Life’s a Peach!

There are many different things that come to mind when one thinks of Texas.  Cowboys, ranches, Longhorns and boots are probably the first things outsiders would associate with our state.  Some might even think of the weather, which can certainly be given to extremes.  Intense heat, intense thunderstorms, tornados, hail and the occasional cold snap that leaves us frozen and dangerously icy are simply confirmation that things in Texas are indeed bigger and, often better. 

The intense variance in weather makes it difficult for us to grow some produce.   It’s too cold for tropical fruits and too hot for certain fruit trees.  It rains too much for some and not enough for others.  But what we do, we do really, really well.  Watermelon loves the heat and the especially sweet Black Diamonds start pouring into stores around Labor Day.  In late June and early July, berry farms open and the blackberries and blueberries are plentiful and ready to pick.  No fruit, however, seems to be a suited to Texas as the peach.100_1954

In Texas there are more than a million peach trees planted statewide.  Average annual production exceeds one million bushels, making peaches the leading deciduous fruit crop in our state.  During the late spring and throughout the summer, fruit stands selling peaches will set up along major highways, offering the sweet, juicy fruit to all who pass by.  In good years (and this is definitely one of them) there is little to compare to the taste of a perfectly ripened peach.  So if you live in the state, or near enough to make a trip, take advantage of this year’s spectacular crop and buy yourself a bag from a roadside stop.  Enjoy the juice as it drips down your chin, taste the sunshine on your tongue, feel the warmth of the day that contributed to that amazing fruit.  It’s some of the best Texas has to offer.

It probably comes as no surprise that peaches are a summer staple at our house.  Some are kept for eating and others are used in recipes that range from sauces and jams to salads and desserts.  The most popular use here, however, is the traditional peach cobbler.  Few things are better than good peach cobbler and this, indeed, is a good one.  It’s simple and delicious and, with the exception of the peaches, only contains things that are probably already in your kitchen.  So grab a few peaches and make it.  It’s sure to please all who try.

Texas Peach Cobbler

  • 1 cup butter (I actually prefer salted here, and you won’t hear me say that often)100_1947
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk (low fat or non fat are fine)
  • 3 cups peaches (usually about 3 normal-sized peaches), washed well and sliced with skin left on.
  • 1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar

 

 

 

Preheat oven to 350F.

100_1948In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium to medium-high heat.  Continue to cook until butter turns a golden brown.  Watch the butter carefully as it can go from brown to burned and ruined in just a few seconds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pour butter into an 8×8 glass dish.100_1949

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, white sugar, baking powder and milk until combined.  Pour batter on top of butter in dish and DO NOT STIR!

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100_1951Place sliced peaches evenly on top of batter/butter mixture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over top of peaches.100_1952

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until edges are browned and center of batter has set.

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Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.100_1958

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