Saturday, September 13, 2014

Brown Butter Peach Cobbler

The sun's still blazing here in California, but for most of the country, summer is officially drawing to a close.  I hear the temperature drops and the leaves change color and everything.  But before you pull out your comfy sweaters and boots, there might just be time to enjoy one last summer time recipe.

The window for good peaches is a very short one in California.  They're in farmer's markets and even grocery stores for a few short weeks before they're replaced by small, hard-as-rock and never-ripe imposters that claim to be peaches during the rest of the year.  I took advantage of some perfectly ripe peaches to make a simple cobbler for a Labor Day barbeque.

The recipe is from one of my favorite books for southern sweets - Rebecca Rather's The Pastry Queen cookbook.  It's easy as pie - actually, easier than pie, because it's a cobbler.  You just layer some browned butter, a simple batter, fresh
peaches, and sprinkle some sugar on top.  The batter rises during baking to give you a nice brown crust.  I added a few more peaches to my cobber, because it just seemed like a good idea.

Serve it warm or at room temperature, and put some ice cream on the side.  That's not a suggestion, by the way, you better have some ice cream.  It's summertime, afterall.

Brown Butter Peach Cobbler (adapted slightly from the Pastry Queen)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 cup milk
4 cups sliced fresh peaches (about 2 1/2 - 3 large peaches)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Melt the butter in a light-colored sauce pan (no nonstick) over medium-high heat until the foam subsides and stir until you see brown flecks form start to form in the butter and give off a nutty fragrance.  Brown butter can turn into burnt butter very quickly, so be careful.  Transfer brown butter to a deep dish pie pan.

Stir together granulated sugar, flour, baking powder and milk.  Pour the batter over the butter in the pan.  Place peach slices on top of batter in an even layer.  Sprinkle with brown sugar.

Bake the cobbler for 40-45 minutes, until the magical crust that's now on top is a golden brown color. 

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