I’m not going to lie, I’m not the biggest fan of ambiguity. I like knowing things and I like details. This is true for use of broad words like “cobbler”, as well as uncertainty in recipes that are supposed to just work. I’m all about the nerdy science behind things – graphs, data and logic.
When I first came home with a box full of ripe and fragrant peaches, I knew I had to make a cobbler. Although the cobbler is inspired by the British, I resisted my urge to follow a food’s origin as I have with the macaron, and dug into the archives for a Southern recipe. I’ve had a peach cobbler recipe filed away for a while now, a recipe from Paula Deen.
I was a little intimidated by the process since I usually research my recipes. I look around to find my favorite aspects of each recipe and combine things into a consolidated recipe. This wasn’t the case with this cobbler. Some versions I came across relied on the use of pie crusts and puff pastries while other versions used cake mixes or biscuits. It was hard to find a recipe that was consistent on some level (other than the use of peaches). A uncomfortable feeling, part of me was too scared to experiment with something I wasn’t familiar with. Another part of me knew I had to keep true to Paula.
Then, I questioned my decision. The recipe starts with cooking peaches down in some sugar. Butters is then melted in a pan in the oven. The “biscuit” batter is then poured over the melted butter. The assembly is completed with the peaches are gently placed on top and the syrup gently drizzled. No part of this made sense. This order is the exact opposite of the supposed finished product. The end result was a tender, cakey, biscuit covering warm, delicious peach slices. Somehow, a 35 minute trip in the oven, a dash of cinnamon, and a whole lot of will power from eating all the peaches (guilty!) created a delicious final product that magically reverses the layers I made and killed any doubt I had for the Queen of Southern Cuisine.
For those of you who are stumbling onto this via a link, you can find out how to peel peaches from my post yesterday. To slice the peaches, hold it in your hand and run the knife down until you hit the pit. Move over to the right and run the knife down again until you hit the pit, this time pulling the knife in the direction of the cut you made earlier and pulling out with a gently flick so the fruit comes up with the knife. Repeat this for your peaches and again, resist the temptation to eat all the peaches.
I was able to put a few twists of my own on this recipe. Instead of letting the butter just melt, I let the butter brown slightly to add a nutty aroma. Instead of self-rising flour, I used regular flour, added baking powder and salt to make my own self-rising flour. Its important to note that the pan must be baked on a cookie sheet to prevent anything from burning. I also made sure to spoon in my peaches very gently before pouring the syrup on the pan even more gently to prevent any mixing between the batter and the syrup. Give this recipe a try. I had to try to preserve 2 extra servings before 5 people devoured the entire recipe!
Magical Peach Cobbler
Adapted from Paula Deen
- 4 cups peeled, sliced peaches (I used about 5)
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 stick butter
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- Ground cinnamon, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 ºF.
- Combine peaches, 1 cup sugar, and water in a saucepan. Mix gently and bring to a boil. Simmer peaches for 10 minutes and remove from heat.
- Melt butter in a 3-quart baking dish, or a 13 by 9 pan ad place in oven to melt until golden brown.
- Mixing remaining cup of sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and milk gently to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter and do not stir. Spoon fruit evenly over batter and gently pour syrup over. Sprinkle the top with ground cinnamon, if desired. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
- Let cook for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or by it self!