Is there anything better than a fresh, juicy peach? The kind you have to eat over the sink? I think not. Peaches and raspberries are tied for top spot on my list of favourite fruits.
I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn that I’m not that into camping. I would certainly never be called “outdoorsy.” My idea of “camping” is a cottage on Lake Muskoka with central air and sauna. In spite of that, my university boyfriend decided to take me on a surprise canoe camping trip to Algonquin Park for my 21st birthday.
For the record, we had been dating for more than 2 years before he had this inspired idea. You should be able to take one look at my signature cat-eye, bold lip, and Hermès scarf and determine that I’m not the kind of person who likes to sleep in a tent with a root system digging into my back or having to dig a hole in the dirt instead of making use of the miracle of running water.
But HE liked camping and canoeing – which is really what it should be about when celebrating someone else’s birthday. Unwilling to sacrifice all the benefits of modernity, I did a lot of meal prep beforehand to make sure we weren’t eating Mountain Equipment Co-Op military rations that involved pouring boiling water into a bag of starch and protein and calling it a meal.
Fuck. No. So while I still had access to full kitchen, I prepared pico de gallo, fresh guacamole, and a peach cobbler. Snacks and dessert are both important meal categories for me.
In spite of his terrible choice in birthday destinations, he was a very proficient camper and canoeist. All my thoughtfully prepared food and drink made it intact to our campsite via water-tight drum. Nevertheless, I still would have preferred a weekend in Montreal, complete with shopping spree, fancy dinner, and four-star hotel.
Cobbler is a great dessert option when you can’t be bothered to make a crust. It’s an after dinner delight well-matched to the kind of effortlessness you want your summer to be made of. Instead of making one big serving, like I did on that fateful camping trip, I portioned this up into individual servings to a) increase cuteness, 2) make it easier to on multiple occasions without offending your guests.
I would strongly encourage you to serve this warm and top it off with a scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream.
I guess, in essence, when I turned 21, peach cobbler was my birthday cake. Let’s hope I can find someone else to make the dessert and that there is no need for bear spray when I turn 31 in a few weeks.
Individual Peach Cobblers
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2½ pounds ripe peaches pitted and cut into large chunks
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- ½ cup plus 2 tbsp brown sugar
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- 2 tbsp buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Lightly coat eight 6-ounce ramekins with nonstick cooking spray and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
Toss the peaches with the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons sugar in a large bowl. Let stand until juicy, about 10 minutes. Divide the peaches and juices among the ramekins.
While the peaches sit, combine the flour, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, flax seed, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Cut in the butter, using a fork or pastry cutter, until the mixture forms medium-size crumbs. Stir in the buttermilk until well moistened and large clumps hold together.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the peaches. Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown and crisp, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired.
Recipe adapted from: “Individual Peach Cobblers.” Food Network Kitchen.