Did a post yesterday based on former slave Louis Hughes July circa 1850 eye-witness account of an open pit whole pig barbecue feast near Charlottesville, Virginia not to long before the start of the civil war. In addition to a vivid description of an antebellum barbecue, Hughes provides rare insights into large scale baking among enslaved African American cooks at this same barbecue event. “Peach cobbler and apple dumpling were the two dishes that made old slaves smile for joy and the young fairly dance. The crust or pastry of the cobbler was prepared in large earthen bowls, then rolled out like any pie crust, only it was almost twice as thick. A layer of this crust was laid in the oven, then a half peck of peaches poured in, followed by a layer of sugar; then a covering of pastry was laid over all and smoothed around with a knife.” Now the apple dumpling description, “The apple dumplings were made in the usual way, only larger, and served with sauce made from brown sugar. It lacked flavoring, such as cinnamon or lemon, yet it was a dish highly relished by all the slaves. . . . The oven was then put over a bed of coals, the cover put on and coals thrown on it, and the process of baking began. Four of these ovens were usually in use at these feasts, so that enough of the pastry might be baked to supply all. The ovens were filled and refilled until there was no doubt about the quantity. Here are peach cobbler recipes that fit well with this antebellum story. More on Hughes’ eye-witness account tomorrow.
Traditional peach cobbler recipe: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/peach_cobbler/
Vegan peach cobbler recipe: http://chetroy.com/healthyvegan/?p=185