Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I've got Georgia on mind...

Well, Fredericksburg actually. That's a little closer anyways. Close enough to drive two hours just to pick up 1/8 of a bushel at Berg's Corner. The Texas peach crop this year was close to destroyed due to a late surprise frost so the price of peaches increased (as with everything else in this nation). However, I am not one to shirk at elevated prices on good produce, and let me tell you this is fine produce. So fine, you must drawl out that "i" in fine to exactly understand how fine these are.

The Texas hill country, specifically Fredericksburg and Stonewall, are renowned for their plump peaches. Stonewall, where Berg's is located, is 15 or so miles East on 290 from Fredericksburg. A large orangey, almost peachy, wooden building invites drivers with several variations on the "OPEN" sign. Mr. Berg, I don't know if this is his real name I just want to call him that for story's sake, is also known for his peach ice cream. After a day of shopping up the Fred (the local nickname for Fredericksburg as I am sure you could have guessed) a cup of fresh peach ice cream is the perfect antidote to sweltering summer heat and aching feet. However I do not recommended our previous edible choices of The Bakery, thick cinnamon rolls and giant sweet German pretzels, then The Brewery, at least we split the chicken sandwich and beer battered fries, in addition to a peach-pit stop for Berg's ice cream.

So, at the chagrin of our stomachs, and my hips, that is the consumable course we elected. I then drove home with 1/8 bushel of peaches for myself, another 1/4 bushel for Da, and the requisite French milk Provence soap and some fabric quarters. My little 1/8 bushel, tucked neatly into a little white cardboard box cost me a whole $13 dollars; Da's significantly more mind you. My roommate scoffed at their price until she bit into one of my precious buys and exclaimed, and I quote, "This is the best damn peach I've ever had!"

So what else was I to do with so many peaches. I had to leave for work and day dream about them, sitting all by their lonesome in my little apartment, waiting to be fashioned into something remarkable. Although, I do not think their is much more remarkable than just a plain fresh Fredericksburg peach. Well, it does improve; I made individual cobblers and they were practically perfect. I do apologize if I appear a bit immodest, but what can I say: at these prices, perfection is necessary.

Ginger Peach Cobbler

1.5 cups flour
1 tbs sugar
1/4 tps ground ginger
dash of salt
1 stick butter
4 tbs ice cold water

2 peaches per serving
2 tbs cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tbs corn starch
4 tbs sugar ( this is easily modified according to preference and peach ripeness, sweetness. Honey would work nicely too!)
4 pours Disaronno (well this is technically supposed to be lemon juice but I didn't have any. Really you just need a bit of liquid aside from the peach juice)
1 tsp fresh minced ginger root

1. Slice about 2 peaches per serving, or however many will fit into your little serving dishes. In a bowl combine peaches, cornstarch, cinnamon, fresh ginger, ground ginger and Disaronno. Let it alone to set and congeal a bit while you mix up the dough for the crust.

2. Combine all dry ingredients, including sugar, and then cut butter into flour.
*** Cutting butter is easiest with two forks or a pastry cutter. Simply slice butter into little chunks and place in with dry ingredients. This is sometimes easier if you freeze your butter for a few minutes before working. Then "cut" the sliced/chunked butter bits into the dry ingredients by smashing with fork/pastry cutter. This creates little pieces of butter throughout the dough, creating a flaky, buttery crust in the end. Do not handle the butter too much as it will melt and not achieve the same type of crust.

Once combined add the ice water a tablespoon at a time and mix until the dough holds together, but not sticky.

3. Roll out on a floured surface and cut into rounds with biscuit cutter for tops of cobbler. This batch of dough should make 6-8 tops, depending on how thick you cut them.

4. Fill dishes with peach filling, cover with dough, sprinkle tops with bits of sanding sugar. Add tiny chunks of butter on top of dough and around openings of peach exposure. Not too much as this is just for browning purposes.

5. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Eat piping hot with vanilla bean ice cream:)