When I moved into a dorm with a kitchen in college, one of the first things I tried to make was the soft, warm, doughy drop biscuits my parents just whipped right up almost every night for dinner. They always did so by feel. They knew how much flour and milk to add to get the perfect consistency. I tried and tried, made many a pancake and a few rocks, called home to consult again and again, until finally it struck me. I could just use a recipe. Years later, I still always use a recipe for biscuits. Perhaps, because I don’t make them as much, I cannot do it by feel.
Cooking for two poses challenges. Since most recipes are designed to make more servings, we tend to have a lot of leftovers. While it’s easy to cook fewer vegetables or less meat, there are some family recipes we only have for company, like Greg’s lasagna. Dessert is also a big deal in a house of two, especially since Greg doesn’t have a huge sweet tooth. Forget about baking a huge cake, it’ll get stale before I can finish it off even though I’m quite good at eating cake. The freezer, go ahead and stash some leftover desserts there if you can find a place between the limoncello, the frozen fruit and vegetables and pesto and peppers and chicken legs, thighs breasts…. We end up foisting a lot of desserts on coworkers and friends. Although, we did manage to eat that entire fig tart by ourselves.
So when I was craving peach cobbler recently, I reached for my handy copy of Ratio to make a small biscuit topping for two small cobblers. (If one can call a cup and a half dish small.) Our peaches were very ripe, so I didn’t add much sugar. Feel free to throw more into the topping or peaches for a sweeter dessert.
Peach cobbler (on a smaller scale)
- 4 peaches, peeled and sliced
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/3 cup buttermilk, plus one tbsp
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp sugar
In a medium sized bowl, toss peaches with cinnamon and two tablespoons of sugar. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix flour and baking powder. Cut butter into flour mix, until crumbly. Add sugar and 1/3 cup of buttermilk. Stir to incorporate. Add the rest of the buttermilk if desired. (If using regular milk you may need closer to 2/3 cups of liquid.) The mix will be wet, more of a drop biscuit or almost a cake batter consistency. Preheat oven to 350. Divide peaches between two 12-ounce dishes. Smooth half of the batter over top, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if desired. Place ramekins on a cookie sheet lined with foil. (There will be leaking, see exhibit A from Greg above.) Bake for 40-45 minutes or until tops are golden. They will rise in the oven and fall somewhat and crack once they’re cooled.