Colonial Classics: Peach Cobbler and Sweet Potato Pie

Americans have always been fond of desserts. In colonial times, desserts were a status symbol and the fanciest part of a meal because sugar and flour were very costly and not readily available.

The most popular colonial desserts were Bettys (a popular baked pudding; spiced fruit was layered with buttered bread crumbs. This can also be served with lemon sauce or whipped cream. The most familar form is Apple Brown Betty.), Cobblers (fruit filling’s put in a baking dish and topped with a biscuit dough. The dough may completely cover the fruit or just be dropped on the fruit by handfuls. And a cobbler’s always baked.), and Grunts. ( this was a stewed or baked fruit dish; biscuit dough is rolled and then put on top of the fruit. The name may have come from the noise people made while eating it! This dish was also known as Slumps.)

Today’s desserts are a vast improvement over earlier varieties, for cooks had to make do with whatever ingredients were at hand. Now, desserts are both delicious and nourishing. So without further ado, here are two recipes.

EASY PEACH COBBLER
Ingredients:
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 cups canned peaches (If you prefer fresh peaches and have the time to cut them up, by all means do so! I personally would rather use fresh myself, so I make the time!)

Topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, softened

Method:
Combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, drained peaches (or the fresh peach slices), and 1/2 cup of reserved peach juice (if you’re using fresh, you won’t have to worry about juice) in a 2-quart baking dish.

For the topping, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Stir in butter and milk. Spread over fruit mixture and bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes or until golden brown.

Easy Sweet Potato Pie
Ingredients:
1 Pillsbury Ready Pie Crust (or any brand will do!)
4 large sweet potatoes
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove pie crust and place in pie pan, pinch edges all around. Peel and slice potatoes, cover them with water and boil. Drain when tender. Mash potatoes and then add sugar, butter, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt. Whip until smooth and pour into pie crust.

Optional:
: Add 1 tsp of grated orange peel. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, and let it cool for 10-15 minutes. Refrigerate leftovers (If there are any).

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