WELL, what a week! As you may have read in Wednesday’s Evening News, Restaurant Mark Greenaway was voted into the Top 100 UK Restaurants at 81st. The list is compiled by votes from 150 industry experts, so it’s a great achievement for the whole team. It is the topping on a great six months for us, and I am excited to see what the second half of the year will bring.
It’s not only me that is celebrating this week though, so a happy Independence Day to my American friends for this Saturday. I love seeing all the celebrations across America, and some of the food they make... wow! This week, I’ll help you celebrate Independence Day with my recipe for Peach Cobbler.
Now, while cobbler is a traditionally American dish it was actually first cooked by British settlers. In true British fashion, it was made thanks to some decisive ingenuity. Without the proper cooking equipment for suet puddings, the settlers decided to sprinkle uncooked broken biscuit over a layer of stewed filling. And so the (ahem) American cobbler was born. The Americans became so fond of the dish that they served it as a main course, for breakfast and even sometimes as a starter, and it wasn’t until the late 19th century that it became recognised as a dessert.
My favourite thing about cobbler is that it can be altered to suit which ever fruits are in season at that time of year. And if you are lucky enough, you can get some of the ingredients from your back garden. I’ve also added on a crunchy hazelnut topping as I find it works really well texturally.
Did you know the “World’s Largest Peach Cobbler” can be seen and tasted at the annual Georgia Peach Festival? The recipe includes 285 litres of local peaches, 40kg of butter, 122 litres of milk, 68kg of wheat flour and 68kg of sugar.
For the “stewed” peaches:
4 ripe peaches (de-stoned)
100g caster sugar
For the cobbler top:
60g hazelnuts (lightly crushed)
130g self-raising flour
85g caster sugar
110g unsalted butter
130ml full fat milk
For the peaches:
• Cut all the peaches into six segments
• Pour the sugar into a non-stick pan or earthenware casserole dish
• Place over a medium heat on the stove top and caramelise the sugar until it turns golden brown. Be very careful as the sugar will be extremely hot.
• Gently place half the peaches in the caramel. The heat of the caramel will break down the peaches turning them quite jammy. After two or three minutes remove the pan from the heat and add the rest of the peaches
• Spoon into an ovenware dish and allow to cool completely before adding the topping
For the topping:
• Cream butter and sugar until pale and light and fluffy
• Add 1/2 the flour and all the milk and continue to whisk until it has all been incorporated
• Add the rest of the flour and salt and fold through with a metal spoon
• Spoon on top of your peaches (or fruit of your choice)
• Sprinkle crushed hazelnuts on top
• Bake at 180C for 25 minutes
• Serve immediately with some double cream or even some vanilla custard