Ripe peaches have an unrivaled sweetness and dense texture that is perfect for baking and roasting. It really doesn't take much added sweetness and vanilla to bring out the flavor and it is unnecessary to weigh down with dense spices. Traditional soul food cobbler features a cake-like crust and thick porridge of fruit - I've separated the fruit and lightened the crust to bring down the calories and fat. This dish is best served with fresh whipped cream or a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. The scent of baking peaches will fill the house.
For the Peaches:
1 1/2 lbs. firm but ripe fresh peaches, peeled, halved, and pitted
3 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons good rum
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 vanilla bean pod
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Add maple syrup to a small bowl. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds into the bowl. Cut the empty vanilla pod into 4 pieces and set aside. Add the water and rum to the maple syrup and seeds and stir to combine.
3. Place peaches cut side up in a glass pie dish. Drizzle with the lemon juice, followed by the maple syrup..
4. Spinkle the peaches with 2 tablespoons of the vanilla sugar.
5. Using a fine grater or spice grater, gently grate the cinnamon over the peaches until there is a very light dusting. Nestle the cinnamon stick in between the peaches. Tuck in the vanilla pods throughout the peaches. Dot the peaches with the butter.
6. Roast peaches 20-25 minutes uncovered in the oven. Baste occasionally with the pan juices, until tender and glazed. Turn peaches over halfway through cooking and brush with the pan juices until thick and like a syrup.
8. Serve warm topped with Whole Wheat Butter Pastry and freshly whipped cream.
For the Whole Wheat Butter Pastry:
This is an an easy crust that rolls nice and thin and is the perfect topper for this cobbler.
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp. of organic cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 tablespoons full fat sour cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
You can make this crust with either a food processor or by hand.
1. Using a food processor, combine all dry ingredients except the sugar in the bowl and process to mix. Add the butter and process until a coarse meal. Place the work bowl into the fridge and cool for 15 minutes.
If by hand, combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until it becomes a course meal. Chill for 15 minutes in the fridge.
2. Remove bowl from fridge and either process or cut in the sour cream until it is well blended and creates a coarse mass. Gather dough into a ball, then flatten until about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Then, set dough out on the counter for 15 minutes before rolling.
4. Sprinkle a marble slab or other solid, clean work surface lightly with unbleached all purpose flour. Rub your rolling pin with more flour. Place dough smack in the middle of your work surface.
5. Roll dough from the middle evenly and in all directions until it is a little over 1/8 inch thick. Use flour as needed to prevent sticking.
6. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut dough into triangles. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet using a metal spatula. You can continue to roll and cut the dough scraps until you have used all of it, or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for future use.
7. Refrigerate the cut outs for another 15 minutes before baking.
8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees if not hot already. Brush each triangle with a little bit of the egg and sprinkle with sugar.
9. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.