Peach Cobbler is one of my favorite desserts! It ranks right on up there near the top of the list. There are many recipes for fruit cobblers but in my book there is only one way to make a cobbler…and it’s not throwing some biscuit dough on top of sweetened fruit!
To me…a fruit cobbler is sweetened fruit topped with a sweet lattice-worked pastry brushed with butter and sprinkled with plenty of sugar for a crunchy topping. All those other recipes must have been devised by someone who was too lazy to do the work…because I’ve never eaten one that compares to a real fruit cobbler.
You can use different fruits for cobblers…but peaches are my favorite…cherry and apple are not bad…but peach reigns supreme. It is best to use fresh peaches..or fresh peaches that you have frozen at home. For some reason…even the frozen peaches at the supermarket just don’t taste the same.
Many years ago I planted peach trees…just to have peaches for cobbler! I planted an Indian or white peach tree that has ripe peaches in June and a more common peach tree that gives me ripened peaches in July or early August. I love the white peaches…they are a large, juicy, and delicate peach that you don’t need to peel for cobbler.
I start if using fresh peaches by cutting them in slices off the pit. My white peaches are a cling peach so the peach clings to the pit. I usually just cut them off into the baking dish I’m using for my cobbler or a bowl. As I peel and slice the first one I sprinkle it with plenty of sugar and squeeze the juice of a lemon over the top. Adding peaches I stir this mixture to make sure all the peaches are covered with the sugar mixture to keep them from turning brown. When I finish I put the peaches in the refrigerator while I make my pastry.
You can make the pastry by hand but I use my food processor. It is fast and easy! I measure the flour, sugar, and salt into the processor and pulse it a couple of times to mix it well.
Then I cut my butter in half lengthwise and then cut those halves in half again.
Then I cut them those into small squares and add to the flour mixture. Make sure your butter is icy cold. You can even stick it in the freezer for a few minutes.
I pulse this about 10 times or until the mixture is rough crumbs…there should be small chunks of butter in the mixture.
Then I add enough ice water to make the mixture stick together when you press it with your finger.
As I am adding the water I probably don’t process but about 30 seconds. Then remove the dough from the bowl and divide it in half.
Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
My dough is still crumbly when I divide it so I use the plastic wrap to press it gently into a disk shape. Refrigerate at least an hour before rolling out for the top. You can freeze the other half of the pastry to use later for a single pie crust or another cobbler.
While the pastry is chillin’ in the frig….I mix about ¼ cup of cornstarch, ¼ cup of sugar, with 1 ½ cup of cold water and whisk it until dissolved in a small pan. Then I cook it over high heat until thick and transparent. I prefer to do this rather than just mix up raw cornstarch in the peaches. Peaches cook very quick and sometimes the cornstarch doesn’t have time to cook well enough to thicken properly and cook the starchy taste out of the cobbler.
Mix that with your peaches and pour into a baking dish.
Melt one stick of butter and drizzle about ½ of it across your peaches. Save the rest to brush on your pastry top.
Roll out one half of the pastry on a floured large cutting board to about 1/8 of an inch thick.
Using a pastry cutter cut long strips of pastry about ½ to ¾ of an inch wide. You can just lay the strips lengthwise across the cobbler and then lay shorter strips across the width of the cobbler. Your strips should be about ½ of an inch apart.
If you really want your cobbler to look pretty you can weave each strip over and under the other to make a lattice top.
Brush the top of the pastry with remaining butter and sprinkle with plenty of sugar. Bake at 350º for 45 minutes – 1 hour. If your top has not browned turn on the broiler and brown the top…don’t leave it…watch as it browns…it burns easily.
I love peach cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream or just plain cream poured over the top.
A perfect dessert for July 4th!
From my kitchen…to yours…give this a try….it is delicious!
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) butter (chilled very cold)
½ – ¾ cup cold water (you can just use cold tap water)
8 -10 cups fresh peaches – sliced
Juice of fresh lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon ( if desired)
2 cups sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 ½ cup cold water
1 stick melted butter
In food processor pulse 2-3 times until mixed flour, salt, and sugar. Cut butter into 16 equal pieces and drop into processor while pulsing about 16 times. Mixture should resemble course cornmeal. Add cold water and process about 30 seconds. Half mixture and wrap each half with plastic wrap. Flatten into disc shape and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Crust may be made the day before and stored in refrigerator.
If mixing crust by hand. Mix flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in chilled butter until it resembles course cornmeal. Sprinkle with cold water and cut with pastry cutter until dough sticks together. Wrap and chill.
Place sliced peaches in large bowl and toss with lemon juice and 1 ½ cups of sugar.
Whisk cornstarch with cold water and remaining ½ cup sugar. Cook over high heat until thickened and transparent. Mix with peaches and pour peach mixture in large rectangular baking dish. Drizzle peach mixture with one half of melted butter.
Roll out crust until about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into strips with pastry cutter. Place strips vertically across peach mixture about ¼ inch apart. Place strips horizontally across peach mixture at same distance. I like to weave my strips by just lifting each strip and weaving under and over carefully as needed.
Brush pastry top with all the melted butter. It will flow between cracks into filling. Then sprinkle top of pastry with plenty of sugar. Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes – 1 hour or until bubbly and crust is browned. You can do the final browning of crust under the broiler.