My grandmother made it. My Mom made it. In late summer, I just have to make it. It seems to be a part of my DNA. Peaches, golden and sweet, swimming in a sweet elixir of juices and topped with crust. What is so special about that? Yet, in my culinary journey, peach cobbler is the Holy Grail.
Mom was a great cook. Her Midwest farm roots flavored our meals. Yet, as a working mom, she was busy, but never too busy to make peach cobbler. When the peaches were ripe, dishes of peach cobbler emerged from the kitchen. Odd cobblers they were, too. Thick pie crust on the top and bottom, with sweetened peach slices nestled between. The most unique part was the boiling water—literally poured over the top crust just as it went into the oven. No food theory I know, nor any cookbook collection I have studied ever suggested boiling water. Yet, what I remember tasting was juicy with a crisp crust.
Today, I have her cookbook collection, her yellowed recipes clipped from the newspaper, and her precious hand-written 3 x 5 cards—yet there is no recipe for this culinary wonder. But like moths to a light, I have to make it. This peach cobbler is nothing like my mom’s. The crust is tender and biscuit-like. There is no boiling water. Yet, the flavor is sweet and simple and truly magical for me. Peeling and slicing the peaches with sticky fingers, then making a buttery crust, and breathing in the intoxicating aroma as it bakes are precious moments in the kitchen—time to reflect and be grateful for my food legacy and for the love of my family. [Read more…]