Southern summers mean fresh peaches.
Georgia peaches, and Vidalia onions, and Florida oranges. They all mean that somebody's been traveling, and that somebody loves you.
Growing up in Eastern Kentucky in the Eighties, we still heard a lot about "the old days." The times when there weren't big supermarket chains or box stores on every corner, carrying every exotic fruit or vegetable you can imagine. The times when it was a huge luxury to take a car trip Down South.
Appalachian folks, rural folks, we're a practical lot. When you're fortunate enough to travel, you want the folks back home to know you're thinking of them. When you're traveling on a budget, it makes a whole lot more sense to bring back the fresh flavors of the South than a bunch of t-shirts and mouse ears and other souvenir junk.
Peaches from a roadside stand are a treat that'll last a bit. They'll provide a delicious treat for the family. They taste like the Georgia sunshine. And they remind you of your own adventures and road trips. They never go to waste.
Last weekend, The Peach Truck visited Louisville. This Nashville-based supplier deals in sweet, juicy nostalgia, bringing fresh peaches from South Carolina and Georgia. The line snaked all the way through the parking lot, as dozens of Louisvillians sought to recapture these sweet memories. (The folks at Brownsboro Hardware want y'all to know that the Peach Truck will be back on the 25th. In fact, they're touring all over Kentucky this summer!)
With all this peachy goodness in mind, I wanted to create a memorable, yet simple summer dish that combines the sweetness of peaches with a little Kentucky kick. A blueberry-bourbon peach cobbler was the perfect solution; it requires little prep time and makes a dramatic presentation when served still bubbling in a cast-iron skillet.
I used about about 1/3 cup of bourbon in this recipe. I wanted something that had strong vanilla notes, so I used Woodford Reserve. The sweetness of the Woodford made a great compliment to the fruit.
Blueberry-Bourbon Peach Cobbler
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup bourbon whiskey
- 3 large peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
- 2 1/2 cups blueberries
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Lemon zest, optional
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces or grated
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
Add bourbon to peaches and allow to macerate in a covered dish for a few hours or overnight.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
For the filling:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cornstarch. Add the peaches, and blueberries, and mix, coating the fruit evenly with the sugar mixture. Toss with the lemon juice and zest, if desired. Put the fruit filling in a cast iron skillet and place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. In the meantime, make the biscuit dough.
For the topping:
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a food processor, a pastry cutter, or your fingertips incorporate the chilled butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and stir just until moistened.
Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and spread biscuit dough over the berry mixture.
Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F and bake until the biscuits are golden brown on top and the fruit is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Serve with vanilla ice cream and a cup of coffee, obviously.