Saturday, January 16, 2010

Farm-Fresh Friday: Peach Cobbler!

Homemade Peach Cobbler served with Homemade Mango Icecream - using mangos from the family farm!
(recipe for Mango Ice Cream to come at later date!)

It's summer in Australia, which means even though I used an America recipe (holy cow you guys like your sugar!) you're going to have to wait 6 more whole months before you can make this, unless you're lucky enough to live on the Southern Hemisphere like me.

Backstory: I was once a housewife in America, for a short period of my life. My mother in law, who hated me like usual, would always make me peach cobbler when I came by. Her version was this terrible concoction of canned peaches poured into a baking tin, covered in cake mix, with slices of cold butter thrown on top and then thrown into the oven, as is.

As I've grown on in years, I've come to discover that peach cobbler from scratch is really not much harder at all. Melt the butter, some flour, some sugar. Stir it all up and bake some peaches on top, really. So I dedicate this to my ex-mother-in-law who liked to pretend she lived in a farm but really just had several acres of land she did nothing to.

4oz of butter (see, American!) or 1 stick or 100~110 grams butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2tsps baking powder
one grind of salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract*
4 ripe white peaches (though I used red and white, I found the white tastier, sturdier and fresher for this recipe, so I'd omit the red and just use all white - learn from my "mistakes")
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180/350/Gas Mark 4.

I love this recipe because I don't TECHNICALLY have to measure anything or remember much. Equal parts all main ingredients (even 4 ripe peaches is about a cup of peaches). Except butter, which is half a cup about. Normally I work with weight, so this is a fun experiment for me.

Put melted butter in bottom of baking dish. Put all dry ingredients in mixing bowl and combine. I just use my hand for this. No point in dirtying a spoon or anything until you get the milk and vanilla extract in here.

There's a tiny star by the vanilla extract. Why is this? Oh yes, because I don't use vanilla extract, technically. I use this:What is this? Well, it's a bottle of vodka. With vanilla beans in it. The vodka is considered a nice brand locally, but I have done this with both expensive and cheap brands of vodka and the results have pretty much been the same. I was just testing the more expensive vodka and while the tang is a bit less, it has roughly the same flavour. It is very similar to vanilla extract, but incredibly cheaper. This bottle, while expensive at $40, holds 700mL of vodka. The beans were $3 each and this is now their THIRD bottle of vanilla extract, so let's say they were $1 a piece (also, I wouldn't go past 3 uses with these beans. As you can see, my extract is not as dark as normal). $42 for 700mL of extract... or $6 for 60mL of extract at the grocery store? See my point? That's about $25 difference using expensive vodka! Use cheaper vodka (which is even CHEAPER in America!) at $20 a bottle, and you're saving TONS on vanilla extract. Plus you have vanilla vodka on hand for any delicious occasion!

Now back to the recipe. Pour the batter over the butter and then slice the peaches on top. Sprinkle cinnamon over entire thing and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Now eat with a large glass of vanilla vodka to wash it down!


  1. That is genius about the vanilla vodka. I'm going to try that!

    And man, a rainy winter wasn't hard enough without you going on about peaches. Harumph. When summer comes here, I'm a get you.

  2. I have never heard of doing that before, but I'm going to try it. Real vanilla costs a small fortune unless you can make a friend grab some for you on their frequent trips to the Dominican Republic or Mexico.