Summertime and peaches. These two things are inexorably intertwined in my mind. The smell of fresh peaches takes me to the front porch of my grandparents house in the small town of Ward, South Carolina. Next to Ward is Johnston – the self proclaimed Peach Capital of the World. Georgia may claim to be the peach state but Johnston, SC is the peach capital OF THE WORLD! And also my heart.
While I was growing up in Virginia, we would visit Ward fairly often. Who remembers traveling in a station wagon in the 70′s with no seatbelts, blankets laid out in the wagon part? My grandparents house included farmland and a cotton shed, acres of vegetable gardens and horses and hunting dogs and an old World War II jeep they let us drive in the fields. Not glamorous but heaven for any child.
Summer visits included working in the vegetable garden. Long days – at least in my 10 year old brain – of picking and then either shucking or snapping or shelling the bounty for canning. We kids were rewarded with a trip to the public pool and often homemade peach ice cream. If Mema had room in the oven, she may make this amazing peach cobbler.
This cobbler is the perfect summer dessert. Mix it up and put it in the oven right before dinner. Serve it warm with vanilla bean ice cream; the warm cobbler and the cold ice cream combination is like heaven. I did tweak this recipe as much as I dared to lighten and update it. I cut down on the butter and sugar and used whole wheat flour. Mema never added blueberries but I think she would approve.
Mema’s Peach Cobbler
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt 5 tablespoons of butter in a casserole dish or a 9 by 13 pan in the oven. I used light butter here and it worked fine.
Peel and chop 6 large peaches. Place them in a large bowl with 3/4 to 1 cup of fresh blueberries. Sprinkle with one teaspoon of sugar, toss together and set aside.
In another bowl, mix together 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 1/2 to 3/4 cup white sugar, 2 teaspoons of baking powder and a dash of salt. To that mixture add 1 cup of skim milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and stir until blended.
Pour the flour mixture over the melted butter. DO NOT MIX! Pour the peaches on top of the flour mixture. DO NOT MIX!! Trust me on this, be sure not to mix it together. Bake it at 350 for 45 minutes. Cool slightly and serve with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.
This dessert takes about 15 minutes to put together. Though I am no where near Johnston now, this takes me back so very close to those memories. Enjoy!
~ The Mildly Manic Mom