July 17, 2011

Summer Picking: Peach Cobbler Pie

With peach season in full swing, it's hard to pass up the large, fresh peaches at the grocery store. And at $.99 per lb, it's even harder to not buy several.  While absolutely delicious on its own, my food blogs had an influx of peach desserts - from cooked peaches, peaches in cream to peach cobbler - and it was hard to resist making a sweet variation. Also, my folks were stopping by and I had an upcoming visit to my sister's so it was perfect timing to try a new recipe.

This recipe was a combination of a slew of cobbler recipes.  I made the filling based on what I thought would go well together.  Most variations I saw do not require you to cook the peaches on the stove - just toss together with the ingredients (juice, sugar, flour, etc.) - but since my peaches were incredibly firm, I needed to soften up the peaches before letting them bake in the oven.  If I had an orange, I would have added the juice and zest to the filling. 

The pie topping was courtesy of Liz, who providing her chuk apple crisp recipe. As for the melted butter on top of the butter, I omitted this and just sliced two slivers of butter and crumbled on top. My attempt to cut down on the butter...but really, what's another few slivers?

Peach Cobbler Pie
Makes 2 pies

2 pie crusts (I get from frozen section)
12-15 large peaches (firmer peaches are better)
1 tbsp flour
Juice from 2 lemons
Zest from 2 lemon
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg (fresh if possible)
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup heavy cream

Pie topping:
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a big dash of salt. Thoroughly wash the peaches. Add the peaches to the boiling water for approximately 1 minute. This will help you peel the skin off the peaches.
2. Drain the peaches immediately and put under the sink with cold water.  I briefly cover the peaches for a minute to help separate the skin. Then take off and let them cool enough to handle.  
3. Take a paring knife and start peeling the skin off the peaches. Cut the peaches into slices.
4. Zest and juice one lemon.  
5. In a pan large enough to hold the sliced peaches, melt the butter.  Once melted, add the flour. Mix well and then add in the sugar and brown sugar.  Don't worry, it will look dry and lumpy.
6. Add in the lemon juice, zest, salt and cream. 
7. Next, add in the peaches. Turn the heat to medium and mix well - making sure the peaches are covered in the sugar sauce. Let this cook down for a good 10 minutes on medium-medium low heat.
8. Add the cinnamon and the freshly grated nutmeg.  Take a quick taste and balance out the peaches if you need. More cinnamon, sugar, etc.  Turn off the heat and let it sit to cool just a bit.
9. While the peaches are simmering, make the pie topping. Combine the dry ingredients together.  Then crack an egg into the dry mixture and mix (chopsticks work well here) until crumbly.
10. Put the two pie crust onto a large baking sheet or on one each.  This will help ensure that no peach goodness seeps out of the pie and into the oven. Evenly distribute the peaches into two pie crusts. Top each of the pies with the dry mixture.  Take the melted butter and pour over the top.
11. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Check periodically to make sure the tops do not burn. You'll see that I made a mini cobbler in a ramekin as well - so that I could enjoy one immediately without having to destroy the entire pie for a taste. :)
12. Take out and let it cool.  If you are transferring and don't have a pie/cake container, a cardboard box does just fine. 

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