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Monday, August 6, 2012

Peach Cobbler on the Grill

   I love peaches. Except for watermelon, peaches has to be my all time favorite summer fruit. I don't even let the fuzzy skin bother me, the taste of a fully ripened peach cannot be beat. Of course, that is just my opinion, so you may have other favorites, but then point me to your blog and I can enjoy what you have to say about your favorites. Deal? Great!
   I haven't gotten around to making any peach jam just yet, but my mouth is watering for some good homemade peach jam, so I am scanning all the fruit stands and markets for a good price for peaches.  My craving was so strong that I found myself digging into the pantry and lo and behold I found one more jar of canned peaches from last year. I could not resist, so I pulled out my trusty cast iron Dutch oven, fired up the grill and made some peach cobbler. Probably the best peach cobbler recipe I have ever tried is courtesy of Paula Deen, with the Lady and Sons version of peach cobbler. Of course, she makes it in her kitchen, but because I do not use the oven indoors on 90 degree days I adapted the recipe to make it on a covered gas grill. I figure I do all my cooking outdoors when I go camping, so why not use the same mindset to adapt all cooking methods to make all of our favorites and avoid heating the kitchen. Great idea.
   The main difference with grill top cooking is that you do not usually get the grill to reach temperatures over 300 degrees, and once you open the lid, most of that heat is gone, so it takes more attention than just popping your dish in the oven setting the temperature and timer and going off to do other things until the timer rings. Not so cut and dried with grill top adaptions of indoor oven recipes. You need to expect that the timing will be longer, as the temperature is considerably lower, and you need to pay attention to whether you are cooking over direct or indirect heat, as that also makes a huge difference in how your dishes are going to come out.
  Okay, turn on three of the four burners on your gas grill. Preheat the grill, covered while you prepare the cobbler. I say three of four burners because we are going to use the indirect heat method, so you need an area where there will not be flame under the pan.
You will need:
 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
 1 quart home-canned peaches or 28-ounce canned peaches from the store
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 cups milk
cinnamon (optional)

    Put the stick of butter in your 5 quart Dutch oven. Put the Dutch oven on the grill, not over a direct flame to melt the butter. Meanwhile prepare the batter.
   In a batter bowl or large bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Slowly whisk in milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Remove Dutch oven from grill using heavy duty pot holders so you do not burn yourself. Pour batter into Dutch oven over the melted butter. Without disturbing the batter spoon the peaches out of the jar and arrange them on top, then pour the syrup from the jar atop the peaches. DO NOT STIR OR MIX. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired. I have made this both with and without the cinnamon and both ways it is awesome. Gently slide the Dutch oven back onto the grill, not over any lit burners, lower the burners to low. Close the hood and time 20 minutes. In 20 minutes and every 20 minutes turn the Dutch oven 1/4 turn so all sides of the Dutch oven eventually is closest to the heat. It will take approximately 2 hours to get the cobbler to rise up through the fruit and form a deliciously moist cobbler topping that is golden brown. You will see the fruit juice bubbling up around the sides of the Dutch oven and the topping will begin to pull away from the sides. Turn off all the burners, and let it set on the grill as it cools, or if you need to use the grill to cook dinner, move it someplace where it can be left undisturbed, taking care to use oven pads to avoid burning yourself. I cover the Dutch oven and put it in my unheated oven in the house so no one is tempted to lift the lid and thereby burn themselves.
 


   Here it is done--the brown funny looking "X" is where the cinnamon came to the top. And you can see over the the right hand side the fruit juice along the wall of the Dutch oven. Best served warm. Spoon some into bowls, top with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream and you will have a hit every time. Refrigerate leftovers, and warm in the microwave (in individual bowls, not in the Dutch oven) for about 45 seconds for future servings.
   Here is a link to the original version of The Lady and Sons Peach Cobbler including a video by Paula Deen herself.Paula Deen making peach cobbler.
   Of course one of the kiddies does not "like" peaches, so I am going to see if this will work with apples, as I still have some left from last fall. So I will try the same method with apples but I will add cinnamon, ground cloves, and some nutmeg.
   So why not give this one a whirl and add one more dish to your outdoor cooking repertoire? Love to hear how yours comes out!



Here's the apple version I tried on the grill as well. See below for my comments: