt the butter. I used roughly a 9 x 9 baking dish and I think it was too small, as you will note some spillage in my photos.

So I would use a slightly larger one to prevent any loss of cobbler. Next prep your peaches. I used a simple method of slicing an "x" on the bottom of my peaches and placing in a pan of boiling water for roughly only 30 seconds. This helps release the peach skins, so that they peel off with ease. After placing peaches in the boiling water for only about 30 seconds, immediately place them in cool water to stop the heating process and then they will become cooler to touch and then peel the skins. After the skins are peeled cut the peaches into about 1/2 inch slices for the cobbler.

In a bowl, combine flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the milk, without over stirring, and pour over the melted butter.

Combine 1 cup of sugar, lemon juice, and peaches in a large pan over the stove. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar starts to dissolve and mixture becomes bubbly. Mix in some cinnamon to taste.

Pour over the cobbler batter, without stirring it together. Bake the cobbler (on a cookie sheet if you are concerned about spillage) for about 45 minutes or until it is a nice golden brown and the peach mixture below is hot and bubbly.

 After I cleaned up my overflow of peach cobbler, look at the beautiful golden brown crust.
A warm cobbler is the way to go... tender peaches and a slightly crunchy, gooey topping is the way to eat this cobbler! 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Watermelon Sorbet

Yummy note: Need a cold treat that isn't too sugary or sweet but tastes awesome! Not to mention it seems to be a hit with everyone? Watermelon sorbet is it! This dessert is a dairy-free, light and refreshing frosty treat. This watermelon sorbet also would work like a palate cleanser too as this sorbet is such a nice way to finish off a meal and it is pretty light. If you have a bunch of watermelon and need to use it up in different ways other than a fruit salad this is perfect. For an adult version, perhaps add in a little vodka to the watermelon mixture or make a cool cocktail.

Watermelon Sorbet

3 cups watermelon, diced and seeds removed
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water 
1/4 cup lime or lemon juice 
Chocolate chips, optional
Salt, optional
Watermelon rind, optional for presentation purposes

Make simple syrup using the water and sugar. Do that by cooking the sugar, water, and juice together in a small saucepan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove simple syrup from the heat and cool. 

Prepare watermelon. Cut into cubes and remove the seeds (or use seedless watermelon which saves some time.)  Place watermelon in blender or food processor and process until smooth. Stir this into the chilled simple syrup. Cool the mixture if you wish, or pour directly into your ice ream maker. Process according to the ice cream maker instructions. My Cuisinart ice cream maker took bout 35-45 minutes of churning before it became scoop-able.  

You could also use this recipe without an ice cream maker by pouring the mixture into a shallow metal pan and freeing it. Every 30 minutes or so stir in the ice crystals that forming on the sides of the pan into the center. Repeat this process until the liquid all becomes icy and frozen. 

Serve with chocolate chips tossed on top to look like seeds for fun or sprinkle with a little sugar. You could also freeze it in the watermelon rind and serve it in a fun way. If you are one of those "need salt on watermelon" people, yes, you know who you are, haha.. This actually tastes pretty awesome with a sprinkle of salt, which brings out the intense watermelon flavor.