Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Baked goods

Over the past few weeks, I have splurged a bit with my baking as we're beginning to transition into fall, and there were still a few summer desserts I was dying to try. I used two dinners with friends as an excuse to whip up this Cornmeal Peach Cobbler and this Coconut Tres Leches. They were both amazing. I don't need pumpkin desserts. I need more of this goodness.
The peach cobbler was exactly what I'd hoped for, and I loved the slight spin of using cornmeal in the biscuits. It added just the right amount of textural contrast, and the flavor really played well with the peaches.
I did end up having to make some changes to the recipe, which was pretty poorly written (unusual for the Food52 website), so I thought I'd chronicle them here for my future reference and yours, should you happen upon some late-season peaches at the farmers' market and want to make this (and it's definitely worth making with some minor tweaks).
Here are my notes:
1. In step 3, she has you throw out most of the peach juice because it wouldn't fit in the pie dish she calls for. Madness! I kept all of the peach juice and used an 8" square baking dish instead. To account for the extra juice, I increased the sugar in the peaches to a scant .5 cup and the cornstarch to 2.5 tablespoons. It worked great.

2. I used corn flour instead of cornmeal because that was all I had on hand. I think the cornmeal might have added a bit more texture, and I would use it if you have the option, but the corn flour worked fine.

3. In step 5, she says to add salt to the biscuit ingredients, but salt is not listed with the biscuit ingredients at the top of the recipe. Because she uses a good amount of salt in the peaches, I only added .5 teaspoon salt to the biscuit dough in step 5, and it worked well.

4. At 30 minutes, my biscuits were golden brown, and the filling was bubbly (like the recipe says), so I took the cobbler out. It ended up being a bit underbaked on the bottom of the biscuits, so keep an eye out for this. I should have probably covered it with foil and finished baking it for the full 35 minutes called for in the recipe.
The Coconut Tres Leches, on the other hand, was absolutely perfect exactly as written. We are big tres leches fans, but I'd never actually made one before. In Houston, we had easy access to amazing tres leches at restaurants, which was usually enough to satisfy our craving, but we have had no success at finding a decent version in St. Louis (and believe me, it's not for lack of trying).
Well, there's no need to continue that search now. This cake was super easy to make and exactly what I wanted. The addition of the coconut milk was a nice touch, too. It's definitely coconut-y, but it's not overpowering, and the recipe could easily be tweaked to sub out the coconut milk and leave off the toasted coconut if you're not a fan.
We ate this one with some friends while we watched the U.S. men's soccer team qualify for the World Cup against (ironically) Mexico. Thanks for the dessert and the win, guys.
Leftovers for lunch? Yes, please.

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