What’s better than eating fresh, sweet, peaches over the kitchen sink with juice dribbling down your chin? Maybe nothing. Or maybe, some peach cobbler fresh out of the oven served warm on top of your favorite vanilla ice cream.
A couple of years ago, I discovered something simple that changed the way I cooked. Fresh grated nutmeg. Maybe I’m one of the few who hadn’t caught on to this simple trick but I’m putting the word out, just in case there are others who haven’t been converted! Not only does fresh grated nutmeg make a world of difference in your desserts (i.e. Peach Cobbler), it will turn your ordinary béchamel sauce into something unforgettable. Try it with spinach, egg dishes, French toast; you’ll see what I mean.
With all the special gadgets dedicated to grating nutmeg, one might think that it was a difficult task! I’ve seen everything from “professional quality” microplane graters to cute, miniature graters to store in your spice cabinet. You can even find antique silver nutmeg graters. But I’ve found that I get by just fine by grating it on the side of my cheapo, very untrendy box grater (you know, the side that will rip the skin right off your knuckles, if you’re not careful!). It works just fine and you really don’t have to apply much pressure.
Well all this talk about nutmeg really is leading us back to peach cobbler, I promise! I discovered that fresh grated nutmeg tastes wonderful with fresh peaches in my favorite dessert. You can use this recipe or you can stick with your old standby cobbler recipe but just try it once with a few dashes of fresh nutmeg and see if you’ll ever want it any other way!
Fresh Peach Cobbler
(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book)
4 C. sliced fresh peaches
1/3 C. brown sugar
fresh grated nutmeg (to taste)
1 T. flour
Pinch of salt
1 C. all-purpose flour
1/4 C. sugar
1 t. baking powder
Pinch of salt (optional)
3 T. cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 beaten egg
3 T. milk
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a small square baking dish (8×8-inch) mix together peaches, sugar, flour, a couple dashes of fresh grated nutmeg, and salt; set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter and cut in with pastry blender or rub butter into flour with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and milk together. Add the egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined – don’t overmix!
4. Drop topping mixture by large spoonfuls over the top of the peaches in the baking dish.
5. Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven. Topping is done when golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the biscuit topping comes out clean.
6. Serve warm with ice cream and then eat the rest cold for breakfast!
* The topping part of the above recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.