Most cobblers pair sweetened fruit with the simplest biscuit topping. While that’s great, I’ve always found it to be slightly off-balance. Bites with too much topping taste too savory, while the fruit, already naturally sweet, is too sugary. But that’s what cobbler is—the way it’s supposed to be ... right?
Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate a traditional cobbler. But I finally had the confidence to put my instincts to the test. I was ready to find out if I could make one that remained true to the essence of cobbler (and not feel like peach cake, for example), while balancing the flavors so that every mouthful is as perfect as the one before it. I was ready to see if I could perfect peach cobbler.
And I did.
My goal was to make a sweeter cobbler topping that wasn’t so sweet it would taste like cake and a filling that would allow the natural sweetness of fresh summer peaches to shine. I wanted fluffy topping that was soft, but not crumbly. It had to hold up to the chunky pieces of peach that would hold their shape. Because I certainly did not want mushy filling.
This recipe nailed it on all accounts. One note, though: If you make the dough before you prep the peaches, keep it in the fridge. If it gets warm, it will melt and mingle with the fruit too much.
This is, of course, amazing with vanilla ice cream. But, because I’ve amped up the vanilla flavor and ensured sweetness across both filling and topping, it also goes great with tangy crème fraîche. I bet mascarpone would be delicious, too.
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, cut into bits, plus more for greasing pan
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Peel your peaches. The easiest way to do so without waste to is submerge them whole in boiling water for a minute or two. Plunge them into cold water immediately after taking them out of the boiling water. Leave for 30 seconds or so, after which the skin should just peel right off.
2. Preheat oven to 375. Toss peaches with 1/4 cup brown sugar along with the cinnamon and cornstarch. Spread in a lightly buttered 9-inch pan.
3. Pulse remaining 1/8 cup brown sugar with the flour, baking powder, salt and white sugar in a food processor once or twice. Add butter and process until dough comes together. Put dough in a bowl and mix in the egg and vanilla in by hand.
4. Drop spoonfuls of dough across the fruit. Do not spread it around. Bake until all the dough turns golden brown, about 45 minutes.