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Maya-Camille Broussard’s Salted Caramel Peach Pie

Makes one 9-inch pie

My mom (and my namesake), Dr. Camille Billingslea, specializes in family medicine. As I was growing up, she worked long shifts at the hospital, which meant that takeout was usually our best friend. When my mom did cook, she’d make leftoverfriendly meals that we could easily reheat if she wasn’t home, like spaghetti, tacos, or beans and rice. Though she wasn’t much of a baker and rarely made desserts from scratch, there was one dessert that she mastered, one that she learned from her own mother: peach cobbler. If I found cans of peaches on the kitchen countertop, I knew a peach cobbler was in my near future. Mom would crank open the large cans, drain them, and tip the peaches into a huge pot. Butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar all went into the pot, which she always did “by eye,” which we also call “cooking by vibration,” adding ingredients to the dish until the ancestors whispered in your ear to ease up. A dessert traditionally attributed to the Deep South, cobblers are not meant to be pretty. The ingredients are literally cobbled together into a deep dish and often served warm and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. In creating the Salted Caramel Peach Pie, I wanted to retain all the buttery, aromatic spices found in my mom’s peach cobbler while adding oatmeal and flour to the filling to create a spongy, cakelike texture and give it a prepossessing appearance—no top crust required (making this a great starter pie to make). When my mom made a peach cobbler, there were never any leftovers—the dessert disappeared as quickly as it was pulled from the oven. The same always happens with this peach pie, too.