I was curious to learn more about Paula Deen's cooking, but to do this, I had to get through her almost agonizing auto-biography, "It Ain't All About the Cookin'." Don't get me wrong -- her poverty-to-food-goddess story is inspirational. But it's written exactly how she talks. It's too much, too over the top.
Anyway, one of the funniest passages in the book retells comedian Sara Schaefer's joke on Paula Deen's love of butter:
Now, I’m no stranger to Paula Deen’s cooking. The woman’s recipes often look like this:
2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups butter oil
1/4 cup butter juice
3 cups all-purpose butter
1 teaspoon baking butter
3 cups peeled and finely chopped butter
1 cup shredded butter
1 pinch of butter, for taste
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease a tube pan.
For the cake: in a large bowl, combine the butter, butter oil, butter juice, and baking butter; and mix well. Fold butter, butter, and butter into batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bathe in it until you go into cardiac arrest.
Case in point -- Paula's Peach Cobbler, which has a stick of butter in it. Ryan, the butter-hater that he is, nearly had a heart attack upon finding this out. But let me tell you... if you're going to gorge on butter, this is the recipe to do it with!
The most time-consuming part of the recipe is cutting the peaches. Then into the pan goes melted butter, batter (without stirring) and the fruit. So what enters the oven is a gooey mess with globs of butter -- not so attractive. See below.
But when you take it out of the oven after 45 minutes, the cobbler has been transformed. I'm going to talk like Paula Deen now -- "Honeychild, this is the most finger-licking good peach cobbler you'll ever put in your mouth." Honestly though, this is so easy and so amazingly good. The bottom crust is crisped yet chewy and contrasts with the spongy buttery nature of the rest of cobbler. I halved the recipe and then was instantly sorry I did. I wanted the whole portion. And why stop with peaches? Think of all the other fruits that could be used here. Serve it warm with a dollop of ice cream and you'll fall to the ground in worship of dear Paula.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup self-rising flour
1 cup milk
1 (28-ounce) can sliced peaches in heavy syrup, un-drained (use fresh peaches if available; see note*)
Cinnamon, for sprinkling, optional
Vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream, for serving
*If they are available, by all means use fresh peaches. In a saucepan, mix 2 cups fresh peach slices with one cup sugar and one cup water. (NOTE: I bypassed the sugar water step. I only tossed my fresh peaches with 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.)
Cook's Note: The most important part of this dish is not stirring the mixture.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Put butter in a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish and place in the oven to melt. Stir sugar and flour together and mix well. Slowly add milk and continue stirring to prevent the batter from lumping.
Being careful not to burn yourself, remove hot baking dish containing melted butter from oven; pour batter directly over butter in baking dish. Do not stir.
Spoon fruit on top of batter, then gently pour syrup on top. Do not stir. Sprinkle cinnamon on top of batter, if using. The most important part of this dish is not stirring the mixture.
Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Your batter will rise above your fruit, producing the most wonderful of crusts. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.