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If you’re looking for a well-loved dessert to serve up, look no further. Peach cobblers are nearly universally adored.

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I had some leftover peaches that I forgot to put on the grill for Father’s Day (halve them, grill them, serve them with cream cheese/mascarpone and honey and thank me later), so I decided to try my hand at making a peach cobbler. It was fitting, because I had actually been looking to add some fruit-based desserts to my repertoire.

There wasn’t a peach cobbler recipe in my standby family cookbook, the Ohio Council of Catholic Women’s “More Pantry Treasures,” so I turned to the internet, where Lauren Allen from TastesBetterFromScratch.com shared one of her family blueprints for the dessert.

The recipe calls for either fresh or canned peaches. Since I had them on hand, I went with the fresh.

That was my first mistake. I would have saved a bit of time and a lot of effort with the canned peaches.

Have you ever peeled peaches? Uggghhhh. I even tried Lauren’s tip of boiling and ice-water cooling them, but only one of the six small peaches I used was anywhere near easy to peel. The others ranged from mildly frustrating to rage-inducing. I think this may be a sign that they weren’t properly ripened, but at this point all I can do is shrug and promise myself a future crash course in peach selection and preparation. Suffice to say, it was lacking this time around.

The recipe said the entire dessert would need about 15 minutes of prep time. Yeah, right. 15 minutes in to my exploits my wife had heard me cursing in the kitchen long enough to venture in and see if I needed any help (and perhaps to make sure I wasn’t on the edge of smashing something).

The entire peach boiling, cooling, peeling and cutting process took about 25 minutes in total. (I still don’t know how to properly core them by the way. I think this might be another ripeness issue.)

Then I was ready to start the rest of the prep!

Thankfully, everything else worked out pretty easy, all things considered. (I did get a battle scar of sorts when I burned my hand taking the pan out of the oven.)

For my first ever cobbler, I think things turned out OK, it tasted better than it looked. I definitely think it would have been a little better, and more photogenic, with canned peaches — or at least larger, riper fresh peaches.

I’m guessing I also stirred up the batter a bit too much. It didn’t really have a lot of variation in the crust like a traditional cobbler. So there’s room to grow! Everybody loves a good cobbler (even a mediocre one, really), so this is a dessert that I’ll probably work on getting right.

Chris Yucus can be reached at (815) 508-0410 or lifestyle@newstrib.com. Drop off samples of your best cobblers at the NewsTribune, 426 Second St., La Salle.

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Chris Yucus is the NewsTribune Lifestyle Editor. A member of the NewsTribune editorial team since 2011, Chris previously worked as a sports writer and staff photographer for the paper. He can be contacted at lifestyle@newstrib.com.

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