Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ambrosia For The Gods (Peach Cobbler)

In my hometown in Southern Indiana,  there was this stuff people made at Thanksgiving and Christmas called ambrosia.  It had mandarin oranges, coconut and miniature marshmallows in it among other things.  I liked it okay, but I would not call it ambrosia, food fit for the gods.  In Greek mythology, the food fed to the gods was called ambrosia and their drink was called nectar.  Therefore, we use the saying nectar of the gods, or food for the gods.  I am here to tell you, this peach cobbler truly is ambrosia and fit for any mythological god or human being to eat!  

Our weekend trip to the farmer's market here in Nashville offered up some of the most divine, delectable peaches I have had in a long, long time.  They are cling peaches from South Carolina and are positively indescribable.  I cannot think of enough descriptive words for them.  They are sweet and juicy and simply heavenly.  I peeled two, sliced them and put them on our breakfast plates and there are no words for the gastronomical sensation these peaches created.  I knew the rest of the basket was destined for pure ambrosia..... homemade peach cobbler!  

I am a very thrifty person when it comes to our food, mainly because I have had to be raising four children on a teacher's income.  Those of you out there who can relate understand.  There is no shopping at Whole Foods for us even now(or as my daughter calls it, Whole Paycheck). I do cook from scratch most of the time using few prepared foods.  I know that organic food is the best for us, but it is not always within our retirement budget, even though there are only two of us to feed most of the time.  We do love to shop the farmer's markets though and support locally grown food which is very important.  This, on the other hand, was time for a splurge of epic proportions.  A basket of peaches was $18.00.  It actually hurts me to type this, but I knew what the results of this purchase would be as the smell of the ripe peaches wafted through the air at the market.  So, I ponied up the money and took my basket of peaches home along with my tomatoes, corn, cabbage and Vidalia onions.  We are going to have our first major summertime feast.  Soon, we will be picking vegetables right from our garden.  Our tomato plants have little tomatoes on them.  Oh boy, oh boy.  Sorry, I am digressing.

There is not a written recipe I use for the filling, so I will do my best to tell you how I make this. I can only call it Grandma's way.   The crust is another matter.  The recipe will be below and it is a truly flaky crust that is a complete complement to this cobbler.  If you prefer, you can make it a pie since it is a two crust recipe, but we prefer the cobbler.  


Peeled and sliced fresh peaches (as many as it takes to cover the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish 1/3 to 1/2 full which was most of the basket)
sugar to taste  (these only needed about 3/4 cup because they are so sweet and juicy)
a pinch of salt
pats of butter

After peeling and slicing the basket of peaches, I put sugar over them, and stirred, mixing well.  Add a pinch of salt and repeat.  I put them in the refrigerator in a covered bowl overnight to allow the sugar to draw the juice from the peaches. This step is not mandatory.  You can put the peaches directly into a baking pan.   The next day, I made my crust, put the peaches in the bottom of the pan, cut pats of butter and placed them randomly over the top of the peaches (about 12) and sprinkled the  entire pan with cinnamon.  Place the crust over the top and place in a 400 degree oven until the crust turns a light brown.  Remove from oven.  Delicious served warm with a big dollop of ice cream.  Pure ambrosia, there is no other description.

Crust recipe (will make an 8, 9 or 10 inch double crust pie or one 9x13 cobbler)

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
10 tbsp butter
5 to 7 TBSP cold water

Sift flour and salt together.  Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until pieces are about the size of small peas.  (cut butter into small cubes before blending)  Add water 1 TBSP at a time stirring with a fork until all the dough is moistened and forms a ball. Do not over mix, crust will be tough.   Flour countertop.  Flatten dough slightly with hand and roll with floured rolling pin until about 9x13. Gently lift the crust using rolling pin and place over peaches.  Leave a little open boarder around crust so steam can vent.  Place in 400 degree oven and bake until crust is light brown.

If you want to make a pie, divide dough ball in half.  Roll out one ball and place in bottom of pie pan.  Place peaches in crust, add butter and cinnamon.  Roll out remaining dough ball and place over peaches. Crimp edges and make vent holes in top of crust.  Bake at 400 degrees until crust is light brown.

This pastry recipe is from my Better Homes and Garden Cookbook I received as a wedding gift 41 years ago.  I have always used this recipe.  It is easy, really flaky and delicious.  

This cobbler will keep for several days in the refrigerator.  We take out a few scoops of peaches and crust, place in a bowl and warm it in the microwave for about 20 seconds, add some ice cream and devour!   Ambrosia is the only fitting description I can think of for this heavenly, divinely delectable dessert.  Give it a try.  I truly hope you will love it.  We sure do!  

It's Wednesday afternoon and time for the East Nashville farmer's market.  We are on the hunt for more summertime goodies.  Can't wait!  Will let you know what I find.  Happy summer eating.  

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.” Unknown Author

1 comment:

  1. I love to put a bit of almond flavoring in my peach cobbler and top it with Cool Whip flavored with a smidge of Amarreto. Yummy!