August 18, 2010
I know what you’re thinking. Peach cobbler doesn’t need to be perfected. Oh, but, friends, the headline isn’t just to catch your eye. I really did perfect it, hard as that might be to believe.
Most cobblers pair sweetened fruit with the simplest biscuit topping. While that’s great, I’ve always found it to be slightly off balance. Bites with too much topping are over savory, while the fruit, already naturally sweet, is too sugared. But that’s what cobbler is, the way it’s supposed to be. Right?
Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate a traditional cobbler. But I finally had the confidence to put my instincts to the test. I was ready to find out if I could make one that remained true to the essence of cobbler (and not feel like peach cake, for example), while balancing the flavors so that every mouthful is as perfect as the one before it. I was ready to see if I could perfect peach cobbler.
And I did.
Okay. At least I did for me!
My goal was to make a sweeter cobbler topping that wasn’t so sweet it would taste like cake and a filling that would allow the natural sweetness of fresh summer peaches to shine. I wanted fluffing topping that was soft, but not fumbly. It had to hold up to the chunky pieces of peach that would hold their shape. Because I certainly did not want mushy filling. (See exhibit one:)
This recipe nailed it on all accounts. One note, though, if you make the dough before you prep the peaches, keep it in the fridge. If it gets warm, it will melt and mingle with the fruit too much.
This is, of course, amazing with vanilla ice cream. But, because I’ve amped up the vanilla flavor and ensured sweetness across both filling and topping, it also goes great with tangy creme fraiche. I bet mascarpone would be delicious, too.
This recipe is part of Summer Fest. This week’s theme is stone fruit, which means you HAVE to visit all the participating blogs. It’s going to be extra delicious today!
For those of you new to Summer Fest, you can read all about it here. Then, you can get a list of this week’s recipes from the primary hosts here. Don’t forget to look in the comments of all the Summer Fest posts—that’s where other participants (like me) are leaving their links to more stone fruit goodness.
Perfected Peach Cobbler
(can be shared with kids 10+ mos)*
6 c peach slices, 1-1 1/2″ wedges (about 8 peaches, peeled** & pitted)
1/4 c packed brown sugar, plus another 1/8 c
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c white sugar
8 Tbsp (1 stick) cold butter, cut into bits, plus more for greasing pan
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 375. Toss peaches with 1/4 c brown sugar, cinnamon & cornstarch. Spread in a lightly buttered 9″ inch pan.
2. Pulse remaining 1/8 c brown sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and white sugar in a food processor once or twice. Add butter and process until dough comes together. Put dough in a bowl and mix in the egg and vanilla in by hand.
3. Drop spoonfuls of dough across the fruit. Do not spread it around. Bake until all the dough turns golden brown, about 45 minutes.
*Note: You can easily mash the peaches up and share with a child as young as 6 months. I recommended 10 months and older because of the sugar content.
**Note: The easiest way to peel peaches without waste to is submerge them whole in boiling water for a minute or two. Plunge them in cold water immediately after taking them out of the boiling water. Leave for 30 seconds or so, after which the skin should just peel right off. Just look at how beautiful and smoooooth!