Peach Cobbler - Variations and Versions

Today is National Peach Cobbler Day. My go-to recipe for peach cobbler at home comes straight from the pages of Southern Living Magazine. I was a fan of the magazine long before my big move to the South, and have yet to try a recipe I didn't like from it. But what is a cobbler? Ask five different people and you'll probably get five different answers. For some, it is a biscuit-like topping atop sweet and bubbly fruit. To others, the topping is more a rustic pastry crust.

And looking back to old cookbooks, cobblers seem to be put together differently altogether. In 1902, Paul Richards' recipe (Paul Richards' Book of Breads, Cakes, Pastries, Ices and Sweetmeats) is similar to Victor Hirtzler's 1919 version (The Hotel St. Francis Cook Book). Both involve lining a baking pan with pie paste, filling with sweetened fruit, seasoned if desired with spice, then covering the top with a crust, egg washing, and baking. Sort of like a pie, only deep-dish and baked in a casserole.

In any case, cobblers are one of the few desserts that has appeal at any time of the year: spring and summer with the abundance of ripe, fresh fruit, and fall and winter when there is a longing for sweet and warm desserts. And like all good recipes, the simpler the better. The recipe below is adapted from Southern Living. I substitute whatever stone fruit I have on hand if I don't have peaches making it a 'universal' recipe, sweetening the fruit with as much sugar as needed.

Peach Cobbler
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided in half
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 cups fresh peaches, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
In heavy, metal casserole, heat the butter over low heat until melted. Remove from the stove. Whisk the flour, 1 cup of sugar, and baking powder together. Add in the milk an stir until just mixed. Pour this over the melted butter.

In a saucepan, stir the peaches, remaining 1 cup of sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a quick boil and pour over the top of the cobbler batter. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 35 to 45 minutes until lightly browned, bubbly, and the cobbler crust has cooked through. Serve warm with fresh vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Image Source: Photo of peach cobbler is from Flickr - User: Arnold Inuyaki through a creative commons license.

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