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Yankee girl makes mean peach cobbler

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I know what you're thinking: No way a girl from Philadelphia can make a Southern boy get down on his hands and knees, beggin' for more of her fine peach cobbler. But this recipe is so good I even surprised myself.Infused with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and bourbon, the fruit holds its shape and peachy characteristics. Partnered with a cream biscuit inspired by bread diva Nancy Silverton of La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles, the end result is a yin-yang of sweet and savory, saucy and crusty, comfy and complex. There will be no leftovers, but there will be many marriage proposals. With peach season winding down this month, there's no time to be lollygagging.

6 peaches, peeled, pitted and quartered (you may parboil the peaches for about 2 minutes, followed by an ice bath, to help remove the skins)

1/2 cup sugar

Pinch grated nutmeg

2 teaspoons grated ginger (or 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 1 teaspoon chopped candied ginger)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 ounces bourbon (optional; if not using, substitute the juice of 1/2 lemon)

Pinch salt

3 tablespoons flour

Butter for pan

In a large bowl, combine ingredients (except for butter) with a wooden spoon until evenly coated. Allow fruit to macerate for at least 15 minutes. Grease interior of a shallow baking dish (glass is first choice). Pour fruit into dish. Preheat oven to 375.

Topping ingredients:
Cream biscuits (adapted from Nancy Silverton's Pastries from the La Brea Bakery)

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)

3/4 teaspoons salt

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups heavy cream, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing

In a large mixing bowl, combine sifted flour, salt and baking powder, and mix with sugar. Make a well in center of bowl, and pour cream in center. Use hands to combine dough, which comes together very quickly. With your hands, take small pieces of dough and stretch thin and place on top of fruit, covering entire surface. With a pastry brush, apply heavy cream and sprinkle more nutmeg for good measure.

Place dish on a baking sheet and put into the oven; bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until dough is golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 8.
-- Kim O'Donnel

Kim O'Donnel, the host of What's Cooking on washingtonpost.com, tests all the recipes so you don't have to. Send questions and comments to kim.odonnel@creativeloafing.com.

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