Cobblers are as all American as you can get. Early settlers found themselves unable to make their beloved puddings due to the lack of ingredients and cooking equipment available. Most of the time there were at camp and only had a fire to cook with. They then improvised with local ingredients to create their version of a “pudding” with a stewed fruit base covered with a batter or biscuit base. Some variations have a bottom and top crust. Most of the time cobblers were made in dutch ovens over an open fire.
Actually, using fresh fruit to make a cobbler isn’t exactly what you’d call “authentic”. The fact is that the first cobblers didn’t contain anything fresh, they were simply “cobbled” together from odds and ends by Western trail cooks. For the people living and working West of the Mississippi fruit mostly came either dried, preserved in syrup, or in some cases canned.
There are many types of fruit that you can use for cobblers but peach is a classic. There’s just something about peaches. Maybe it’s the velvety skin that makes them seem so impossibly delectable. A ripe peach when bitten into has a tender “give” to it, followed by a rush of incredibly sweet and flavorful juice that is about as close to being decadent, without being chocolate, as you can get. We owe it to ourselves to enjoy peaches during their summer prime in as many ways as possible. And one of the best, most time-honored ways to enjoy peaches is in a peach cobbler.
This version of the peach cobbler dessert tops a biscuit like base with a juicy fruit topping. The batter goes into the dish first, then rises up through the fruit as it bakes. Your family will love this and they can reheat it and eat it throughout the day.
4 cups peaches (ripe, sliced and peeled)
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons sugar
1 1⁄4 cups all purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter
3⁄4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel the peaches. It’s best to use fresh peaches but you can also use canned and frozen peaches in a pinch or if peaches are out of season. Ripe peaches are easier to peel. When you press your thumb against the peach you should be able to feel the peach’s flesh move beneath the skin. If they are too hard you will have to peel them with a pairing knife (or wait for them to ripen).
To peel fresh, ripe peaches bring a pot of water to boil. Submerge peaches completely in boiling water for approximately one minute (less if they are really soft) then immediately dunk them in a bowl full of ice water. Remove peaches and cut a small X at the bottom of each and use these points as starting points for pulling the peels off. Peel and slice the peaches, place in a medium bowl.
If using canned peaches drain them and place them in the bowl. For frozen peaches, thaw and place in the bowl.
2.) Prepare filling by combining peaches, sugar, lemon juice & vanilla. Set aside.
3.)Prepare the batter by placing butter in an 8 inch square baking dish. Place dish over hot water for 5 minutes or until butter melts.
4.)Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Combine milk and 1/2 tsp vanilla together and add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon batter over butter and spread evenly. Do not stir the mixture
5.)Spoon the peach mixture over the batter, gently pressing the peaches into batter.
6.)Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar, and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until crust is golden.
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