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Everything is just peachy

August 11, 2018

Stu_spivac/Wikimedia Commons
The golden days of a California summer are made even better if you have a homemade peach cobbler to share.

This time of year is very difficult for diabetics, even if we stay away from baked goods. The abundance of sweet, ripe fruit is so very tempting, especially if you are lucky enough to find some delicious tree-ripened peaches. Maybe you even have some in your own home orchard or garden area. One summer I really loaded up on fresh cherries and grapes, and my A1c test reflected all that eating. I remember my doctor at that time telling me I should not eat any more than a small handful of grapes. And I mean small. It is better for me to avoid grapes than to try and limit myself to 10 or 12.


If you have some fresh peaches you’d like to turn into dessert, I have a few recipes to share with you, plus one that calls for canned peach pie filling. I hope you can bear to turn the oven on, though.
 
Cheat ‘n’ eat peach cobbler


I call this “cheat ‘n’ eat” because you can get away with using canned peach pie filling rather than fresh peaches. It’s very easy, even though it is unconventional. If you can’t find peach pie filling, you can always use apple filling or some other fruit.

1/2 cup butter


1 cup flour


1 cup white sugar


1 teaspoon baking powder


1 cup milk


1 can (21 ounce) peach pie filling
 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter in a 9-by-13-inch pan and melt in oven while it is preheating.


2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar and baking powder. Stir in milk. Remove pan of melted butter from oven.


3. Pour mixture into pan, but DO NOT STIR. Spread pie filling onto batter, without stirring.


4. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until fruit is bubbly and batter is set and golden brown.
 
Peach cobbler


4 pounds ripe yellow peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick wedges


1 cup sugar, divided (2/3 cup and 1/3 cup)


1/2 cup quick-cooking (instant) tapioca


1 teaspoon grated lemon peel


1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice


2 teaspoons vanilla


2 cups flour


1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder


1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


3/4 cup (6 ounces) butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks


2/3 cup whipping cream

1. In a large mixing bowl, place the peaches, 2/3 cup of sugar, instant tapioca, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla and stir to evenly coat the peach slices. Let mixture sit about half an hour, stirring occasionally.


2. Preheat oven to 350. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, 1/3 cup of sugar, baking powder and nutmeg. Cut the butter into the flour with your fingers, a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture has the texture of coarse meal. Add the cream and stir with a fork until the dough mixture just comes together.


3. Butter a 2 1/2-to-3-quart casserole baking dish. Spread the sliced peaches out in an even layer. Crumble the dough mixture over the peaches.


4. Bake in preheated oven until the peaches are bubbly and the topping is well browned, about 50 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Peach cake tatin


6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the dish


2 to 3 large fresh peaches, pitted and sliced into approximately 1/2-inch pieces


1 3/4 cups sugar, divided


2 large eggs, at room temperature


1/3 cup sour cream


1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest


1/2 teaspoon vanilla


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour


1/2 teaspoon baking powder


1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 350. Generously butter a 9-inch glass pie dish and arrange the peach slices, tightly pressed together, around the edge and into the center of the dish.


2. Combine 1 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it turns a warm amber color. Swirl the pan but avoid stirring mixture. Pour evenly over the peaches.


3. Meanwhile, cream the 6 tablespoons of butter and the remaining 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Lower the speed and beat in the eggs one at a time. Add sour cream, lemon zest and vanilla and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and, with the mixer on low speed, add it to the butter mixture. Mix only until combined.


4. Pour cake batter evenly over the peaches and bake for 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a flat plate. If a peach sticks, ease it out and replace it in the design on top of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.
 
Fresh peach cheesecake


This hint might help: To prevent cheesecake from splitting on top, place a shallow pan of water into the oven while cheesecake is baking.


Crust:


2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted


Filling:


4 small peaches (about 1 1/4 pounds), peeled, pitted, sliced 1/4-inch thick


2 tablespoons plus


1 1/4 cups sugar


2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature


4 large eggs


1/2 cup sour cream


1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla


Glaze:


3/4 cup peach preserves


2 1/4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


1/2 large peach, peeled, pitted and very thinly sliced

1. For crust: Preheat oven to 350. Add butter to graham cracker crumbs and stir until evenly moistened. Press crumbs over bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Bake crust until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Cool on rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325.


2. For filling: Combine peaches, 2 tablespoons sugar and lemon juice in heavy large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and peaches release their juice. stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until peaches are tender and juices thicken, about 5 minutes. Cool mixture.


3. In a large mixing bowl, using electric mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add 1 1/4 cups sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in sour cream and vanilla. Spoon half of cheese mixture (about 3 cups) into crust. Spoon cooled peach mixture over by tablespoonfuls, spacing apart. Top with remaining cheese mixture.


4. Place large piece of foil on oven rack. Place pan with cheesecake on foil. Bake until puffed, set in center, and beginning to brown, 60 to 75 minutes, until brown on top and center is set. Place hot cheesecake on rack; cool 5 minutes. run small sharp knife around pan sides to loosen. Place cheesecake, uncovered, on rack in refrigerator and chill overnight. (Can make up to 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)


5. For glaze: In a small, heavy saucepan, combine peach preserves and lemon juice. Stir over medium heat until glaze starts to simmer. Strain into small bowl. Release pan sides; place cheesecake on platter. Spread glaze over top of cheesecake to within 1/4 inch of edge. Chill cheesecake until glaze sets, at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours. Arrange peach slices in center of cake and serve.

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