There are so many great rustic American desserts to choose from, but one of the best and most popular is the cobbler. It can be sweet or savory, but it's always topped with a biscuit topping. New England specializes in desserts like the slump and grunt, which are both names for the same dessert, i.e. a stove-top version of cobbler. But cobbler is a Southern specialty. That's especially so when it's made with peaches.
When in season peaches are some of the most luscious stone fruits out there. Biting into a perfectly ripe one is an experience to be savored and remembered—sometimes for years. Can you tell I love peaches? When you crave something sweet, a peach cobbler is undoubtedly the best dessert—and Southern cobbler is exceptionally sweet. Typically cobbler is just fruit tossed with sugar and then spooned in a baking dish to be topped with dollops of biscuit batter. But there 's also a different kind of cobbler—a better cobbler.
This is a recipe done in reverse of everything that you thought to be correct. First is the batter, poured into a hot dish of melted butter. (It's almost like making popovers—the batter starts cooking immediately.) Then you spoon in the peaches on top of the batter. During baking, the peaches and the batter switch places, so the fruit is at the bottom and the batter is on top. Have you heard or seen such a thing? It's almost a miracle. What you get is an amazingly sweet pancake-like dough that's absorbed the butter and sweet peach juices, plus ultra tender fruit that melts in your mouth. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you're in nirvana!
Thank you to the lady of the South, Paula Deen, for showing me this super dessert. See her bake the peach cobbler below.
Tip: To make peeling peaches easier, dip in boiling water for a few minutes.
6 large peaches (about 2 pounds), peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
2 cups sugar, divided
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Toss sliced peaches with lemon juice and 1 cup sugar. Let macerate 5 minutes. Add to a pan and simmer over medium heat until liquid is syrupy and bubbling, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile add butter to a 3-quart deep baking dish and place in oven to melt.
In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, remaining 1 cup sugar, and salt. Whisk to aerate. Pour in milk and whisk until smooth. Pour over melted butter in baking dish. Spoon peaches over batter and gently pour over with liquid. Do not stir the ingredients. Sprinkle top with cinnamon. Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 30 to 45 minutes. Serve hot or warm with ice cream. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.