Tuesday, August 30, 2011

TEMPTATION TUESDAYS

Today launches something new for the Simple Meals blog.  Up to now, my focus here has been on fixing a basic, simple meal and getting that on the table.  In real life, that's probably about as far as most of us get, even if you're cooking for a family.  Protein and some vegetables on a plate makes dinner.  Few of us go the extra steps of adding even a glass of wine or a salad.  And only special occasion meals get to be topped off with something sweet like dessert.

Well, I love dessert.  I love to bake and I love to eat sweets.  In a perfect world where calories were not relevant, I would eat dessert every day after every meal.  OK, I'll admit it, I'd even skip the meal and go directly to dessert.  And I'm not talking about a piece of fruit out of the fruit bowl either (let's be real...that's a snack, not desert). 

But, in the real world where calories are counted and refined sugars are not healthy, dessert has to be limited to once or twice a week.  Which makes being the only person in the house with an entire homemade cheesecake or cream pie a very dangerous thing. 

Temptation Tuesdays is where we'll pursue sweets in small batches.  Honest to goodness, home baked goodies that are worth skipping the meal for.  We'll talk about equipment for baking small batches and what to do if a recipe is still too much for a single serving (think freezer!). 

GINGER PEACH COBBLER
Late summer is when peaches appear in our markets from local farms.  Peaches are usually either so-so good or exceptionally good.  Buying an average peach is easy but finding the perfect peach for eating out of hand is a rare occurrence.  When you do find the perfect juicy, sweet peach there is no fooling around with it.  Wash it off and eat it.  Letting the juice slide down your chin and hands is part of the experience.  If you're lucky and run across an orchard on just the right day to find a peck of perfect peaches, by all means eat them all this way.  For the rest of us, it's a toss up.  Those peaches in the bin at the market could be from multiple orchards or even multiple states.  If you find one perfect peach, finding a second will be nearly impossible.

So when I am handed a few less-than perfect peaches, that's when I would head for the kitchen and this cobbler recipe.  Scaled down for a single serving, this rounds out a simple light meal.  It also makes the most of a mediocre peach.  Top it off with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream or a pour of heavy cream and voila!  Dessert good enough NOT to share!
 
Timing Strategy:   Begin assembling this dessert as soon as you hit the kitchen to prepare dinner.  Cobblers right out of the oven need to sit for a few minutes before digging into them.  When this goes into the oven, begin making the rest of your dinner and eat while the cobbler bakes. 

Filling:
  1 cup peeled fresh sliced or large diced peaches
  1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  2 teaspoons sugar
  1 tablespoon brown sugar
  pinch of ground ginger
  tiny pinch of salt

Topping:
  1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  1 tablespoon sugar
  1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  pinch of salt
  1 tablespoon milk
  1 tablespoon melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  (I use my toaster oven for everything small I bake from pizzas to paella.  It's ideal for a single cobbler.)  Thoroughly combine the filling ingredients together in a bowl.  Transfer to an 8-ounce oven-proof ramekin. 

In another small bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Add the milk and butter and mix together to form a soft dough.  Arrange the batter on top of the peach filling.  Sprinkle turbinado sugar over dough and top with a grind or two of fresh nutmeg. 

Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes until topping is brown and filling bubbling.  Remove from oven and let set 5-10 minutes.  Serve with ice cream or a pour of heavy cream. 

2 comments:

Leanne said...

Oh Bobbi, you don't have to make dessert just for one person. You have to make enough for all your blog readers. See, it's easier now. Just trying to help. ;-)

Bobbi said...

I'd love to Leanne! I know the folks at work like it when I decide to bake.