Making cobblers

My trip to Devine, last week, was great. I enjoyed playing bunco with my friends and we truly missed the ones that were out sick. There were several of them and I really hope y’all are beginning to feel better. I got to see my newest great-granddaughter on Wednesday and of course she is a doll. Her mama is such a sweetie; I was allowed to hold her all I wanted to!
The corn fields are ready to be harvested for livestock feed and all the fields and pastureland I saw were really dry. It didn’t look as if there was much grazing land to be used. We finally had some rain around the 23rd or 24th of June. Burn bans are back in effect for almost all of our counties down here, and in fact, before the rain, Victoria County was saying absolutely no fireworks and they wouldn’t even be sold in the county. Since they had more rain than we did, that restriction was lifted, but many of the places that usually have fireworks show cancelled them. The two inches we had helped, but we need rain as badly as it’s needed in your area.
One day at lunch time, quite a while back (you know, back in the good old days when we could go eat at the Senior Citizen center?), I asked one of the men if he thought we were ever going to get rain. His answer was different to say the least, as he replied, “Yes, just as soon as this dry spell is over!” We both had a good laugh and went to our tables to wait for our food. I have to agree with him, we have had clouds several days this week and part of last week and only immeasurable drops of rain.
Where cobblers got their name is unknown to me, but I firmly believe it was some rushed housewife who decided to ‘cobble’ some flour, sugar and milk together and add some fruit from her pantry, who made the first one. Cobblers can be found in cookbooks dating from the early parts of the 20th century and possible even before. They are simple to make and always delicious as you can use any fruit you have on hand to make them. I have made them with apple pie filling, cherry pie filling, canned peaches or almost anything. (In fact, at one point in time, my daughter promised her lunch mate teachers a peach cobbler for dessert at lunch, got ready to make it and had no peaches at home. She used a couple of cans of fruit cocktail and had a hit on her hands!).
The following cobbler is a little different than the ones we usually make, in that it uses buttermilk (or soured milk) in place of the milk that’s usually called for. For some reason, it’s called “Magic Lemon Cobbler”. Since I’ve always felt a cobbler was sort of magical, in the way you put the dough mixture in the pan and then the fruit, and the dough rises to the top, the name doesn’t make much sense! We took a pan of it to my grandson and his wife last Wednesday and they seemed to enjoy it immensely. I’ve served it to my Pokeno ladies, by placing it in 8-ounce glasses and it was a hit with them also. The lemony flavor is really awesome.
Magical Lemon Cobbler
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup buttermilk (or soured milk*)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 can lemon pie filling (21-ounce)
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Place the stick of butter into a 9”X9” square baking dish and place it in the oven to melt while you mix up the batter. (Keep an eye on this, you don’t want it to get brown, just melt!).
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, (flour, baking powder, salt and sugar). Pour in the buttermilk, vanilla and lemon extracts and stir or whisk until just combined.
Pour the batter evenly over the melted butter in the pan, do not stir; spoon the lemon filling over the batter, bake for 45 to 55 minutes until the edges of the cobbler are golden brown. Cool before serving. *To sour milk, place 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in a measuring cup and fill the cup to the 1-cup line. Stir to combine and allow to sit until it thickens.
The following cobbler recipes are some of my family’s favorites, with the first recipe for peach cobbler being from my mother and grandmother. It’s a truly old family one, and as you notice, it uses fresh peaches.
Peach Cobbler
1 cup flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
¼ cup margarine
2 to 3 cups sliced fresh peaches
½ to 1 cup additional sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Melt the margarine in a 9×9-inch baking pan. Peel and slice peaches into a pot, adding ½ to 1 cup granulated sugar depending on the sweetness of your peaches. Heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat, stir in the extract and set aside while you mix the dough.
Mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder. Add the milk to make a soft dough and pour the dough mixture into the prepared pan. Top the dough with the peach mixture, (if it has made a lot of liquid, don’t use all of it); sprinkle with some cinnamon and sugar if desired, bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until done.
Cherry or Apple Cobbler*
1 cup flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
¼ to ½ cup margarine
1 can apple pie filling or cherry pie filling
1 teaspoon cinnamon or 1 teaspoon almond flavoring
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Melt margarine in 9×9-inch pan. Set aside. Combine flour, sugar and baking powder, add milk and vanilla. Mix to make soft dough and pour into pan with melted margarine. Stir cinnamon into apple pie filling or stir almond flavoring into cherry pie filling. Spoon fruit onto the top of the dough, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar if desired. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or cold with whipped topping or ice cream. *I feel you could use peach pie filling for this in place of either of the others.