Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, today is my birthday. I may or may not have mentioned here before that I have a tendency to make a very big deal out of my birthday. I think that it stems from having a lot of family spread over the east coast and a summer birthday. I would start celebrating in May with my class and then keep celebrating as we visited people over the summer. For most of my childhood my birthday spanned months instead of hours. It may have spoiled me.
When I was fifteen I got a job as a lifeguard, and then all of the sudden I had access to what became a private pool after 9pm. In the six years that I worked at the pool, we threw some really excellent parties. We also started a tradition called the beerbeque, a tradition that extended to my 21st birthday, an all day drinkfest in Baltimore. That particular celebration of life ended with Dan buying me a whiskey shot in Fell’s Point, me throwing up out of a taxi’s open door, and having to go to work the next day even though my legs were covered in permanent marker. Apparently my brother saw the opportunity to make my foray into legal drinking a little more memorable with a sharpie and his creative imagination.
It’s safe to say, then, that I’ve had some pretty excellent birthday parties. From the pool parties at my grandma’s house to the beerbeques of my teen years, I have always celebrated in style. The one consistent in all of my birthday festivities is that I have always eaten mountain pie on my birthday. Mountain pie is, in my opinion, the only dessert suitable for a July birthday. They’re served with ice cream, they’re full of fresh, delicious fruit, and I grew up eating that way, so it’s tradition over everything else.
Mountain pie is what Dan calls a “dump cobbler.” Meaning you dump it all together and let the oven take care of the rest. My grandmother always made it with either fresh peaches or blueberries, but I suppose you could use blackberries or even raspberries if you were feeling frisky. I like both blueberry and peach, and this year I had one of each. I made a blueberry pie for my family when we were in Morehead last week, and Dan and I enjoyed a peach pie this past weekend. I made it with white and yellow peaches, and it was just divine. I think my father summed it up best when he said “This is delicious. No, it’s better than that. This is DAMN GOOD.”
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar*
3/4 cup milk
1 stick butter
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups fresh blueberries or peaches
Heat oven to 350.
In your dish, melt the butter.
While the butter is melting, mix together to flour, sugar, milk, baking powder, and salt. If you are using peaches, peel and dice.
When the butter is melted, pour the flour mixture into it. DO NOT MIX. Add the fruit on top. DO NOT MIX.
Bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, or until golden brown. Serve with ice cream.
*If your fruit is very ripe and therefore very sweet, cut down the amount of sugar. For overripe peaches I would cut the sugar amount by half.