It’s not just my imagination – we’ve gotten over 10 more inches of rain this year than we did by this time last year. More rain means more weeds (an amount that’s legitimately impossible to keep up with only the two of us weeding on a regular basis), more mold, more “wet feet” (sorry, cucumbers!), and more plant rot. While we’ve gotten a decent amount of veggies to supplement our food supplies and meals this year, they are no way on the level that we got out of the garden last year. This means a lot less pickling and preserving of our own produce, alas.
However, there have been exceptions to this outcome. Our hot peppers, specifically jalapeños, are bursting with surprise fruits. Okra, that wonderful slimy beauty queen, is late but hardy throughout all of this weather craziness, and is now giving us a promising bounty for future pickling, frying, and freezing. Yay!
Most notably, however, are our fruit supplies. First, our blackberry bushes gave me enough fruit to use both at home and in baked goods for market. Yay! Secondly, our peach tree is finally, finally giving us viable, sweet, medium-sized fruit, thanks to our pruning and the excessive rain this year.
Over the past week, I’ve made a supply of peach jam, peach butter, and peach chutney with these and peaches I’ve gotten at a discount at market. I’ll continue the saga of preserving peaches by freezing some for smoothies, as well as making peach ice cream, truly one of humankind’s greatest inventions. Husband also pitched in this week by making his tasty peach bread (seriously, that bread is bangin’, especially the last batch) and the subject of today’s post, peach cobbler!
Got a bunch of fruit? Don’t know what to do with that fruit? Want dessert, but don’t want to bother with pie or cake? Enter the cobbler.
Why is cobbler so great?
- Cobbler is easy-peasy. You can’t mess up cobbler. Seriously. (Well, scratch that for one exception – using excessive sugar. You really don’t need as much as what many recipes say, especially if you actually want to taste the fruit.) I always think of cobbler as what happens when you get fed up with making pie – just turn the danged thing upside down and call it a cobbler. Even an underbaked, sub-par cobbler is good.
- Cobbler is fast. You just mix fruit with a bit of sugar, throw together a foolproof biscuit topping, spoon it on top of the fruit, and bake. That’s it. It comes together in ten minutes, bakes for about half an hour, and can be eaten hot, warm, or room temperature.
- Cobbler uses a lot of fruit. If you’ve got an abundance (especially of the overripe variety), it’s the perfect dessert for a time crunch.
- Cobbler is customizable, and you know how I love customization. You can combine produce for cobbler filling, too! The first cobbler I made this year was a wild blackberry and rhubarb cobbler, and it was delightfully sweet and tangy. Want bourbon in your cobbler? No problem!
Today’s main recipe is for peach cobbler, with some variations at the bottom for berry cobbler, adding bourbon to cobbler, and the aforementioned berry-rhubarb cobbler. Experiment with different fruits – you can’t go wrong!
If you haven’t had the pleasure of a bowl of warm cobbler this year, ideally topped with a scoop of melting vanilla ice cream, do yourself a favor and change that. Get some fruit, make cobbler, and smile.
Feel free to experiment with different fruits and fruit combinations! As with any biscuit and biscuit-like dough, avoid overmixing - any flour pockets will right themselves with rest and/or baking. If you like your cobbler on the sweeter side, feel free to add more sugar. We like ours tangy and fruity!
you will need:
- ½ c cold butter, cut into tablespoons or small squares
- 2 lbs peaches, pitted and sliced or chopped and peeled if desired (we don’t bother)
- 1 c sugar, divided use
- 1 c all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- zest of 1 small lemon (or ½ large lemon), about 1 tsp
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 square baking dish. Place sliced peaches in the dish, and mix with ½ c of the sugar. (You can also do this in a separate bowl, then transfer the sugared fruit to the dish.) Set aside.
- In a large bowl or bowl of a food processor, combine flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the cold butter, either by using a fork, pastry cutter, or a few pulses of a food processor. Add in the eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest, and combine with a fork (or pulse with the food processor) until just combined.
- Drop biscuit topping by tablespoons over the surface of the sugared fruit, being sure to cover as much of it as possible but without spreading the topping with a spatula (a few holes are okay!). Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the topping is just starting to brown and the fruit is bubbly, softened, and thickened.
Bourbon-Peach Cobbler: Heavenly stuff. Add in ¼ c bourbon to the peaches in Step 1. This will make a bit of a looser filling, but with the delightful tinge of bourbon flavor without being boozy.
Berry Cobbler: Sub in 6 cups blueberries, blackberries, chopped cherries, or other berries (or a combination!) for the peaches. Proceed with recipe.
Blackberry-Rhubarb Cobbler: Sub in 4 c blackberries and 2 c peeled, chopped rhubarb for the peaches. Increase the sugar mixed with the fruit in Step 1 to 1 cup (for a total of 1 1/2 cups for the whole recipe). Proceed with recipe.