Tis the season of cobblers, crisps and pies straight from the farm
A cobbler by any other name – and the list includes crisp, crumble, Betty, buckle, grunt, slump, sonker, pandowdy and bird’s nest pudding – is still a dessert based on fresh, seasonal fruit and berries. What it isn’tis a pie, and that’s a whole other delicious story (see below).
No matter. Whichever name your own fruity dish is known by, Mulberry Orchard has the fresh fruit to fill it, with 17 different varieties of peaches, both freestone and semi-cling, and 17 different types of apples growing in its orchard in Shelbyville.
“We’ll have peaches through August and, depending on weather, into September,” says Amanda Gajdzik, who owns the orchard with her husband, Matt.
Apple picking begins in September and a lot of visitors come for their favorite apples for pie baking. Among them are tart Jonathans that ripen earlier in the month and sweet-tart Jona Gold apples that ripen toward the end. Ginger Gold, Granny Smith and Honey Crisp are other apple varieties perfect for turning out fall desserts. No time to bake? No worries. Mulberry Orchard sells whole frozen pies from its Mulberry Kitchen along with directions for baking “so your house smells like a fresh-baked pie,” says Amanda. You can also bite into fried peach and apple pies made fresh to order.
While a cobbler is a variation of a pie, pie has its own history – and colorfully descriptive names associated with it . . . like “traps” (pies with no lids) and “coffins” (or “coffyns”), which meant baskets or boxes. Early versions were savory meat pies with tall, boxy crusts. The crusts were pressed into service, literally, as a baking dish. With nearly three dozen combined varieties of apples and peaches, Mulberry Orchard has the perfect fruit for your trap, coffin, crisp or cobbler. As for Kentucky’s own apple stack cake – that’s a recipe of a different region and a story for another time.
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Mulberry Orchard’s Kentucky Proud Easy Peach Cobbler
½ cup whole wheat flour ½ cup all-purpose flour 1½ teaspoons baking powder 1 pinch salt 1½ cups sugar (divided) 1 cup skim milk ½ cup unsalted butter 4 cups fresh peeled peaches 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg or cinnamon
Yield: 12 servings
Preheat the oven to 375º F. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and 3/4 cup sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the milk and mix only until the dry ingredients are wet.
Melt the butter and pour into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish or pan. Add the flour mixture on top of the butter. Do not stir.
In a saucepan, heat the peaches, 3/4 cup sugar and lemon juice until the sugar is dissolved and the peaches are coated. Pour evenly over the flour mixture. Do not stir. Sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon.
Bake for 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm.