Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Company for dinner on Sunday gave me an excuse to make a dessert. Our dinner was so very good. We had clam chowder followed by Tyler Florence's iceberg lettuce wedges and cherry tomatoes with bleu cheese dressing (recipes coming), herbed garlic bread,crabs and spaghetti, and steamed crabs. Dessert was this fabulous peach cobbler that I found on Williams Sonoma's website. Honestly, this is the one. The crust is tender, yet has the texture you want for a cobbler -- crisp but tender -- and the flavor
is wonderful. The peaches have just
enough juice and there is no overbearing sweetness -- instead you get the full flavor of the fruit. This is a great recipe. But then, it's just what you would expect from Williams Sonoma. I did make a few changes: In an effort to use up my homemade peach preserves, I subbed them for the white sugar in the recipe. The topping was also my idea, instead of vanilla ice cream, trying to save some calories, and it also tasted good.
All in all, a perfect night -- great friends, good food and good conversation.

Summer Fresh Peach Cobbler, adapted
--Williams Sonoma Kitchen
Rating: 10 out of 10
4 cups peeled, sliced peaches
1/3 cup white sugar (or peach preserves
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1-1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. lemon juice
dash fresh-grated nutmeg or mace
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1/2 batch cobbler dough (see recipe)
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 425F. In a large bowl, stir together the peaches, preserves (or sugar), brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and nutmeg. Transfer to a 1-1/2 quart baking dish and scatter the butter pieces on top.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the cobbler dough 1/4" thick. Place on top of the peach filling. Brush the dough with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with 1 tsp. sugar. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 350F and bake until the topping is nicely browned and filling is bubbly, 50 - 60 minutes more. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool about 30 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream or topping recipe below. Yield: 4-6 servings

Cobbler Dough
1-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. sea salt
7 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" cubes
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. very cold water (you may need a little more)

In food processor, combine first 4 ingredients and pulse till mixture resembles cornmeal, with the butter in very small pieces, no larger than small peas. In a small bowl, mix together the egg yolk, vanilla and cold water. Add the liquid all at once to the flour mixture and pulse just till dough pulls together. If it seems too dry, add more cold water, 1 tsp. at a time; try not to overmix.

Transfer dough to a work surface; pat into a ball and flatten into a dish. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Yield: enough for 2 cobblers (freeze one half)

Low-Calorie Mock Creme Fraiche Topping
1/2 cup Cool Whip Lite or Non-Fat Frozen and Thawed Whipped Topping
1/4 cup Lite Sour Cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together. Spoon a dollop on each serving of peach cobbler.

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