It’s Peach Cobbler Time!
It’s peach season in… Illinois? Yes, peach partisans, I know that there are people out there who will defend their peaches to the end, whether they are from Georgia or Michigan or anywhere else with a claim to peach perfection. But I can’t help extolling the under-the-radar Calhoun County peaches, the first peaches that blew my mind. Perhaps I’m being parochial, perhaps my Proustian peach experience has elevated these particular peaches above all others in an indelible way.
I’ve written about Calhoun County Peaches before and posted a recipe for a Peach and Berry Crisp there. It all started for me in high school, when I was offered one of these peaches at a gas station in the dog days of summer, and was swept off my feet by the most flavorful, juicy, fragrant piece of fruit I’d ever experienced. These peaches are a regional specialty, and one that dependably blows me away, year after year.
So much so, that even though I didn’t make it back this year, I did luck out with a personalized delivery of peaches, carried across two states by another ex-resident of IL, procured through local channels from peach grower and Mayor of Grafton IL, Rick Eberlin.
They are that good.
Read more about Calhoun County Peaches here.
I don’t mind if you disagree, especially because the peaches of Calhoun County don’t make it to the rest of the country. Calhoun County is a small region nestled between the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, known for limestone bluffs, clay soil, and breathtaking peaches. Is it the soil, the cool breezes at night, or some other chemical alchemy? Or do the peach growers just have their A Game going, after over a hundred years of specialization?
Does it matter?
Of course, you can make my peach recipes with the best peaches you can find. Heck, use nectarines. This moment in the year is so brief, and it’s time to forget about that post quarantine diet you were thinking about and party with the peach.
This dessert is just a homey, one bowl-stir-it-up kind of treat. After you peel and slice the peaches (watch the video to see the poaching process) you don’t need to do much more, just pour them in a dish and cover with an easy topping.
So seize the moment, and celebrate peach season. It won’t last long.
Peachy Cornbread Cobbler
- 1 1/2 cup medium grind cornmeal Bob's Red Mill
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons ground golden flax seeds
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 6 cups peeled and sliced peaches
- 1 cup organic sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare a 2 quart baking dish or casserole. I used a smaller, deeper pan, and it took a little longer, so adjust your time, and test with a toothpick.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, brown sugar and salt, and stir to mix well. In a cup, mix the almond milk with cider vinegar, flax and oil. Let stand for five minutes.
- Spread the peaches in the baking dish. Stir the almond milk mixture well, then pour over the flour mixture and stir to mix until pretty smooth. Pour the cornmeal topping over the peaches in the dish and smooth the top.
- Bake for 50 minutes to an hour and 10 minutes, until the peaches are bubbling around the edges of the pan, and the cornbread is golden brown. Test the topping with a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan, testing just the topping. It should be baked through, with no wet batter. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving, with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.
Thanks for the delicious-sounding recipe. Some of my family lives in Kansas, and between the Missouri peaches and Rocky Ford (CO) cantaloupe, it’s always good to visit them in August–even with the heat!
I was lucky, my friend from high school was planning a visit and she offered to bring back half a bushel for me!