8/21/14

Peach Cobbler Spirals

Fruits and vegetables are abundant right now, and I am enjoying the freshness and taste the seasonal bounty brings to my table. Peaches are favorites at our house, and some always find their way into a cobbler during the summer harvest. This year I tried a new recipe with peach-filled spirals baked atop more peaches for a bottom layer. The self-rising flour and the sugar syrup in this recipe combine to make a soft, sweet crust for this cobbler.

My dear mother-in-law gave me the peaches I used in this cobbler. Even though her favorite orchard is an hour drive away, every summer she makes her trek there as soon as she hears the peaches are ripe. She is sure to get the freshest of the fresh that way, and she always shares with me.






Recipe adapted from Food.com

Peach Cobbler Spirals

1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups peaches (peeled and sliced), divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, melt the butter and set aside.
In a saucepan, combine sugar and water. Stir over medium heat until mixture boils, then boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Place flour in a large bowl, then use a pastry cutter to cut in shortening until pieces are like small peas. Make a well in the center; add milk and vanilla. Stir just until combined, then knead about 10 strokes until nearly smooth. On a pastry sheet, lightly sprinkle dough with flour, cover with wax paper and roll dough into a 10 x 12-inch rectangle. 
In a large bowl, toss sliced peaches with cinnamon and nutmeg until well combined. Place 3 cups of the peach mixture on top of the melted butter in the baking dish. Spread the remaining 2 cups of peach mixture over the dough rectangle. Starting from the long side, roll the dough into a spiral and pinch to seal. Cut into twelve 1-inch rolls. Place spirals, cut side down on top of the peaches in the baking dish. Pour the sugar syrup mixture around the spirals. Bake for 45 minutes, then cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Peach cobbler spirals before baking

I am strictly a purist and love my cobbler plain, but some may like a scoop of vanilla ice cream with their peach cobbler.




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Full Plate Thursday

8/3/14

Angel Food Cake

Most of my baking is done based on my own choices. Sometimes I have a new recipe to try or other times I may bake up something old and familiar. A time I don't choose what to bake is when we're celebrating a family member's birthday. Each one has their own group of favorite cakes or desserts, so I have an idea what might be requested. This year though, my daughter threw me a curve when I asked her for her birthday cake order. She told me she wanted an angel food cake with fresh strawberries. I love angel food cakes, but it has been years since one has been baked in my oven. The first step in fulfilling her request was to locate my recipe.

My Southern Living Annual Cookbook from 1986 was the source of the perfect angel food cake recipe. After finding the recipe though, I realized I didn't have the right pan to bake the cake. I decided to substitute one of my smaller decorative Bundt pans and a loaf pan in place of the 10-inch tube pan. That wasn't exactly a good choice. The loaf pan worked fine, but I wouldn't recommend baking an angel food cake in a Bundt pan. The one I used had small flower designs on the top, and those came out looking like bumps around the cake. Fortunately it was only an aesthetic issue, not one that affected the taste.



Print Recipe
(recipe adapted from Southern Living)

Angel Food Cake

12 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup cake flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Beat egg whites and salt until foamy. Add cream of tartar, continue beating until soft peaks form. Add 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.

Sift flour and remaining 1/2 cup sugar together. Gently fold flour mixture, almond extract, and vanilla extract into egg whites.

Spoon batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Invert cake onto wire rack; cool for 1 hour or until completely cool. Remove cake from pan.



This is a simple recipe to make. Anyone who can beat egg whites until they're stiff can bake an angel food cake. Even though it has been many years since I have baked an angel food cake, and I used the wrong kind of pan, the cake still turned out great, bumps and all. This cake may look funny, but it was delicious. I would still advise you to get the right pan if you make this recipe. I know I'll be putting a 10-inch tube pan on my shopping list. If Susan asks for an angel food cake next year I'll be ready.