If summertime has you dreaming of peaches, the sweet stone fruit so iconic to the South that it evokes memories of the fresh picked perfectly ripened bite- then you are not alone.
Boasting under 50 calories and no fat, along with being rich in phytochemicals called phenols that act as antioxidants, as well as being packed with vitamin’s A, C, B1, B2, B3 and B6 to name a few, it is no wonder that peaches are so beloved.
Although Georgia is known as “The Peach State”, South Carolina and California actually out produce them by number. Here in Northwest Florida when seeking their chin-dripping sweetness, plan to visit your local farmer’s market along the Emerald Coast during the months from mid April to August when they are at their peak.
When shopping, don’t get fooled into thinking that the pretty red blush indicates ripeness, but instead look for color at the stem’s end that is golden yellow, white, but not green. They might be firm, but should not be rock hard. Also, when you get your peaches home, place them on the counter, or, to ripen them quickly, put them in a paper bag. Peaches are ripe when they give slightly to the touch, much like an avocado.
With grandparents that owned a peanut farm in Georgia that also produced peaches for home consumption, I grew up eating my fair share. The summers were hot, but the memories golden, just like the delectable fruit. Cooks can let their creative juices flow when making my great Aunt Edith’s recipe for peach cobbler. She was well known in the community for her coveted dish, a simple mixture that when baked leaves taste buds begging for more.
Aunt Edith’s Easy Peach Cobbler
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1-cup all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar, divided
1-tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon of salt
4 cups fresh peach slices
1 tablespoon lemon juice
A sprinkle of ground cinnamon
Melt butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
Combine flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, and salt, and then add milk, stirring just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Pour the batter over the butter.
In a pan over medium high heat, add the remaining 1-cup of sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice, bringing the mixture to a low boil while stirring constantly, about 10 minutes. Pour over the batter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake the peach cobbler at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown, and then serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream.