It’s Summer and that can only mean one thing….ripe, juicy, sun kissed peaches and Cobbler!
Made with chin soaking fresh peaches and topped with fluffy, rich, buttery, sweet cream biscuits… I am pretty sure this is as good as it gets.
I do make (and love) peach pie but cobbler is so much less trouble! No mixing bowls and rolling pins to keep well chilled until ready to use. No hurrying to quickly roll out a pie crust in the hot kitchen before the butter begins to melt inside the dough. Nope when it comes to Summer I am a BIG BIG fan of cobbler.
Speaking of cobbler, can we talk about all this confusing lingo??
I mean we got cobblers, crisps, crumbles, buckles, brown betty’s, slumps and grunts, sonkers and pandowdies and even something called a peach puzzle! I am not sure there is any real consensus but here is my take at the differences…
Cobbler-deep dish fruit dessert topped with a tender sweet biscuit like crust. It is either dropped or spooned on top of the fruit filling depending on the recipe and then baked.
Crisp-deep dish fruit dessert topped with a streusel mix usually containing butter, sugar, flour, nuts or oats. There is no crust to support or surround the fruit. Think baked sprinkle-like topping and not a crust.
Crumble-British version of a deep dish fruit dessert similar to a crisp but usually without the oats.
Buckles-This starts with a cake like layer of batter on the bottom of the baking pan that is then topped with fruit and usually followed by a crumb topping. Basically fruit on top of dough instead of dough on top of fruit.
Betty-dates back to colonial times usually made with apples and cinnamon and spices which are then baked between layers of buttered crumbs.
Slump-Cobbler made on top of the stove (or campfire). The biscuit like topping covers all of the fruit end to end and the skillet is then covered with a lid while cooking which allows the dough to be steamed rather than baked. It is also known for “slumping” when you put it on your plate…hence the name.
Grunt-Basically a slump. Most likely received it’s name from the popping sound the hot bubbly fruit makes as it steams on top of the stove.
Sonker-Cobbler version unique to North Carolina.
Pandowdy-Usually made with apples and sweetened with brown sugar or molasses. About half way through baking, folks usually slash the top of the crust to allow the juices to spill over onto the top and caramelize.
And now… OLD FASHIONED PEACH COBBER…
I may be biased, but I think this may be perfection! Look at the near perfect crust….light, tender and moist. The peaches are tender and slightly sweet but definitely not soupy or goopy or nauseatingly sweet!
Tastes like Summer!
Below you can see the peaches along with the remaining ingredients. The peaches I used were ripe and had a nice peachy scent at the stem. I can’t emphasize enough the entire point of a cobbler is to highlight the taste of seasonal fruit.
Take the time to pick out the best peaches you can find with a nice golden hue and no major bruises or blemishes.
The peaches peeled and sliced and ready to go.
After you peel and slice the peaches set aside and in a separate bowl mix together the brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon nutmeg and salt. After it’s combined it should have the consistency of dark colored honey. Pour the mixture over the top of the sliced peaches and coat well using a rubber spatula. At this point you will need to prebake the peaches in a greased pan for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Next up prepare the sweetened biscuit topping/dough and form it into small flat circles like in the picture below. Unlike a pie crust this dough does not require being rolled out and you do not need to actually cut out the circles. Simply take a handful of dough and gently flatten out. Cobbler dough is exactly like making biscuits including cutting in the butter.
Take the coated and prebaked peaches in the greased 9 x 13 pan and place the dough circles on top overlapping slightly. Do not cover the entire area over the peaches as the dough will expand during baking and you will end up with a dry cobbler.
Apply an egg wash to the top of the dough circles and then sprinkle the tops with the cinnamon/sugar mix.
It will take a full 40 minutes to bake. The best way to check for doneness is to insert a thermometer into the center of the cobbler. When it reaches 200F in the thickest part of the topping it is done. The filling will bubble around the sides and the biscuits should be a dark golden amber color.
and at last…..Old Fashioned Peach Cobbler served warm and topped with real vanilla bean ice cream.
- FRUIT FILLING
- 10 medium PEACHES, peeled and sliced
- ¼ cup LIGHT or DARK BROWN SUGAR
- 1 tablespoon CORNSTARCH
- 1½ tablespoon LEMON JUICE
- 1 teaspoon PURE VANILLA EXTRACT
- ½ teaspoon GROUND CINNAMON
- ⅛ teaspoon GROUND NUTMEG
- ⅛ teaspoon SALT
- BISCUIT TOPPING
- 2 cups of ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
- ½ cup granulated SUGAR
- 1½ teaspoons BAKING POWDER
- ¼ teaspoon BAKING SODA
- ½ teaspoon SALT
- ½ cup UNSALTED COLD BUTTER CUT INTO CUBES
- ½ cup COLD BUTTERMILK
- EGG WASH[b]
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
- [b]SPRINKLE TOPPING
- 2 tablespoons SUGAR mixed with 1 teaspoon GROUND CINNAMON
- PREHEAT oven to 350 and grease a 9X13 pan
- PREPARE PEACHES
- peel and slice 10 medium peaches (10 cups) into quarters
- MAKE FILLING
- In a small bowl mix together brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and mix together until combined. When mixed it will have the consistency of dark honey.
- Spoon above mixture into bowl of sliced and quartered peaches and coat using a rubber spatula.
- spoon coated peaches into the greased pan and bake for 10 minutes and then set aside.
- MAKE TOPPING
- Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a medium size bowl.
- Cut in the butter into the dough using a pastry cutter or two forks. The mixture will resemble coarse sand.
- Slowly add in the buttermilk and mix until combined.
- Pull a fistful of dough into your hand and gently flatten into a circle shape. Repeat with remaining dough
- ASSEMBLE COBBLER
- Place overlapping dough circles on top of prepared prebaked peaches. Do not cover entire area with dough.
- Brush egg wash on top of the dough circles and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.
- BAKE FOR 40 to 45 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the center of the cobbler reaches 200F in the thickest part of the topping and the biscuits are amber colored. The filling will be hot and bubbly.