Fresh from the oven baked desserts

by Kimberley Thompson, Tastemaker in Residence

Celebrate National Peach Cobbler Day, April 13th, with Kimberley's "Fresh from the oven baked desserts."
A phrase guaranteed to trigger more responses and memories in your mind than the bells did for Pavlov's dogs, correct?
The warm, lingering scent of baked fruit, toasty oats, and sugared sweetness makes my mind have an immediate craving for sunshine streaming through a window, a comfy chair, a GREAT book, cold milk, and pajamas. My thoughts turn to every memory of coming home to Mom's or Grandma's house. Feeling loved. Happy. Nurtured. Rewarded.
However, in my cold rational adult mind, the stark word DIET is the neon light that will just NOT shut OFF! (Denial is a crappy mantra.)
Thankfully, I have an adult GREY section to my brain; that says not everything is black and white.
Desserts CAN be eaten in moderation: think the 80/20 rule. Sugar can be cut back/or substituted in a healthier manner. And, I do not need sweets every day. (Sigh.)
In this attempt to have a governor on my sweet tooth; I find myself looking back in the old cookbooks of my Mom and Grandmother for recipes. When sugar was not so prevalent. When things were not treacly cloying. When baked goods used fruit as the "sweet factor" in recipes.
Look for yourself. Pick up a cookbook from the Depression era. Or find early European cookbooks. (I have several well used Polish and English ones!)
I make the recipe below using numerous fruits. Peaches, cherries, plums, and apples are all lovely. It is not quite what most people would envision a "cobbler" to look like, but it fits the bill of being "cobbled together" quickly!
(Not "diet" by the strictest of definitions, but far fewer calories than most cobblers which can contain up to 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 cup of butter!)
Recipe is based on my Grandmother Ruth's recipe and one from The Fresh Market Blog.

    4 large peaches, peel if desired, pitted and cut into 1-inch chunks
    1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
    1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    6 Tbsp butter, melted
    1/2 cup flour + 1 Tbsp flour
    6 Tbsp sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 eggs, separate the yolks from the whites
    3/4 cup milk

    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
    2. Place peaches in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice, cinnamon, 2 Tbsp of the sugar, and the grated ginger. Let sit for while you prepare the "Cobble." 
    3. Beat the yolks and milk together in a small bowl.
    4.  Stir the remaining sugar and all the flour together in a bowl with the salt; then slowly stir in the beaten egg and milk combination. Stir in 3 Tbsp of the melted butter. Set aside bowl for 5 minutes.
    5. In a separate bowl, beat your egg white until stiff. Carefully fold into the rested batter mixture.
    6.  Pour the melted remaining butter in your baking dish. Place baking dish in the oven for 5 minutes. I use a heavy square ceramic baker, about 9x9 inches.
    7.  Take your warmed pan from the oven and pour the batter over the melted butter. DO NOT STIR TOGETHER. Evenly spoon marinated peaches over the batter; again DO NOT STIR TOGETHER.
    8.  Bake at 425 degrees for only 15 minutes; then turn the heat down to 350 degrees and bake for 20 minutes until golden and set.
    9.  Remove from oven and let rest for 30 minutes before serving. That allows the juices from the peaches to be better absorbed.
    10.  Serve with plain or with frozen vanilla yogurt or ice cream. You decide how decadent you want to be!