Summertime is here and so are the PEACHES!! There’s nothing like fresh peaches, and a local favorite is ECKERT’S FAMILY FARM. From peaches in the summer to pumpkins in the fall, Eckert’s provides us with the best of every harvest.
I actually prefer pie over cake any day, so when fruit is in season, I head to the farm to get fresh picked right off the tree. I learned from my mom how to make pies and cobblers, but discovered a shortcut that I wanted to teach my daughter. She loves to cook, but is not into baking at all, so I enlisted her help (the best way to teach!) and got busy. I had purchased about a half-peck and allowed them to fully ripen for a couple of days, making them nice and juicy.
With this many peaches, you don’t want to peel them…you lose too much of the fruit that way anyway. By dipping them into boiling hot water for only about a minute or two you can slice the skin off the top and the rest will just slide right off!
Let me warn you–I am terrible about measurements, so if you’re OCD or a perfectionist, you’ll just have to Google a recipe. My purpose is to show you how simple yet tasty homemade can be.
When you have that bowl full of peaches, watch out– you will be tempted to eat about half of them while you’re cooking!
You will want to slice as much of the peach as you can, avoiding the pit. I don’t halve them and take the pit out, because when you slice them you will still have the stringy stuff around the pit and it will not be welcome when you bite into that first taste of cobbler. I just slice the peach until I reach close to the pit so that all my bites are smooth and string-free:
Next you will want to add sugar and cinnamon to taste. I added 1/2 cup of sugar and sprinkled a healthy dose of cinnamon, then stir. You can always use a sugar substitute if you’re counting calories, or more sugar if you like them sweeter. I prefer the FRESH FRUIT taste, so I use sugar sparingly.
This recipe made a 9 x 11 pan of peach cobbler, so I peeled and sliced all of my peaches then while they are soaking up the sugar, I start making the crust. This is the simple part. Instead of making a pie crust out of flour, lard and water, I use Jiffy Pie Crust Mix. It’s awesome because it is so simple (all you do is add water!) , inexpensive, and has all of the homemade ingredients and taste.
Now it’s time to PREHEAT the oven to 375*. Oven temps vary, so adjust it accordingly. I start there and if the edges of the crust start turning brown before the rest of the crust, just turn it down to 350 degrees and put foil around the edges.
My mom always said the trick to making a good pie crust is ICE WATER, so I still make sure my water is ice cold when I add it to the mix. Just add it slowly and keep adding teaspoonfuls until the dough comes together to form a soft ball–not too sticky. If this happens just add a small amount of flour. The directions are on the box, and it says that one box will make two pie crusts. I have never been able to stretch it that far, but I don’t roll my crusts paper thin. To make enough crust for this cobbler (9X11), I used three boxes. (I’m always hoping for a little left over dough to make a cinnamon roll anyway!)
Be sure to flour the rolling pin and surface (mine is a pie sheet from Pampered Chef). I also sprayed (cooking oil spray) and then floured my pan. Roll about half the dough into the shape and size of your pan. There’s no trick to this, but keeping the surface floured and flipping the dough occasionally keeps it from sticking.
When you have it rolled out, FOLD the dough to make transferring it to the pan easier.
Pour your peaches in juice and all, add a few pats of butter, and top with remaining dough.
Rather than make a thin top crust, I decided to go a little thicker and slice strips to make a lattice top.
Just weave the strips together…again nothing fancy or perfect, and then trim the edges and pinch the sides together.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and bake at 375 degrees for approximately 40 minutes. Check after 25 minutes to make sure crust is not browning too fast. If so, turn it down to 350 and cover edges with foil. Cook time should be close 35-40 minutes. Remove when the crust is golden brown and peaches are bubbly. Top with a little vanilla ice cream and ENJOY!!