I already confessed my passion for BBQ, right?
Now, unbelievable as it may be, whenever I visit a BBQ joint, after all that meat, I always manage to find some space for dessert.
And I usually cannot care less for dessert, but here BBQ places have a dessert I like. It’s peach cobbler.
The first time I tried it was last year in Driftwood, some 20 miles southwest of Austin, home of one of the BBQ institutions of this great state of Texas: Salt Lick BBQ.
On our way back, there was this kid along the road, seated under a shade and surrounded by boxes full of peaches. I stopped out of pity more than of curiosity, but then the smell of the peaches was so powerful I bought a couple of boxes.
Later, I found out that the Hill Country area around Austin is famous for growing peaches. Texas peaches are rather small, and pointed, and packed with flavour.
I have been waiting for their return all winter long, dreaming of the first cobbler I’d bake…
Sadly, this year’s crop has been scarce, due to an untimely freeze in the South back in March: no peaches in Georgia and South Carolina too.
So this year I’m making cobbler with ordinary non-Texan peaches.
Being a non-native US, I had no idea of what a cobbler was and how to do it, and thankfully enough I found this article from the Gourmet magazine that messed up my ideas even more!
But thankfully, the same magazine (September 1999) provided me with a recipe that is to die for.
6 large peaches, cut into wedges
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch (I use flour)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Toss peaches with sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch in the cast iron skillet (or a baking dish) and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 10 minutes.
While peaches bake, make the biscuit crust: stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water, a little at a time, until just combined.
Remove peaches from oven and drop spoonfuls of topping over them.
Put it back in the oven until topping is golden, about 25 minutes.
It is normal that topping will spread as it bakes.
Serve with vanilla ice cream on the side.