It’s official. Today is the last day of summer 2016. With some nice ripe peaches still remaining I thought it would be fun to savor among the final treasures of the season and prepare an Old Fashioned Peach Dumpling.
I call it ‘Old Fashioned’ for it is adapted from a 1928 cookbook titled “Anyone Can Bake” compiled by the Educational Department of the Royal Baking Company.
The Old Fashioned Peach Dumpling reminds me too of times past when more leisurely daily meals with families were commonly followed by a homemade dessert, not always fancy, often simple, but a dessert that oftentimes included some sort of preparation using fruits of the season.
On the other hand, not to be too idyllic on food histories for at the time this cookbook was printed in 1928, its introduction pages included more formal daily disciplines including a section on “Table Appointments and Table Service” sharing the importance of a “charming table” thus going on to say “And what woman does not take pleasure in pretty linen, spotlessly clean; shining silver, glass and china?’ it should also be noted that in precisely the following year, 1929 brought with it the Great Depression. Times changed and this puts things in perspective.
The recipe for the dough, similar to dough variations of master recipes that continue through time, is not too sweet in its combination of flour, baking powder (of course, Royal Baking Powder) salt, shortening, and milk.
And it matches well with the ripe juicy peaches, those remaining last of the season for savoring. I’m finding the seasons end a little bittersweet, perhaps you are too. For between many grand moments with family and friends, beaches, barbecues, parties, and fun trips, still, I feel as if there was so much more I wanted to enjoy and prepare. As I stand by the big stainless steel pot on my stove lidded over boiling water, assorted clear jars packed with varying fruits or vegetables, I wait. The timer lets me know the process is now over, storing each part of a memory to a counter the lids begin pinging like tiny little bells. I admire each creation, the storage of flavor memories for cooler days ahead. I ponder if I should pull out the yoga pants for walking to the bus stop tomorrow. Nah. I’ll wear shorts.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons shortening
- 6 tablespoons milk
- 4 large sized peaches
- 4 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon each peach
- 1 egg lightly beaten with a few drops water
- 2-3 tablespoons sugar
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add to the bowl of a food processor. Plop in the shortening and pulse a half a dozen times or so until the mixture resembles a sort of meal. Pour in the milk pulsing about a dozen times until the dough is softened though still not forming a ball. Remove dough, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Divide dough into 4 parts and roll out on a lightly floured board. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl stir together the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Spoon the mixture evenly into the cavity of each peach. One at a time place a whole stuffed peach onto the center of the dough, fold up to cover the peach all around. Brush peaches with egg wash then gently roll onto sugar, place onto a baking dish lined with parchment paper. Bake until golden brown all around, around 35-45 minutes. Serve hot with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.