Friday, May 22, 2009

A peachy time

When my parents came into town, I wanted to do something new, something different. They’ve been to Arizona more times than any of us can count, and they’ve seen pretty much all the touristy stuff there is to see.
Enter, Peach Festival.
I’d always heard good things about this festival, which takes place at Schnepf Farms just one weekend out of the year. They pick tons and tons of juicy peaches off tons and tons of peach trees, and they sell them (along with arts and crafts, homemade jams, and other fun treats).
So we piled into the rental car and headed alllllll the waaaaayyyyy to Queen Creek, about an hour and 15 minutes away.
And let me tell you. It was worth it.
First of all, there was this:

Yes, that’s right. Homemade peach ice cream. I cannot even describe how creamily awesome this was. Now I want to learn to make ice cream.
Then came the main event: the peaches. I bought a big box of them. Like, 25 peaches. Twenty-five of the juiciest, ripest peaches I have ever tasted. They’re so juicy, you practically have to drink them. See:

I took 8 of the peaches and made this:

Yes, that’s right. Peach cobbler. Where did I get the recipe, you wonder? From Carrie Schnepf, of Schnepf Farms.
Her farm, her peaches, her cobbler recipe. I knew this was going to be good.
I hit a few hiccups, admittedly. The recipe called for a 2-quart baking dish. I opted for a deep, round 2-quart baking dish.
The result was that the cobbler part became too concentrated at the top, melded together, and didn’t mix properly with the peaches, as it would have if it were more spread out.
So, after baking it for 30 minutes, realizing the mistake, and discussing baking strategy with my mom, I dumped it into a 9x12 dish, sprinkled a little more sugar on top, and threw it back in for another 10 minutes.

The cobbler part still turned out a bit too soft, but it didn't matter. It was DELICIOUS. It’s good at room temperature, it’s good cold, and I suspect it would be good with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Say hello to my new May tradition.


8 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water

Sprinkled topping:
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2-quart baking dish.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Blend in butter with fingertips or pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.
Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them.
Mix 3 tablespoons white sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon and sprinkle onto cobble. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.
Makes 8-10 servings.

Source: Carrie Schnepf,


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