Peach Cobbler: what's it to you?

Peach cobbler.

What do those words mean to you?

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From my strictly anecdotal research – gleaned from the assortment of treasured regional cookbooks behind my desk – I conclude that your mental image of peach cobbler will be quite different if you live in Boston compared to, say, Baton Rouge.

There are exceptions to every rule – even this one, which I’m making up on the spot. (And I’m sure you’ll let me know about those exceptions.)

But here’s my conclusion – cobbler

Up North, cobbler is fruit baked under a baking powder biscuit crust.

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Down South, that same fruit is covered with sweetened batter, yielding a very moist yellow cake heavily laden with fruit: bottom, middle, and top.

And in between those geographic bounds – and I mean everywhere in between, from Maryland to Montana – there are regional variations on the theme.

Some of you like a rolled-out biscuit crust topping your cobbler, much like a pie’s top crust. Some prefer sweet yellow cake batter; others, barely sweetened batter falling somewhere between cake and biscuit, taste-wise.

And me? I REALLY REALLY REALLY like a version sent to us long ago by Joanne Sawyer of Newburgh, Indiana. Not Northern; not Southern; neither biscuit nor cake. Instead, wonderfully tender, sweet peaches bubble away under a crust of…

Well, we’ll get to that in a bit. For now, let’s look at our Northern and Southern cobblers.

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From up North: Classic Peach Cobbler, vanilla-scented sliced peaches baked under a baking powder biscuit crust. Classic accompaniment: vanilla ice cream.

★★★★★ “Oh my good golly gosh, this cobbler is delicious. I used brown sugar for the filling and it turned out perfectly. Nothing is quite so satisfying as the juxtaposition between the sweet, soft, slippery peach slices and the flaky, creamy biscuits on top. Wonderful!” – Samantha Reckford – KAF Community

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From down South: Southern-Style Peach Cobbler. Start with batter in the bottom of the pan, and fruit on top. The layers switch places during baking, and the finished product resembles nothing so much as a moist, fruity cake on top of luscious fruit filling. Classic accompaniment: whipped cream.

★★★★★ Will this become a 5-star recipe? It’s just been published to our site, and no one’s reviewed it yet. We look forward to hearing what you think.

And now, for something completely different –

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Warm, tender peaches under a crust of… cubed bread?

Make that bread drizzled with buttery brown sugar syrup, the whole baked until crisp and crunchy on top, creamy-smooth and tender underneath…  Let’s let Joanne from Indiana, the source of this recipe, speak to her Just Too Easy Peach Cobbler

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“This tasty, quick-to-make-at-the-last-minute summer dessert uses bread! Peaches are the called-for fruit, but I’ve made it with nectarines and apples. Now if I could only send you the peaches from our local peach orchard! They’re available about July, and my mouth is already watering for them.”

★★★★★ “As the only male in our office, there was a little skepticism when I sat this down in the break room. The next thing I heard (from an experienced baker) was, ‘That was the best peach cobbler I have ever eaten. I don’t think I took a breath until it was gone!’ I printed a stack of recipe copies, and those disappeared just as quickly as the cobbler.” – dwulfman – KAF Community

So: North, South, East or West – yummy peach cobbler, who makes the best?

The answer might very well be Indiana…

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Charlotte

    This southerner is used to the previously described pie crust encased fruit cobblers. However, this one’s awesome! Moist coffee-cake with peach juice throughout, and peaches floating gaily on the top. What changes would be made to this recipe if one were using apples instead of peaches? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Charlotte, the only change might be a reduction in the amount of thickener mixed in with the fruit. Apples need much less thickener than peaches since they’re less juicy. They’re also high in natural pectin and pectin helps filling thicken. You might be able to get away with as little as 1 tsp cornstarch rather than the 1 Tbsp called for with peaches. Mollie@KAF

  2. Lysander

    Just a quick note you can put this cobbler on the grill! Since I moved to Cali, I’ve been grlniilg more and more. I’ve learned that once it’s made then just throw it on the grill. I use the foil pans and let it do what it do. Great website Rosie! Keep up the good work.

    Reply

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