Here in New England, summer sneaks up on you when you’re not looking. One day, springtime sings in all it’s glory, with cool breezes and the first awakening of beautiful blooms. The next day, it’s 85 degrees with bright rays of warm sunlight and you’re thankful for an abode with central air. There’s no easing into the season, but each little sign that the three-month span of barbeques, beaches, and flip-flops has begun makes me giddy with delight. And the fresh produce, oh the produce! I could do a happy dance in the supermarket aisle lined with gorgeous fruits and veggies alive with color and flavor. Vibrant red tomatoes bursting with luscious juice. Plump cobs of corn with tight husks blanketing sweet yellow kernels neatly lined inside. Tender stone fruit, which gives ever so slightly under the gentle pressure of your thumb. Surrounded by so many delicious choices, I’m often overwhelmed with inspiration- my mind flooded with all the dishes I want to squeeze in while the produce is at its peak. Thanks to this week’s Sweet Melissa Sunday’s selection, “Bear’s Peach Cobbler,” I’ve got a fabulous new recipe that’s sure to become an annual favorite to usher in a summer full of scrumptious sweets.
Cobbler is a traditional dish common in the US and UK, although the meaning differs in each country. Whether a fruit filling poured over a batter that rises through during baking forming dumplings within and a crust on top, or a savory meat casserole covered with a scone or biscuit-like topping, cobblers are rustic, casual, and undeniably delicious. With silly names like the Betty, the Grunt, the Slump, and the Sonker, each variation of cobbler retains its own character and individuality, and can be personalized with your favorite combination of filling and topping.
“Bear’s Peach Cobbler” from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book epitomizes summertime in a bowl. Ripe juicy peaches tossed with sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and cornstarch are married with a delicate biscuit topping lightly sweetened and delightfully accented by lemon zest. The biscuit dough comes together quickly, and I found the ratios to be right on in terms of texture- just wet enough but not too sticky. After struggling a bit manhandling my peaches- they’re still coming into season here in Boston, so the flesh very stubbornly held on for dear life to the pits- I tossed together my filling ingredients, and at first was worried it might be too liquidy. Luckily, after an hour and 15 minutes in the oven, the cornstarch went to work, tightening everything up, and the cobbler emerged bubbling, gorgeous, and ready to serve. I was surprised how much the biscuits spread during baking, creating 8 round mounds that nestle up to form one cohesive crust. I’m glad I made the addition of sanding sugar along with the heavy cream wash, as it gave the biscuits a lovely sparkle in addition to their golden hue. The perfect topping for a bowl of vanilla ice cream, this cobbler would be a great end to any summertime day, and I’m sure it will be making another appearance in my home before the leaves start to fall.
A big thanks to Andrea of “Nummy Kitchen” for this fantastic SMS pick. Definitely check out her yummy site for the recipe. I’m so happy to be the latest and last Sweet Melissa Sunday’s baker- I got in just in time! Be sure to visit the SMS blogroll to see how everyone else’s cobbler came out.
P.S.- Thank you so much for stopping by my new blog, “Hot Oven, Warm Heart!” I’ve wanted to start blogging about my baking adventures for quite some time, and I’m so glad I finally made the jump! As I begin this journey, I’m really looking forward to meeting other people who share my passion and enthusiasm for all things culinary, and I hope this blog connects me with a very special new community. Please feel free to comment or just say hello! Your visit means the world to me, and I’d love any feedback you’d like to share. As a blogging newbie, I can always use some advice or words of wisdom. I’m eager to learn and I can’t wait to watch this site evolve! Wish me luck and please do come along for the ride!