Butterscotch Caramel Peach Cobbler and Part 20April 8, 2013 at 12:00 am | Posted in Dessert, Fruit, SRC | 67 Comments
Tags: Butterscotch, Butterscotch Peach Cobbler, Cobbler, Peach Cobbler, Peaches
I just realized, I only have 4 posts in 2013, and three of them are Secret Recipe Club posts. Welp, here’s another one!
But, like my last SRC post, dessert was front and center. I guess you could call this phase my Secret Recipe Club sweet tooth. Anna’s blog certainly didn’t disappoint when it came to desserts. I had three in mind.. these luscious Lemon Coconut Bars, this decadent German Chocolate Pie, and this Raspberry Cobbler. I chose the cobbler because; 1) I haven’t had cobbler in a while and 2) I was craving peach ‘anything’ after running into some peaches at the market last week. Peach cobbler, it would be. Yes..peaches are not in peak season at this time, but they’re certainly great for cooking.
As usual, I made some changes. I kept Anna’s batter recipe intact, just adding an extra 1/2 of milk. The reason for this is because I changed the method..the directions. Years ago, before she became a mega-celeb, I saw Paula Deen make a cobbler on TFN, Forget her diabetes scandal and her excessive use of butter. If you want a good cobbler recipe – a southern woman is your man. No 5-star chef can do a cobbler like a southern gal can (OK, of course some can, but it doesn’t have that hand me down southern charm, which tastes better, in my opinion). Granted, the same goes for a lot of recipes, but today, it’s cobbler.
Her method goes like this. Melt butter in cobbler dish. Pour batter over melted butter – no stirring. Simmer the fruit in a simple syrup then spoon it on top of the batter – carefully. Nothing moves here! Like magic (or those magic hot chocolate pudding cakes we grew up with) the batter rises to the top, morphing into a beautiful golden crust, while the gooey fruit falls to the bottom. Voila – perfect cobbler every.single.time.
That said, I wouldn’t recommend simmering most berries in sugar syrup because the end result would be jam – but apples, peaches, pears, plums, apricots, pluots etc….hell yes.
IF you want to make it with berries….cook the sugar syrup for 5 minutes, let it cool completely, then stir in the berries and spoon on top of the melted butter and batter.
So, I did just that, but instead of a plain simple syrup, I simmered my peaches in a butterscotch syrup. Brown sugar, water and butter. You don’t need cream because the syrup thickens up like a caramel without it. Another hell, yes.
This is the best cobbler I’ve ever had (I know, I always say this, but I wouldn’t put a recipe up if it wasn’t amazing). Try it with other fruit, like mentioned above, if you don’t like peaches. The caramel like butterscotch goo is outstanding. I’d make this if I were you. Oh, wait….
By the way; Here’s the best way to peel lots of peaches, quickly.
Stop by Anna’s delicious blog when you get a chance, and if you want to see what my fellow Group A SRC’ers made from their assigned blogs, click on the blue frog below! I’m also linking this up to Recipe Sharing Mondays, hosted by Jam Hands and Weekend Pot Luck #70 at The Country Cook.
Butterscotch Caramel Peach Cobbler
Batter adapted from bcmom’s kitchen. Method inspired by Paula Deen
1 1/2 to 2 lbs fresh peaches (about 3 or 4 large peaches), peeled, pitted and sliced, to equal 3 to 4 cups. (If peaches are very juicy, reduce water to 1/4 cup)
3/4 cup dark brown sugar (I also made one mixing dark and light brown sugar – 6 tablespoons of each – equally good)
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
1/2 cup water
Batter (double the batter if you like)
1 stick of butter, melted in the baking dish
1 cup flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk (if you want a thicker crust, use only 1/2 cup milk)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Combine the 3/4 cup brown sugar, water and butter in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Stir in sliced peaches, and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit while you prepare the batter. Place the stick of butter on the bottom of your baking dish and let it melt in a 350 F oven. Leave the oven at 350 while you make the batter.
2.For the batter. In a bowl..mix the 1/2 cup sugar, flour, baking powder and salt together. Slowly pour in the milk, stirring, to prevent clumps, until smooth. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir. Carefully spoon all the peaches and syrup on top of the batter. Do not mix or stir anything. You want three separate layers; 1. melted butter, 2. batter, 3. fruit in syrup.
3. Place the baking dish on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes. The batter will rise to the top and it’s done when its golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream, yogurt, creme fraiche and/or whipped cream.
Now to Part 20 pf Bad Boy First Love. First off, I had such a hard time writing it. Mad writers block. When it finally started to break, I wrote and wrote and wrote. Well, the end would take up two pages, so I decided to split it in two. What else is new?
If you’re tuning in for the first time, here are the previous parts to this story. Part One is HERE, Part Two is HERE , Part Three is HERE, Part Four is HERE, Part Five is HERE, Part Six is HERE, Part Seven is HERE, Part 8 is HERE, Part 9 is HERE, Part Ten is HERE, Part 11 is HERE, Part 12 is HERE, Part 13A is HERE, Part 13B is HERE, Part 14A is HERE, Part 14B is HERE , Part 15 is HERE, Part 16 is HERE , Part 17 is HERE and Part 18 is HERE, and Part 19 is HERE.
So I was blissfully happy, WE were blissfully happy. That summer before my third year of college was amazing. I never thought we could get any closer than we already were, but somehow, we did. He was starting to talk about us moving in together and marriage, when I finished college, on a more regular basis.
One week down the shore, at our ‘late night’ favorite beach spot, we laid facing each other..the music fusing perfectly with the crashing of the waves. It was as if the waves were being ‘played’ by a band member.
Exiiit Light, Enter Niiight
Taaake my hand..we’re off to nevernever land
I had a little buzz going from one beer..not to mention a little wasted from second-hand pot smoke at a party we’d been to earlier, so I was acting stupid – giggly, thinking everything that came out of my mouth was utter brilliance. I told Dreamboat I’d need a gas mask if we ever went back to that house again. My hair smelled like a Grateful Dead concert.
I told him we should make an album, an album adding crashing waves or thunder after every chorus of a classic hard rock song. I was convinced, in this state, that we’d get rich. He smiled, laughed and hugged me, he knew I’d realize what a silly idea it was once I was sober, but he let me go with it. Within 10 minutes I had 7 songs picked out. I told him I was calling record companies the next day and just “wait and see!”
He was loving the way I rambled on about my plan make us rich, smiling from ear to ear, his teeth gleaming in the moonlit, blue darkness, but then he got serious, placing his hand over my mouth so I’d stop blathering. He pushed my hair back..kissed me, to make up for stifling me…then got down to the nitty gritty.
He told me he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else but down the shore..and would I be interested in living “here” instead of North Jersey?
I remember jumping up and doing a half-assed, wobbly cartwheel in the sand. I always bailed on cartwheels, it was some kind of weird fear I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
“SURE!” I exclaimed.. spinning around and trying another. I had two full years left of college…this whole living together/marriage business was far off in the future. I was just enjoying life and him..no pressure, for the time being. I remember looking up at the stars..stretching my arms out and spinning around and around, my bare feet creating a vortex in the sand that helped me spin faster and faster. I was savoring the beautiful stars, the summer breeze, the smell of the air. and being in love. – I memorized every sight, smell and feel.. I wanted to lock up this moment in my memory.
This is why I’m able to write this story..I’ve got a giant vault of locked up memories, where all details from every significant moment in my life thus far, are bottled and sealed – preserved forever, or until a hard knock to the noggin.
Then I fell flat on my face, spitting out sand. I can still hear his laughter once he knew I was ok. I threw sand at him.
Going back to school wasn’t hard because we’d learned to adapt, it was no longer the end of the world for either of us, leading to sadness, resentment, or anything negative. We could handle those first few months apart now that we’d done it twice, and probably because he became a better phone person. Our conversations were longer, fun and much more intimate.
One winter weekend when I was home from school, we drove down to his shore house to see a friend of his whom I’d never met because he had just moved back to the shore after living in California for a few years. He and his girlfriend had just had a baby.
She was my age – almost 20, but looked even younger. He was 26 and kind of looked like a Hell’s Angel, minus the ‘stache and/or beard, but replete with a bandana wrapped around his head and a Hog t-shirt. He was really loud and obnoxious., so much so, that I couldn’t imagine Dreamboat ever being friends with him. In stark contrast, his baby Mama was small, quiet and timid. I imagined he wore his jeans very well in their little family.
Dreamboat just kept surprising me and surprising me, even after 4 years.
After dinner and a movie with them, we went back to their place to see the baby. They lived in a small trailer in the backyard of an acquaintance. After bidding adieu to his mother, who babysat, I surveyed the surroundings. There was a tiny living room, a tiny kitchen, and a tiny bedroom with a tiny bathroom. Within minutes, there was a tiny baby in my arms.
She was cute as button, but that’s it. My biological clock hadn’t even been set yet. As far as I was concerned, it was like holding a puppy, except I would have rather been holding a puppy. I rocked this little bundle of cuteness in my arms to make a good showing, but couldn’t wait to give her back. I was afraid I might squish or drop her. Then I saw Dreamboat, looking at me in a way he’d never looked at me before. Pure wonderment and awe…a little tadpole swimming in the glint in his eye, just waiting to jump ship and knock me up.
I gave the baby a few more rocks and baby goo goo talk, then handed her back to her Mama, saying I had to go to the bathroom.
As soon as I came out of the bathroom, he pulled me down on his lap. The amount of space between the bathroom and the kitchen was about 3 feet at most.
He wrapped his arms around me and looked up at me – that look still on his face.
“You want one?” he asked confidently, as if he expected me to get up, jump up and down and scream “YESSSSS!”. The tadpole was now darting back and forth in his iris, at warp speed, like a fish scooped from it’s spacious, comfy tank into a plastic baggy.
I kissed his cheek, and said, “One day” I started to feel kind of nauseous. Great, maybe the intensity of his sudden desire to be a daddy had already knocked me up.
Immaculate trailer conception?
On the drive back to his shore house, he told me I looked good holding the baby, a natural. Oh? You mean you couldn’t tell I would have rather been holding a shih-tzu with a pink bow? I thought, but just smiled. We stopped at a red light.
“You’d be a great Mom”, he said softly What? You know this from my 5 minutes, tops, holding a baby?
I squeezed his hand..I didn’t know what else to do or say. Apparently he took this as some kind of affirmative because he squeezed back hard and looked at me. The tadpole was back.
“I can’t wait to have kids” he said, leaning over for a peck. Oy vey.
When we got back to his shore house, he slipped into something more comfortable – a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off and a pair of shorts. His arms were well muscled from construction work. In that outfit, he could talk about babies all he wanted , I thought. I couldn’t stop staring at him as he walked around closing the curtains and locking the doors..settling us in for the night. The word ‘dreamy‘ kept floating through my head. because he wasm although I couldn’t believe I was even thinking the word ‘dreamy’. I don’t think I’d ever articulated that word in my entire life – not even once.
I met him when I was 15 and reconnected with him at 16. I was closing in on 20, and he still made me melt like he did that very first night. Dreamy, indeed.
I was sitting on the floor, my knees to my chest..arms wrapped around my lower legs, watching him..the dim glow of the lamp, the only light on, illuminating his his physique perfectly. I wanted him so much at that moment. It was a ‘I wanna sop this man up with a biscuit’ moment.
Yeah, his dreaminess even brought out my inner southern girl, who I didn’t even know existed until I likened him to sausage gravy. It was long lost residue from three weeks in Texas when I was 13. Wanting to ‘sop someone up like a biscuit’ was a common phrase that ran the gamut from pinching the cheeks of cute babies/kids to teenage or adult lust/love.
I shook it off quickly. He was hinting around a bun in my oven and my oven wasn’t even preheating – not even a flicker of pilot light. I felt a little nauseous again, so I pressed my cheek against my right knee and closed my eyes. I knew there were plenty of women who would be more than happy to have his baby..anytime he wanted. That thought was 25% of my nausea – I could lose him to some hot chick with a hot oven.
I was so lost in my thoughts..I didn’t hear or feel him sit down in front me, facing me, until he wrapped his arms and legs around me playfully. ”Hey, sleepy” he whispered, pressing his nose against mine. I made some kind of noise in response.
“So, did you like holding the baby?” he asked with a smile.
Oh no, baby talk again! I wanted to crawl into hole and hide, but instead, I said, “Yeah, sure, she was a cutie”
“So. how many years is one day. after you’re finished with college?” he asked, rocking back and forth.
Yeah, somehow we’d ended up holding onto each other’s upper arms, legs criss-crossed, rocking back and forth..like a damn Weeble. A weird position for such a suddenly serious conversation.
“Oh, I don’t know..5 or 6, maybe” I replied, rubbing his upper arms, as if it might soften the blow if he didn’t like my answer. His biceps were so smooth and soft..like a..dare I say it – baby’s booty. It was such a difference from his slightly calloused hands rubbing my arms. A working man’s hands.
He stopped rocking with me and leaned back..a look of surprise on his face, then let out a long, slow whistle..one of those ‘ssssssss’ whistles using the tongue and teeth. When he whistled like that, it was usually a bad sign.
He composed himself and smiled, but it was more of an incredulous smile. ”Damn, sweetheart, by that time I’ll be close to 30″ he said softly.
Suddenly those pleading, fateful words I uttered to him almost 4 years earlier..the night I told him my real age, came back to haunt to me “You know, a 2 1/2 year age difference will mean nothing once I’m 20 and you’re almost 23….” Little did I know it would make a difference, albeit in a way I was too young to even consider at that time.
Since he didn’t like my answer, I decided to make everything better, and I wasn’t lying when I said this.; “Ohh, who knows? Maybe much sooner..I can’t give you an exact answer while I’m still in college! I may feel differently once I’m done.”
He liked that answer a lot more., perfectly demonstrated by pulling me down on top of him and kissing me, while running his hands through my hair. Unfortunately, after a few minutes of this..I fell asleep, falling off of him to the side. Well, at least I eradicated even the slightest chance of any accident. and sent the tadpole back to it’s pond – for now.
The next day, we saw the baby again. He got back into baby zone and started talking about us having one soon, again. Then we didn’t see the baby, or any baby for that matter, for the rest of the weekend. No baby talk at all.
I decided I had to keep him away from babies, at all non-psycho costs, until we were really ready for it. Oh? Your other friends had a baby? They want us to come see? I’m really in the mood for pizza – pizza at that place an hour away!
I didn’t like the little ball of pressure he’d planted in my uterus , and it would continue to make me nauseous whenever the topic arose. I was a kid, I couldn’t even fathom motherhood at that time. Don’t get me wrong, some women are ready to be Mommy’s at 20..or as young as 18 (I’m not going below 18 – this is not a Teen Mom episode), but I wasn’t one of them.
Once back at school and baby pressure free, I ran into hockey guy one day in the quad. I hadn’t seen him in months. His little dalliance with my friend who he didn’t know was my friend, was long forgotten. I was sitting on a wide pillar to the side of the cement steps to one of the main halls..legs stretched out. looking through notes for my next class and basking in the late afternoon sun. He came jogging up the steps in a rush. At first I didn’t notice him, or he me. It was weird, just as he was about to pass me, we both looked up at the same time and caught eyes. He backed down a few stairs and walked over to me. It was instantaneous – there were sparks between us..big time electricity.
He smiled and for the first time, I noticed the slight difference in color on his temporary, left front tooth, from his other teeth (it was knocked out in a hockey game fight.. and it was pointless to put in a permanent tooth until he was finished with hockey forever). He looked so handsome..his chocolate brown eyes inducing a rush of warmth throughout my body. The sun reflected off his dark brown curls, the ends a little damp by his neck.
“Hey, it’s great to see you” he said between rushed breaths. Apparently, he’d just run a marathon. My thoughts were sort of confirmed;
“I just ran all the way here to get this paper to my professor before 3 o’ clock” I looked and saw a rolled up, three or four page something or other in his left hand.
I smiled and said something like..”Oh? Really? Wow, that’s a long run!”
I looked at my watch..it was exactly 5 minutes of – I told him.
“Phew, just made it, thanks…” then a pause, and “Once I drop this off…are you busy? You want a grab a slice of pizza?”
I started to respond.”Ummm..” but he interrupted. ”I’ll only be a minute”
I was feeling it. I decided to blow off my class and go.
This worried me. If I loved Dreamboat so much, why was I sparking? The guilt hit immediately. I had the whole angel – devil at each ear thing going on.
The angel pleaded – “Don’t do this, Lisa! Imagine how you’d feel if he did this to you! He loves you, he wants to marry you!”
“Go ahead, you only live once. Besides, it’s just pizza! You might as well have some fun before he knocks you up after you finish school.” the devil cracked, puffing on a cigar.
I mulled it over and over..I only had a few minutes to start up or shut down this operation.
It was just pizza, right? That was the easiest way to justify going with him, but nothing could justify the sparks. Dreamboat had spooked me with all the baby talk – I wasn’t necessarily sparking as much as I was looking for a safe place to hide. Hockey guy had lofty goals (pun sort of intended), he wasn’t going to want to start cranking out babies as soon as he graduated..which, would be in a few months.
Of course the 20-year old me did not come to this conclusion. Sparks were sparks, right? He was awesome to talk to, and he was hot.
Hockey guy’s voice popped my thought bubble.
Part 21 coming soon