Start to Finish: 1 1/2 hours
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Lure everyone into the kitchen with the scent of cinnamon and peaches wafting from your oven. Unlike its more complicated cousins, the buckle, crisp or crumble, a traditional cobbler is a deep-dish dessert with a biscuit topping. Baking a luscious homemade peach cobbler is deceptively simple, and provides an old-fashioned dessert or a satisfying snack by itself — or with a scoop of ice cream.


Ingredients

Filling

  • 4 cups fresh peaches, pits and skins removed (or 3 cups drained canned peaches)
  • 1 cup sugar (reduce by 1/2 if using canned peaches in syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup solid vegetable shortening or cold unsalted butter
  • 1 cup milk, buttermilk or cream

Topping

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Mix Up the Peaches

Pit and peel the peaches. Blanch them in hot water for 10 seconds to make the skin easier to remove. Cut the peach halves into three slices each, at least 1/2 inch thick. The slices will shrink during cooking.

In a 2-quart casserole dish, combine peach slices with sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss gently and set aside, allowing the ingredients to marry while you make the crust.

Make the Crust

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and salt.

With a pastry cutter or two table knives, cut in the shortening or butter until it’s the size of very small peas, resembling a coarse meal.

Using a dinner fork, slowly stir in the milk until all liquid is absorbed and the mixture clings together. Do not over-mix or the dough will be tough.

Assemble and Bake

Gently stir the peach mixture and pour it into the casserole dish. Fresh peaches should be piled high to compensate for shrinkage.

Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons on top of the peach mixture, leaving small spaces in between the mounds. The dough will expand during cooking.

Alternatively, turn out the dough on a floured surface and roll it to the shape and size of the baking dish, plus an additional inch if you are using fresh peaches. Place the dough over the peach filling, trimming the edges as needed.

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon from the topping mix ingredients; sprinkle it on top of the cobbler.

Bake on the middle oven rack for 25 minutes, or until the crust is brown and the fruit mixture bubbles.

Tips, Tricks and Serving Suggestions

  • For an even easier cobbler crust, use packaged biscuit or baking mix. Follow the instructions for biscuits, but substitute milk with cream or buttermilk and add 3 tablespoons of sugar.

  • Cut some calories by using a granulated sugar substitute that indicates it can be used for baking.

  • David Lebovitz suggests combining fresh raspberries and peaches and cooking them before adding the topping.

  • If your crust begins to brown too quickly, cover the top with foil until the last 10 minutes of baking.

  • Serve slices on a dessert plate with whipped cream or in a compote dish with a scoop of ice cream. In summertime, a scoop of peach sorbet adds a cool touch.