If there's one thing I've learned from living in the South, it's this: buy your apples in Washington and your peaches in Georgia! Oh, my! Those sweet juicy peaches. There's just nothin' else like a good fresh peach. It's only July and they've been ripe and ready to eat for months. I'm still adjuting to the length of the summer here in the South. After about 3 weeks of nice weather, I'm thinking it's time to pull out my boots and rain coats in preparation for fall! The Seattle in me dies hard.
The days here are getting long and hot. Lately we've been blessed with evening thunder showers for almost two weeks. While the humidity doesn't benefit from these showers, it's such a magical experience for these powerful storms to rush in and then rush right back out leaving the sky as blue as ever like nothing just happened. So, on these afternoons while confined indoors, I bake. Because, what else is there really to do? My creative itch needs to be scratched somehow and with Ethan not napping, painting or most other activities are out of the question. Besides, he loves watching when anything with a motor or flame is used. Future chef, maybe?!
This comfort dish is all about the South. Actually, there's a little French snuck in there, but let's not tell anyone about that. It's fresh yummy peaches topped with sweet corn spoon bread. Which if you're not familiar with it, it's like a cross between corn bread and pudding and cake. I mean, what's not to like, right? Sip with some ice cold tea and watch the fireflies light the night.
5-7 fresh peaches, peeled and cut in half
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup cormeal
1 1/2 cups whole milk, divided
2 TB butter plus more for greasing your pan
kernals from one fresh corn cob, or abour 3/4 cup frozen
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1. Butter a 9" baking dish. Arrange the peaches cut side down on the bottom of the pan. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the 1/2 cup sugar and water. Swirl the pan to stir but don't stir with a utensil. Once the sugar is boiling and has turned a nice amber color, take off the heat and pour over the peaches. Set aside.
2. Whisk the cormeal and 1/2 cup of the milk together and set aside. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan or dutch oven and cook the corn kernals until they begin to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the remaining sugar, salt and milk. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat and let sit 15 minutes.
3. Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender), puree the corn mixture until smooth. Bring the mixture back to a boil, lower the heat to low and add the milk and cormeal, whisking constantly until thick, 2-3 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
4. Whisk in the 2 egg yolks, reserving the whites, and the cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk the egg whtes and the cream of tartar together to form stiff peaks. Gently fold into the corn mixture and spoon over the peaches. Bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.