I went a little crazy at the market last week and bought way more peaches than we could eat. By this morning most of them had gotten over-ripe, so I decided to use them in a lovely cobbler. My mom's recipe (and I assume, her mother's before) calls for a pre-made pie crust, but since I didn't have one on hand I went to my Joy of Cooking book and made their Flaky Pastry Dough. I have never found a more reliable cook book than this. I experiment a lot, but if I want to know exactly how to make a scone, tamale pie, or roux the way it was intended, I go to that book. The following recipe is kind of opposite that precision, but not without it's own brand of charm.
The first time I used my mom's recipe I couldn't believe she could really call it a recipe at all. It's like reading a map, but the legend is gone and a quarter of the page is missing. My slight frustration the first time around has actually turned into delight as I've used it again. I realized this is exactly the way I would write a recipe. I've made it my own (you kind of have to), so I feel confident to call this:
Grandma, Mom, and Summer's Cobbler
Peel and slice 4 cups of peaches
I left my 6 peaches unpeeled, cut them up and that looked about right. You'll see measuring isn't a big thing in my family.
Mix with 1 cup sugar and cinnamon
The Anderson ladies have a notorious sweet tooth, so I toned the sugar down to 1/2 cup. I did 4 or 5 dashes of cinnamon.
Press 2 pie crusts together and lay in 9 x 13" pan
Since I made the pie crust, I just rolled it out into one large piece
Fill with peaches and fold crust over
Bake 425 degrees until browned
This is the thing I love about this recipe. I'm sure it's just how my grandma thought of it; she knew how long a cobbler took (one load of laundry long, or the time it takes to write three letters), and didn't feel the need to put that in minutes. "Until browned" turned out to be checking at 30, 40, and 45 minutes for me.
Pour on simple syrup made from equal parts sugar and water simmered
How much sugar and water? Simmered how long? I simmered 1 cup of each for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. I used about half of that.
Baste with syrup and continue to bake until glazed.
About 10 more minutes for me.
And voila! One gorgeous peach cobbler. If you're brave enough, make it your own too.