Upside-Down Peach Cobbler

There is something about Colorado peaches that makes them special. They’ve been described by some aficionados as the closest thing to heaven. I would have to agree.

My first taste of Colorado peaches came about 30 years ago. I was visiting my brother, Kevin, and his wife, Lynn, who live in Grand Junction, Colo., which is in the heart of peach country. The peaches they shared with me were delightful.

But that’s not a surprise, since right next door to Grand Junction is Palisade, home of world famous peaches. In fact, each summer Palisade celebrates the Palisade Peach Festival, one of the original agricultural festivals in Colorado. It’s described as peach mania by organizers — plenty of great food, entertainment, contests, activities for kids and opportunities to explore Palisade via self-guided tours, guided tours and outdoor recreation.

And that’s not to mention local and authentic delicious peach products, from pies to ice cream, preserves to salsa, peach brandy and wine to virgin peach daiquiris, as well as bushels of just-picked fresh peaches. (The 44th Annual Palisade Peach Festival is coming up Aug. 16 through 19.)

Over the years, I’ve had other opportunities to sample Colorado peaches. I’ve bought lugs of peaches from the Grand Forks Youth for Christ fundraiser the past couple of years (go to www.gfyfc.org/peaches/ for more information on the current project), and most recently, my mom shared some Colorado peaches that Kevin sent home.

Peaches are a great source of nutrition. They are low in calories (100 grams is just 39 calories) and contain no saturated fats. Fresh peaches also are a very good source of antioxidant vitamin C, a moderate source of vitamin A and beta carotene as well as being rich in many vital minerals such as potassium, fluoride and iron.

Therese made use of some of our Colorado peaches in a delicious upside-down cobbler. The recipe, which follows, came from autobiography of the late Colonel Harlan Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame. (The chain recently put the book, including 30 recipes, online for free at www.facebook.com/KFC.

Upside-Down Peach Cobbler
1 cup sugar, divided
2 eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
6 to 8 fresh peaches, peeled, seeded and sliced
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat 2/3 cup of sugar, eggs together until creamy. Add butter, continue beating until blended. Add vanilla extract. Combine flour, baking powder, salt in medium mixing bowl, add to sugar-egg mixture alternately with milk. Line angel food pan with parchment paper. Fill 2/3 full with peaches. Sprinkle 1/3 cup sugar over peaches. Pour batter over peaches, spread it evenly until they are well-covered. Bake 55 to 65 minutes. Cool slightly for 10 minutes, then put on large plate. Serve warm.
Yield: Serves 8.
Note: Therese recommends using a Bundt pan instead of cake pan.

Peach-Raspberry Cobbler

Raspberries — to many people — are the first true sign of summer. They start showing their colors in late spring and by the time the solstice rolls around, they’re already finding their way into dishes such as crumbles, crisps and cobblers. And that’s not to mention the bowls of breakfast cereal that are bespeckled by those ruby-red beauties.

Around our house, it’s a given that some of the raspberries will be combined with oatmeal. And in recent times, Therese has loved to mix them with Greek yogurt, a real taste treat for those who’ve never tried that combo.

I just finished picking my second small bowl of raspberries from this summer’s crop from one of our two patches. (Yes, summer is officially here as of Tuesday.) So far, I’ve just been eating them all by themselves, but a recipe for a peach-raspberry cobbler that I came across today probably will get one of the next pickings.

As for the peaches I do have a fresh one from left from a half-dozen that a friend gave me the other day, and if that isn’t enough, several pints of the canned variety line my pantry shelf.

Peach-Raspberry Cobbler
4 cups peaches, in 1-inch pieces
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons. fresh lemon juice
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup flour
¼ cup fine cornmeal
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces
½ cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with butter or baking spray, or divide among individual dishes.
In a bowl, gently mix together peaches, raspberries, lemon juice, brown sugar, ginger and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix the butter into the flour by pinching with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal and the butter is evenly distributed. Add the buttermilk and stir until just mixed.
Top the fruit with dollops of the dough, letting the fruit show through.
Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the biscuits are golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 230 calories, 7 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 485 milligrams sodium, 42 grams carbohydrates, 120 milligrams calcium, 3 grams protein, 16 milligrams cholesterol, 4 grams dietary fiber.