In my life, I’ve found that a lot of mistakes, or let’s call them odd choices, have seemed to be no-remedy horrible in immediacy but have then turned out to be altogether good in the end. Case in point: obtaining a college degree in education, when I never intended on teaching, forced me afterwards to pursue writing with intensity, to freelance for tiny newspapers, to go back to school, to earn a master’s degree I never would’ve gone for if I hadn’t needed to. The degree got me more opportunities than I’d have found with a bachelor’s in journalism; the opportunities, my current job; and, there you have it: in the end, an odd choice of major led me to do the very thing I love.
I’d like to think that same serendipity was at work when, baking Molly’s lemon sables last week, I confused ingredients, adding sugar, not flour, to a small bowl with baking powder, then partially adding that mixture to the butter, eggs and confectioner’s sugar. I did realize this odd choice in time to remove most of the extra sugar, but not in time to avoid changing the entire recipe and to use up the then-1.5 cups of sugar/baking powder mix I was left with. The sables survived, evolving into a lemony sugar cookie instead, which I brought to work the next day and saw disappear by the next night.
But the 1.5 cups of sugar/baking powder, however, I was stuck with. What does one do with a bowl of perfectly good sugar, mixed with a bit of baking powder?
I turned to Google. Did you know it will let you put in your ingredients and then show you what recipes will use them?
And that, friends, is the story of how I found the following recipe, which would let me use the mixture, plus a box of peaches I already had and was happy to bake, ala Brian Callahan, to whom I owe my thanks. He calls it the World’s Best Peach Cobbler. I call it delicious.
Here you go: his best, my first, the serendipitous peach cobbler, adapted from a recipe by Brian Callahan:
Adapted from Brian Callahan
6 cups sliced peaches
1 Cup Flour
2 Cups Sugar
1 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Pinch Salt
1 Cup Milk
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Half a cup (1 stick) unsalted, melted butter
A bit of cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Pour the melted butter into a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 1 cup sugar, the baking powder and the salt. Mix well. Stir in the milk, mixing until just combined. Pour this batter over the butter but do not stir them together.
In a medium or large saucepan, combine the peaches, the lemon juice and the remaining cup of sugar and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Pour the peaches over the batter but do not stir them together. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg on top, if desired.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is goldeny brown. Serve warm or cold.
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