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It's peach season here in the Carolinas, and peach cobbler is one of the most iconic of Southern desserts, so I decided it had to happen! These are "scratch and dent" peaches from the local farmer's market, and while I was peeling them the juice ran down my arms and off my elbows. But the work was SO worth it!
4 cups fresh or frozen peaches, sliced, juice reserved
1/2 cup water
2 cups white sugar, divided
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
Good quality ground cinnamon for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine peaches, salt, 1 cup of sugar and water in a heavy saucepan. Note: You can use the reserved juice from the peach peeling for half the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the peaches are soft and the liquid has caramelized. Remove from heat.
Place butter in a 9 x 13 Pyrex baking dish and put it in the oven to melt the butter.
Combine 1 cup of sugar and the flour. Stir in the milk slowly, making sure not to leave any clumps!
When butter is melted, remove the pan from the oven. Pour in the flour mixture, spreading it evenly over the bottom of the dish. Do NOT stir batter and melted butter together. Just spread gently.
Using a slotted spoon, spread the peaches evenly over the flour mixture in the pan. Drizzle a half-cup of the pan juices around the dish, reserving the rest. (This is liquid gold. Do NOT throw it away!) Sprinkle cinnamon to taste.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, until crust is set and golden brown. Brush or drizzle on more of the pan juices until the crust is shiny and evenly coated. Serve with good quality (Blue Bell) vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for a special treat, and if you've got some more pan juices left, feel free to "drown" your piece ... after all, you're the cook!
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