Chicago-based Chef Rick Bayless may be best known for elevating authentic Mexican cuisine in the States, but on his new radio show, Fiesta at Rick's on SIRIUS XM's Martha Stewart Living Radio, the Oklahoma City native shared that one of his all-time favorite food memories is of peach cobbler - just about as American as apple pie.
As with so many long-lasting family recipes, eating a perfect peach cobbler conjures up cherished childhood memories for Bayless. "Some flavors and dishes are so thoroughly intertwined with a place and a moment that they all become one." During the live launch of Bayless's show from the SIRIUS Studios in midtown Manhattan, Bayless brought us back to the sweltering Julys of 1960s-era Ardmore, Oklahoma, with his "bodacious" Grandma Gladys -- known for her bright red hair, slinky dresses, and pointy tailed Cadillac. The nine grandchildren in Bayless' family would hand-pick blushing golden peaches and pile them into half a dozen bushel baskets in the back of the Caddy. Over the next 4 or 5 days, the family worked to can, pickle, preserve and jam the peaches, to be revisited every Sunday throughout the year with a different recipe.
Bayless shared with us his treasured deep-dished double crusted peach cobbler recipe, and passes it on from his family to yours.
Serves 10 generously
For the dough:
2 2/3 cups (13 oz) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 oz) cold butter, cut into small pieces, kept chilled
Two 3-oz packages cream cheese, cut into small pieces, kept chilled
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3 tablespoons cold tap water
For the filling:
5 pounds ripe peaches, or enough to make 6 cups of ½ inch peach cubes
1 to 1 1/4 cups sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling over lattice crust
5 tablespoons cornstarch
A generous 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
A little milk for brushing over crust
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1. Make the cobbler crust:
Measure flour, baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt into a food processor. Add the chilled butter and cream cheese to the processor. Attach lid and pulse 6 or 7 times (1 second pulses) until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Uncover and evenly drizzle vinegar and water over mixture. Attach lid and pulse about 6 times until mixture begins to clump together - it won't form a ball. Uncover and turn dough out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Press pieces of dough together, gather plastic wrap over top, then flatten into a 10x10-inch square. Refrigerate 1 hour.
2. Prepare the filling.
Place peaches in a bowl or bowls large enough to hold all of your fruit. Pour very hot (but not boiling) water over top the peaches, and let stand for 1 minute. Drain off water. Peel peaches, discarding the skins. Cut peach flesh away from each pit, and section peaches into 1/2 inch cubes. Measure out 6 cups of peach. In a large bowl, toss together peaches, sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, lemon or lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
3. Assemble the cobbler.
Preheat oven to 400F, and position a shelf in the center. Remove dough from refrigerator. Unwrap and, using a knife, cut off 1/3 of dough. Re-wrap and refrigerate that 1/3 piece. Evenly flour work surface and remaining 2/3 of dough. With a rolling pin, roll dough into an 18x14-inch rectangle. Drape dough into a 13x9-inch glass baking dish, easing dough all the way into corners and allowing a little to hang over the top rim of the dish. Refrigerate dough-line baking dish. Re-flour work surface and evenly flour remaining 1/3 of dough. Roll dough into a 14x10-inch rectangle Cut lengthwise into ten 1-inch strips. Brush top edge of overhanging dough with a light coating of milk - just enough to make it sticky. Remove the dough-lined baking dish from the refrigerate and pour fruit mixture into the pan. Dot remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over the filling. Lay 4 strips of dough at even intervals lengthwise over fruit. Lay the remaining strips of dough at even intervals crosswise over fruit, creating a lattice. Use fork to seal strips to moistened edges. Trim off any overhanging dough. Brush lattice with milk, and sprinkle with a little sugar.
4. Bake the cobbler.
Bake 15 minutes at 400F. Reduce the temperature to 350F and bake for 30-40 minutes longer until fruit mixture is thick and bubbling and crust is browned. Cool 10 minutes before serving, or cool completely and re-warm.
Chef Rick Bayless will host the live show Fiesta at Rick's, as an exclusive five-week series on SIRIUS XM's Martha Stewart Living Radio on Wednesdays at 7pm ET through August 11th.