a cobbled peach cobbler

I was recently gifted with a supply of home-grown tomatoes and peaches. I got to sample one of the former  — I’m not a fan of raw tomato, so I used one in a chard recipe and the others were ceded to the paternal unit before I could make sauce or anything else with them.

The peaches, however, I was a bit more protective of.

They were quite under-ripe when I’d gotten them, their availability the silver lining of their being a casualty of freakish summer weather, but before I could really think up a plan of action for them, they got ripe. Suddenly, all of them, and extremely.

And so I did what generations of people have done with a sudden overabundance of fruit — I made a cobbler.

I’ve never actually made fruit cobbler before. I’ve never had enough fruit in sudden need of immediate treatment before — consuming fruit in a timely manner is never something I’ve struggled with.

I poked around for ideas, with my usual points system rating recipes inversely proportional to how much butter and sugar they used. It takes out some of the fun, but it also takes out some of the guilt, too, and that’s a trade I’m willing to make when cooking for myself.

This one won in terms of topping — I knew I was giving up the fun, crunchy streusel topping by making low butter a priority, but I liked the idea of honey as an ingredient, so the winner it was. However, I was a little underwhelmed by the peach treatment half — most of the other recipes I’d looked at had a few spices and, more importantly, added a little flour or cornstarch to thicken up the base. These were very juicy peaches that also maybe could have used a tiny boost flavor-wise, so I tossed the peaches with not only honey, but a mixture of flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Ready to go. I tried to dollop as per directions, but my dollops were too big at first and then I had to re-apportion by the time I got to the other side, so my cobbler looks maybe less cobbled and more half-assed.

At least until it baked, at which point it just looked tasty. And maybe still slightly half-assed. I don’t have any coarse sugar besides colored sanding sugar — I keep meaning to buy sparkling sugar — which might have made this look a little more cobbler-esque, at least on top.

From the side, I don’t think there’s any mistaking what it is.That big puddle of juice over on the right was bubbling away quite furiously when I took it out of the oven, but it thickened as it cooled and my ballpark guesstimate no-measurements concoction of thickeners turned out to be just right.

Cut while still quite warm, because I was impatient and it was late — the oven was being balky again.The topping was nice — a little cakey, but not too cakey, and the peaches still tasted like peaches.

After a few days, the topping took on a more custardy aspect — it wasn’t devolving into pudding, but it was definitely softer and moister. The honey flavor got more pronounced, which was nice.

What wasn’t so nice was the weird discoloration of the peaches. The skins turned green where they came in contact with the topping; you can see it in the last two pictures — those green spots where the peaches are poking through are not my bad photography. I don’t know if it was because these were home-grown peaches (well washed) or simply a chemical reaction between topping ingredients and peach skin or something else, but it was a little disconcerting because it was the same color as mold and I know the peaches couldn’t have rotted in the time between cutting and baking. Next time, maybe, I shall skin the peaches.

All in all, though, this was a tasty first effort.

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