But summer more often then not is a series of pre-planned activities. The months fill up quickly with weddings and trips. Lazy days are replaced with over-stuffed itineraries - summer somehow loses it's free-spirited appeal. But if you are lucky, you can find time for one glorious summer day. The kind of perfect summer day you hope to have every weekend but in actuality happens once a season.
I had mine this past weekend. It involved a beach trip and ham sandwiches. There was a dolphin sighting and books devoured. A beer garden was visited, large pretzels were consumed, and the evening ended with the cheapest ice cream sundae I've ever come across. It was spontaneous and easy and it made me insanely happy.
If you don't have the time to make it to the beach or to your summer happy place, this peach cobbler can help. It's everything summer should be.
Recipe from Leite’s Culinaria
Serves 8 (Can easily be halved)
4 1/2 pounds (about 10 large) peaches, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch chunks or slices
Zest and juice of 1 lemon, preferably organic
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups (about 192 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup hot water
Heavy cream, cold, for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, pressing it into the edges of the pan and allowing a little excess foil to hang over the edge of the sheet.
Place the peaches in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and pat them in a roughly even layer. Using a zester or a Microplane, finely zest the lemon evenly over the peaches and then squeeze the lemon juice evenly over the peaches, too, catching any seeds before they plummet into the baking dish and get lost among the peaches.
In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until sandy, about 1 minute. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and beat again for another 30 seconds, until all the flour is incorporated and the mixture is evenly crumbly. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the milk. Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes more.
Plop the batter in 6 large blobs over the peaches. With an offset spatula or small knife, carefully spread the batter evenly over the fruit so it’s no more than about 1/2 inch thick in any place.
Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup sugar over the batter. Then drizzle the hot water evenly over the sugar to melt the sugar into the topping. (Yes, it’s a strange method, but it works. Trust us.)