7 Oct


Noah Baby Photo Scan_Pic0002It is hard to believe that 17 years ago nephew Noah made his loud attention grabbing entrance into the family.  Now I have to admit as a shorty, Noah was a pretty picky eater.  But he often wanted to get into the kitchen to cook with me—a boy that knows how to butter up Aunt Charla.  We made cookies, grilled cheese sandwiches, and when visiting Camp Aunt Charla in Birmingham, Alabama, he and his younger brother Wyatt helped me bake peach cobbler with my favorite peaches from Chilton County.

This cobbler recipe is from Noah and Wyatt’s great grandmother and my grandmother, aka Gonga as she was affectionately called.  I created that name as my version of grandma and it stuck.  Everyone loves Gonga’s Peach Cobbler —it is one of the heritage recipes in our family cookbook.

By the time the nephews hit the teen years they were busy with activities and their friends.  Food however, can usually get their attention.  In July when I had a box of peaches from Alabama delivered, Noah was out of town on a church trip so he missed out on that one.  The last pie of the season was baked with fresh Michigan peaches, Flamin’ Fury® #25, to be exact. (No I didn’t create that name) I found them at the Evanston Farmers Market; they were juicy and full of peach flavor. Again da’ nephew was not around but as the doting Aunt, I managed to buy enough local Michigan peaches to freeze a couple of pounds.

I’ll bake the very last cobbler of the season for him next week. Happy Birthday Noah, this pie’s for you.

Gonga’s Peach Cobbler

This is my grandmother’s recipe adapted to use the food processor.

Gonga's Peach Cobbler from our family cookbook.

Gonga’s Peach Cobbler from our family cookbook.


3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1 cup shortening

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

1-1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

6 to 8 tablespoons ice water

1. Pulse first 4 ingredients in a food processor 6 to 8 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal.   (Do not overprocess.)

2. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture is moist enough to shape into a ball, pulsing once after each addition.  Divide mixture in half; shape each half into a ball.  Wrap in wax paper or plastic food wrap and chill at least 2 hours.


3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

7-1/2 cups fresh or frozen sliced peaches (about 4 lb. fresh peaches)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

1 tablespoon milk

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1. Roll half of pastry dough between two sheets of wax paper to fit 1 1-3/4 x 7-1/2-inch baking dish.  Remove top sheet of wax paper; invert pastry dough into baking dish Remove remaining sheet of wax paper. Gently fit dough into dish.

2.  Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl.  Gently stir together peaches, lemon juice, and vanilla in a large bowl.  Add sugar mixture, tossing gently to coat.  Place peach mixture in prepared pastry crust in baking dish.  Top filling with butter.

3.  Roll remaining half of pastry dough to cover 11-3/4 x 7-1/2-inch baking dish between two sheets of wax paper; remove top sheet of wax paper.  Invert pastry onto top of pie; remove remaining sheet of wax paper.  Trim off excess pastry along edges.  Fold edges under and crimp to seal.  Brush top of pastry with milk, and sprinkle evenly with remaining tablespoon granulated sugar. Cut slits in top crust for steam to escape. Place baking dish on a baking sheet or over aluminum foil to catch any boil over of filling mixture.

4. Bake, on second rack from bottom of oven, at 400° for 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly, shielding edges with aluminum foil after 40 minutes to prevent excess browning.  Remove to a wire rack, and let stand at least 45 minutes before serving. Serve with ice cream, if desired.    YIELD: 8 to 10 servings


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