Peaches seem to surprise me every year. I never crave a peach. Maybe because I’m much more of a savory gal than a sweet tooth. I always, always look forward to tomatoes and onions and squash blossoms from the garden, dreaming up all the savory recipes I can make. When the season is over I miss them, especially summer fresh tomatoes.
But I never crave a peach.
Somehow, though, when late summer brings those juicy sweet, a tiny bit tart peaches to the market I am in love. Maybe it’s because they truly are amazing in their season; you can smell them before you even see them. And maybe it’s because that sweet peach scent brings back precious summer memories to me. As a child, the peaches we ate at Lake Erie from the farm stands around Catawba Island were the best I’ve ever tasted, that ripe sticky juice dripping down my fingers. When I go to Ohio now to visit, it’s my Aunt Patty’s peach cobbler I secretly hope she’ll be making. I think everyone makes peach cobbler, don’t they? It’s just such a perfect thing to do with peaches. My mom made peach cobbler, every summer in Denver and although I don’t have her recipe, I remember it was out of this world, drool worthy, even the smell, while it was baking in the oven, of the sugar and peaches making their own amazing syrup, could make you swoon.
Lily and I found a yummy peach cobbler recipe a few years ago that we now make together. It’s very different from the one my mom used to make. The topping is a creamy sweet, almost cake-like batter, and one addition this one has that I don’t think my mom’s ever had, is lemon zest. The zest shoots this cobbler out of the ballpark. For those of you who can’t eat gluten, I always make this with gluten-free flour, either Gluten-Free Girl’s, Pamela’s, Namaste, or Bob’s Red Mill, and it always turns out amazing. Have it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you’ll find yourself in summer peach heaven, even if it’s chilly and rainy like it is here today. In fact that’s an even better reason to heat up your kitchen with this aroma of a quintessential summer dessert.
It’s so tasty, that perfect sweetness of the peaches with the creamy, almost cake-like topping and of course that zesty lemon flavor. It makes you want to lick your plate, literally. Whenever Lily finishes a piece, she always asks me if she can lick her plate and I always let her. It’s that good; and it’s a special connection for the two of us to make something so yummy together and create our own lovely memories around food and cooking.
I have two more delicious peach recipes coming up this week for the holiday weekend!
- 4 to 6 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced into roughly eight wedges each (about 2-2 1/2 lbs of peaches
- 3/4 cup sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- 3/4 cup all purpose gluten-free flour blend for baking such as Gluten-Free Girl's, Pamela's, Namaste or Bob's Red Mill
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 375° F
- Place peach wedges in a large mixing bowl. pour 1/4 cup of the sugar and the cornstarch over the peaches and stir to combine. Let mixture stand for 5-10 minutes.
- To make the dough or topping, first cream together the butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (you can also mix by hand) until smooth. Beat in the egg, vanilla and lemon zest until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the gluten-free flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined.
- Pour the peaches and their juices into an 8-inch square baking dish.
- Dollop the dough onto the top of the peaches.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until the dough topping is golden brown.
- Serve warm with ice cream or fresh whipped cream.
- You can use regular flour if you are not gluten-free. And we made this with plums this summer too and it was delicious!