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O’Connor’s “Hard” Sauce with Peach Cobbler

Jennifer Rosenfeld’s parents are from Galveston and growing up she spent many weekends crabbing on the island. “We’d come back from the beach,” she says, “and my grandmother – Mee-Maw – would make peach cobbler. My mom and aunts would argue who had to make the hard sauce. It was all about the sauce (which has no liquor, just butter and sugar)! The entire O’Connor family really only wanted a little cobbler with their hard sauce. As everyone got older (and a tad lazier) we would buy a peach pie and just make the hard sauce!”


16 peaches (to yield 8 cups sliced, peeled peaches)
For the crust:
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 ½ cups Crisco
10 tablespoons ice water
For the filling:
1 ¾ cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ heaping tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
For the hard sauce:
1 cup sugar
½ stick butter
2 cups water (use the water the peaches boiled in)
2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with a little water to make it pourable
1 teaspoon vanilla

Recipe directions: 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and place the peaches in the boiling water for 10 to 20 seconds until the skins split. Drain, reserving the water for the hard sauce. Peel the peaches.

To make the crust, combine the flour and salt. Cut in the Crisco with a pastry blender or fork until small balls form. Add ice water and mix until blended. Divide the dough into 2 balls. Roll each flat to fit a 9”x13” pan, and line the pan with one of the pieces of rolled-out dough.

Mix the peaches, sugar, lemon juice, salt, flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and fill the bottom crust. Fit the second crust on top. Cut slits on the top crust and dot with butter. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.

While the cobbler is baking, make the hard sauce. Combine the sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture turns brown. Add the water and let it come to a good boil. Add the cornstarch, then add vanilla.

Serve the cobbler with lots of hard sauce.

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