Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cobbler: A Tale of Woe and Redemption

I offered about a month ago to bring a snack for a new women's bible study I was joining. After tossing around options (baked gouda? pumpkin scones? plum crumble?) I settled on my favorite ginger peach cobbler, from Mary Englebreit's Sweet Treats (and honestly, if you're at all into any aspect of dessert, you want this book). Thing is, the recipe served six. I needed to serve an estimated15.

So I tripled the batch, and planned to bake it in two 9x13s. I wrote out measurements ahead of time.

Eighteen cups of peaches is a lot. In case you were wondering. But I assembled the cobblers, popped them in the oven, and tried not to think about how it seems like there was more butter than usual in the topping.

We watched Castle. I checked on the cobblers. They smelled...buttery. I rechecked my measurements. Had I left out a cup of flour?

Castle ended. Still buttery. Like, really really buttery. Then I figured it out.

The original recipe called for 6 tablespoons of butter in the topping, or 3/4 of a stick. I put in three times 3/4 of a CUP of butter. That's 4 1/2 sticks of butter. That's, "would you like some peaches and flour with your butter?" kind of butter. I haven't seen that kind of butter since I was an intern at a food magazine, and tested a recipe that called for yams, brown sugar, blue goat cheese and 1/2 pound of butter. It's a LOT of butter.

It was eleven o'clock. I didn't have another 18 cups of peaches laying around. I reasoned that, in the morning, I would get up, scrape off the butter-saturated nastiness, put a new topping on (with 2 tb less butter per repeat to make up for it), bake it up, and be fine.

Perfectly fine.

I dreamed about cobbler.

This morning, I rose extra early. After Danny left for work, I turned to the cobbler. I scraped off one top, that went well enough, but the second was soupy. Buttery soupy. The peaches were drowning in a buttery mire; I scooped them out, every one, and rinsed them in my avocado green colander. Rinsed them and started from scratch.

As I rinsed, I thought, "there's a spiritual takeaway here. Jesus removes us, the peaches, from our buttery nastiness, rinses us off, makes us clean, and starts over with us. We're not the way we were (pre-baked, vs. fresh frozen), but he's still able to make something with us.

I scrubbed out the baking dishes and started over. I ran out of ground ginger, but had some fresh ginger left over from another dish - grated it over the bowl without measuring.

By the time I put the baking dishes back in the oven, I had used every mixing bowl in my kitchen, including the Pyrex one I forgot I had until last week (Grand total of six, I think). Pretty sure there is only one remaining spatula. I could verify, but that would require entering the kitchen, and I'm not going to do that for a little while. Not going to go there.

We are almost out of butter.


The ladies at bible study had nothing but compliments for the cobbler...still, while everyone who stayed for refreshments ate a piece, I was left with 1/3 of one pan remaining, and an as yet untouched additional pan of cobbler. Probably could have made a single batch and been fine. But I'd rather have too much than too little (and you know if I'd made less, more people would have been around to eat it).

The takeaway here:

-The best laid plans, and all that. You were warned.
- Listen to your instincts. If you think there's too much butter, there probably is.
-It's hard to ruin peach cobbler.
- I'm a work in progress. And I'm okay with that.

1 comment:

  1. "The ladies at bible study had nothing but compliments for the cobbler"

    Peach confit cobbler. Patent the technique.


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