Upside Down Peach Cobbler, Anyone?

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Each Thursday I chat with Matt Swaim of the Sonrise Morning Show, Sacred Heart Radio. Peaches are in season so that’s what we talked about.

PEACHES 2 Samuel 16:1: “ A hundred bunches of summer fruits” won David’s gracious approval for the servant Ziba.  Some Biblical scholars think that those summer fruits included peaches because peach kernels have been found in Egyptian tombs, and peaches, pears, quinces and cherries were all grown well in New-Testament times.  The Romans called peaches “Persian Apples”.

Peaches are in season right now, so it’s a great time to talk about them. 
The stores now carry several varieties, from the old fashioned clingstone and  freestone to the trendy “white” and “bathtub” peaches. Do you like them all?
I really love the freestones for eating, canning and making pies. Freestone means just that – the stone, or pit, comes out easily. The clingstone peaches again are delicious, too, but the pit is really hard to cut out. The white peaches have a smoother skin and remind me of a nectarine. The bathtub peaches are fun to eat, so juicy that you supposedly have to get a bath after eating one. 

How do you tell if a peach is perfectly ripe?
Well, aroma is one sign. And if they’re real hard, usually they are not ripe. But don’t just look at the blushing pink side. Check out the area closest to the stems. If its creamy yellow, it has ripened on the tree.  If it’s green, they may have been picked before they were ripe. 

Do they ripen any more once they’re picked?
Not really. They will get softer and sweeter. If they are too hard lay them in a single layer on the counter for a couple of days. And I don’t like to put them in the frig, though I have been known to do that. They seem to get mealy textured. But if worse comes to worse, and you have to do it, bring them to room temp before eating for the best flavor.

Easy upside down peach cobbler

I call this “upside down” since you pour the batter in first, and then the peaches. The peach mixture falls down to the bottom during baking and the batter mixtures rises to the top, making a nice bumpy, cobbler crust. And really you can use any fruit you like. Sometimes I’ll add a few fresh blackberries to the peach cobbler. 
1 stick butter or margarine, melted3/4 to 1 cup sugar1 cup self-rising flour3/4 cup milk1 teaspoon vanilla3 cups thinly sliced, peeled peaches or equivalent canned in juice, drained a bit
Preheat oven to 350. Pour melted butter in an 8×8 pan or 2 quart casserole. Mix the sugar, flour, milk and vanilla together and pour that over butter. No need to stir. Add peaches all over the top. Bake until top is golden and cobbler bubbles, about 45-50 minutes or so. 

Tip from Rita’s kitchenSelf-rising flour has salt and leavening already in it. Store in frig or freezer for longer storage and to keep leavening active.
Substitute frozen peaches for fresh – thaw slightlySubstitute canned peaches packed in water – drain before using
Make your own self rising flour from Cook’s Illustrated:Whisk together:1 cup  all-purpose flour1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder1/2 teaspoon salt

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