My search for a fantastic homemade peach cobbler is over, finally! This recipe is all you asked for: juicy fruit that makes its own syrupy brown sugar sauce as it bakes and a super simple biscuit topping that is buttery and crunchy. And it's out of the oven in an hour, tops. If peaches are in season, you should make this dessert!
What is a cobbler?
It's a baked dessert that has a layer of fruit and a starchy topping. The fruit bakes and releases its juices at the same time that the top dries and turns golden brown. This one today is an old fashioned peach cobbler recipe, one of those great recipes found in vintage cookbooks that stand the test of time. It's probably my favorite dessert when peach season starts, because it tastes very fresh and is so easy to make!
There are 3 popular types of topping, or top crust as is sometimes called:
- With traditional biscuits: this is how my grandmother made it. She simply put her favorite biscuit (or buttermilk scone sometimes) on top.
- With drop biscuits: the type we're using for this recipe today, which is a wetter, spoonable dough that can also be spread, as we do for our popular Pear Cobbler.
- With pie crust: this is a great way to use leftover homemade pie crust.
- Fresh peaches. Using fresh fruit is the way to go and nectarines also work wonderfully. The result is far superior than when you use canned peaches, IMO.
- Yogurt. It gives a slight tang and tenderness to the biscuit dough. If you don't have any you can use buttermilk.
- Brown sugar. I usually use all brown sugar, but I also added a variation to use both white and brown because sometimes we want it sweeter (white) but with a hint of caramel (brown). Brown sugar has some molasses in it, is less refined than granulated, so the flavor is more intense, a mix of almost burnt caramel and spices in my opinion.
- Cornstarch. It turns the peach juices into a syrupy sauce that is one of the best parts of this dessert. I could eat it with a spoon. And maybe I do. The tablespoon of cornstarch in this recipe acts as a thickening agent. Some recipes call for quick cooking tapioca, but I never used it.
- Lemon juice. it brings out the flavors and balances out the sweetness and starchiness of the rest of the recipe.
- Cinnamon and ginger. These might be optional if you're not into them or don't have them at the time you make this dessert. But the combination of a little ground cinnamon and fresh ginger with the rest of the ingredients renders a unique flavor.
- Flour: using all purpose flour (or cake flour) with baking powder is the best because you can control the amount of the leavening. But you can use a cup of self-rising flour if it's all you have and want to eat a homemade peach cobbler!
- Salt: all baking recipes tend to add salt because it brings out the flavor of everything! Things just taste better.
Peach cobbler filling
As with the topping, this step is as simple as mixing sliced peaches with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. They will make their magic happen once the dessert is baking and the peaches release their juices.
- Cutting the peaches: you can slice them thinner, thicker, or cut them in rustic chunks. The thinner the more they will soften as they bake. I like to use them in thicker wedges, about 8 per peach, so that they keep their shape while baking.
- Peach skin: I peel some and some I leave with the skin. When they are in season usually that the skin is thinner and I'm fine with leaving on some of it. But this is up to your personal taste.
- Flavorings: ground cinnamon and ginger are my favorite. You can also add a few drops of vanilla extract to make it even sweeter.
Top crust (topping)
This is extremely easy to put together, as you simply stir the ingredients together in a bowl until you have a wet dough (images below).
- Melted butter: I love it because of the flavor and also because it makes this top crust very easy to put together, as opposed of working cold butter into the flour as we do for the buttermilk scones recipe for example. Simply melt and mix with the rest of the ingredients.
- Yogurt: it adds tanginess and tenderness to the biscuit topping. A very good idea because we don't want a heavy top crust, we want the biscuits to bake as light as possible.
- Other liquids: you can use buttermilk instead of the yogurt, but reduce the amount to about ½ a cup. The topping batter needs to be thick, so start with scant half a cup and see if you need more.
Don't overmix! You don't want to develop any gluten as it will make the biscuits tough after they are baked. Once the dry ingredients are incorporated, stop mixing.Vintage Kitchen Tip
Type of dish: I like to use a glass or ceramic baking dish for cobblers. They can be square like in this recipe, rectangular like the pear cobbler or oval like the blueberry cobbler. They all work just fine.
Ratio: we're talking about the amount of filling to topping which is, in my opinion, the most critical part of the assembly. Do you like more fruit filling than top crust? This is something important to take into consideration because we should always adjust our favorite recipes to what works best for us.
I like a lot of filling so that the peach flavor is very present and a lot of juice is released.
If you feel you want more fruit or more topping I recommend you adjust the amount of filling you make. It's much easier to add (or remove) a few extra peaches that it is to adjust the biscuit dough.Vintage Kitchen Tip
- Ice cream: there is no better way to eat peach cobbler than warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Your mouth will be having a party with different temperatures and textures. Whipped cream will also work, but I find ice cream pairs better. A touch of honey and some sliced, toasted almonds over the ice cream is amazing also.
- Room temperature: I also really like it plain at room temperature. The peaches and brown sugar have a lot of flavor, so I can skip the ice cream topping if I don't have any. I don't recommend eating it cold from the fridge because the flavor will not be great. Cold numbs flavors in many cases.
- Room temperature - this peach cobbler keeps well without refrigeration for a few hours.
- Refrigerator - after that, cover and keep refrigerated. Fruit tends to ferment pretty quickly, especially in warmer weather, and we certainly don't want that to happen!
- Freezing - you can freeze the baked dessert and defrost directly in a medium/low oven (about 300°F/150°C) until it's bubbling again.
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My search for a fantastic peach cobbler is over, finally! This recipe is all you asked for: juicy fruit that makes its own syrupy sauce as it bakes and a super simple biscuit topping that is buttery but crunchy. It's out of the oven in under an hour.
For the filling:
- 5 cups (5-6 pieces) cored and sliced fresh, ripe peaches or nectarines
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
For the topping:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- ¾ cup plain yogurt
For the peaches:
- Wash, dry, and remove the stone (core) from the peaches. Cut in slices or small chunks.
- Have ready a 9-inch glass or ceramic dish. You can butter it if you want.
- In a large bowl mix the fruit with the rest of the filling ingredients.
- Dump onto the prepared dish and spread evenly.
For the topping:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/190*C.
- In a bowl mix flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
- Add butter and yogurt and quickly mix with a spoon or spatula. It all needs to be incorporated, but don't beat or over mix.
- Drop 9 mounds onto the peach filling, making three rows of 3. Leave space between them especially around the edges so that the fruit juices bubble up when baked.
- Bake for about 35 minutes and check to see if the biscuits are fully baked. They will be golden and dry but lift one of them a bit with a fork and check that there's no unbaked dough. Sometimes they look perfect and the juices are bubbling, but there's still some raw dough.
- If this is the case bake it 5-10 more minutes, or until it's fully baked when you lift it a bit. You might want to cover the surface with a piece of aluminum foil to prevent the topping from darkening while it continues baking.
- Let cool on a wire rack until warm enough to serve.
- Serve with ice cream or whipped cream if you feel like it.
- Refrigerate leftovers, covered.
Fresh peaches. Using fresh fruit is the way to go and nectarines also work wonderfully. The result is far superior than when you use canned peaches, IMO. You can also use nectarines, which are very similar to peaches, but with a much thinner, unfuzzy skin.
Yogurt. It gives a slight tang and tenderness to the biscuit dough. If you don't have any you can use buttermilk.
Brown sugar. I usually use all brown sugar, but I also added a variation to use both white and brown because sometimes we want it sweeter (white) but with a hint of caramel (brown). Brown sugar has some molasses in it, is less refined than granulated, so the flavor is more intense, a mix of almost burnt caramel and spices in my opinion.
Cornstarch. It turns the peach juices into a syrupy sauce that is one of the best parts of this dessert. I could eat it with a spoon. And maybe I do.
Lemon. They add flavor and balance out the sweetness and starchiness of the rest of the recipe. You can omit them, of course, just take into account that it will lack that balance.
Cinnamon and ginger. These might be optional if you're not into them or don't have them at the time you make this dessert. But the combination with the rest of the ingredients add a unique touch.
Flour: using all-purpose with baking powder is the best because you can control the amount of the leavening. But you can use self-rising flour if it's all you have and you just want to eat a homemade peach cobbler!
Salt: all baking recipes tend to add salt because it brings out the flavor of everything! Things just taste better.
Keywords: peach cobbler