Monday, February 16, 2009

Peach Cobbler

Peach cobbler is one of our favorite desserts and over the years I have tried several variations from the super easy, dumping a can of peaches, a yellow cake mix, and a stick of butter in a pan to a more sophisticated version containing raspberries from the Barefoot Contessa. I wasn't looking to update my current favorite of a peach crisp with pecans but was intrigued by the recipe I came across in an issue of Cook's Illustrated. In my opinion, the best part of the cobbler is the crumb whether it be a crispy crust or something similar to pie dough. This recipe uses biscuits as a topping and I can't remember trying that so I gave it a spin.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I love Cook's Illustrated and their sister publication Cook's Country along with their companion shows on PBS but find that their meticulous attention to detail often results in complicating simple recipes such as this one. I went from usually only using two dishes to make a cobbler to a sink full of dirty dishes after making this. However, this was good. I seem to be Monday morning coaching a lot of the recipes I am trying lately and this was no exception. My biggest complaint is it just wasn't sweet enough. Here down south we like our desserts sweet! I also like my cobbler to be gooey and the syrup here was a tad thin. However, I loved the biscuit topping. The biscuits were light and airy on the inside and crisp on the outside. I finished mine with turbinado sugar for extra crunch.

Oh - one last thing. I used canned peaches instead of fresh. I could lie and say that peaches are not in season or I couldn't find fresh peaches, but really I'm just lazy. Enjoy!

Fresh Peach Cobbler
Cook's Illustrated

2 1/2 pounds ripe but firm peach (6 to 7 medium)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon juice from 1lemon
pinch salt

Biscuit Topping
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/3 cup plain whole milk yogurt

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

1. For the filling - Peel peaches than halve and pit each. Using small spoon, scoop out and discard dark flesh from pit area. Cut each half into 4 wedges. Gently toss peaches and sugar together in large bowl; let stand for 30 minutes, tossing several times. Drain peaches in colander set over large bowl. Whisk 1/4 cup of drained juice (discard extra), cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt together in small bowl. Toss peach juice mixture with peach slices and transfer to 8-inch square baking dish. Bake until peaches begin to bubble around edges, about 10 minutes.

3. For the topping - While peaches are baking, in food processor, pulse flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine. Scatter butter over and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about ten 1 second pulses. Transfer to medium bowl; add yogurt and toss with rubber spatula until cohesive dough is formed. (Don't overmix dough or biscuits will be tough.) Break dough into 6 evenly sized but roughly shaped mounds and set aside.

4. To assemble and bake - After peaches have baked 10 minutes, remove peaches from oven and place dough mounds on top, spacing them at least 1/2 inch apart (they should not touch). Sprinkle each mound with portion of remaining 1 teaspoon sugar. Bake until topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling, 16 to 18 minutes. Cool cobber on wire rack until warm, about 20 minutes, serve.
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  1. Your cobbler looks excellent! Thank you for the recipe!

  2. I love your blog! I completely agree about Cook's Illustrated recipes!

  3. Beautiful! Warm, buttery peaches and peach-soaked biscuits? What is not to love?!

    To remedy your issues w/the recipe, I'd increase the cornstarch to 1 TBSP (I normally just throw in a small handful w/o measuring) and add some honey for extra sweetness (or you could just increase the sugar. I bet brown sugar would be a nice addition, as well!

  4. Cookies & Cakes - Thanks!
    Barbara - I still love them though.
    Online Pastry - thanks for the tips!

  5. Your cobbler looks so warm and inviting on this cold rainy day! I know it makes the whole house smell good while it's cooking!

  6. Looks wonderful, and peaches are still in season here. Must try it out!


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