Friday, August 13, 2010

A Cobbler to Remember

I will never forget this peach cobbler. Not because it was my first. And not even because it was mindbogglingly good. (Don't get me wrong. It was darn tasty.) No, the reason this rustic dessert -- possibly named for its laid-back prep -- has taken a place of honor in my baking memory is that it took 3 days to make.

Now you may be thinking this was some cobblerization of the infamous 36-hour chocolate chip cookie (a day and a half well spent from what I hear). Alas, it wasn't. Far from any revolutionary baking method, what struck in reality was a short but powerful storm that snapped every large tree in our neighborhood and ripped our power lines to shreds. I was literally rolling out the biscuit dough when the storm came. So my embarrassing first reaction was "crap, I can't bake the cobbler now!"

Inner Beauty
Thankfully (in all seriousness) P and I, as well as his car and our apartment, came out unscathed. Truly lucky, because while the storm encompassed much of Northern Virginia, I hear our neighborhood was one of the hardest hit. Much of our perishable food didn't fair so well though. With the power out for 2 days, we were forced to pick the most important (read, expensive) items to jam into our tiny coolers.

Peach Cobbler
The cobbler dough was the first to go. Yet amazingly, the peach filling survived in the residual coolness of the fridge. What a relief! And not just because I hate wasted food and time. What I haven't told you is that these were no ordinary peaches. They were the juiciest, most perfectly ripe peaches I'd ever tasted. A sweet gift from a friend who'd gotten them locally. And so intoxicating that I halved the cobbler recipe so I could enjoy more of them fresh. What happened to that resilient filling? I remade the topping (while praying for good weather) and it baked up without a hitch. A lovely treat to celebrate our return to normality.

Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler [Printable recipe]
Adapted from Peace, Love, & Barbecue via Country Living
Makes 8 servings

XIAOLU'S NOTES: My peaches were so ripe and sweet that I reduced the white sugar by 3 tablespoons. You should start low and increase according to taste.

TIPS: The best way to peel a peach is to plunge it first into boiling water, then immediately into ice water. The skins will slip away easily as you peel with a sharp paring knife. Use the peaches right away or toss them with a few teaspoons of lemon juice to keep the flesh from turning brown.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour [I substituted 1/2 cup whole wheat]
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp white sugar, divided
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

2 1/4 pounds peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp cornstarch

Combine the flour, brown sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar, ginger, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal . Stir in 3/4 cup cream to form a dough . Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill for 1 hour, up to overnight.

Combine the peaches, brown sugar, 1 cup white sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain half of the liquid [I saved this and used it as a sauce for serving the cobbler.]; toss in the cornstarch. Transfer to a 10-inch round cast-iron skillet (or similarly sized oven-proof dish(es)).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the dough from refrigerator. If needed, let it warm up slightly until pliable. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out 1 1/2-inch rounds. Top the fruit mixture with the rounds without overlapping. Brush the top of the dough with the remaining 1 tablespoon cream and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tablespoon white sugar. Bake until golden brown and the fruit is bubbling in the center, about 35 to 45 minutes. Check that the biscuits are cooked through and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes if they're not. Serve warm, ideally with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.


  1. How wonderful that the peaches survived the weather-postponement

    It truly looks so delicious, I can almost taste those peaches...

  2. We're just beginning peach season here and they're everywhere. This sounds delicious and I'm glad you were so persistent in getting it baked. Also glad you came through that severe weather safely!

  3. A fantastic cobbler! It looks so good.



  4. Wow that sounds like QUITE a storm! I'm glad you didn't let it get in-between you and that cobbler though. It looks too delicious to be reckoned with.

  5. Oh wow, power out for 2 days? That's never fun.

    The cobbler looks great though; I love me some peaches! I bet it was well worth the wait. (side note: I can vouch for the awesomeness of the 36-hour chocolate chip cookie!)

  6. Three days?! Wow! I'm glad to hear you're okay. The peach cobbler looks worth it!

  7. what a gorgeous looking dessert. Cannot have enough of the stone fruits. the joys of summer.

    hope u are ok! that sounds some gruelling hot hours with no power.

  8. Thak God yoou and your apartment are ok!! The desert looks amazing :)

  9. Mmm you know usually I don't like fruit desserts but there's something about this one that's making me drool! Sucks to have had your power out for 2 days. :/

  10. Am glad to hear you and P were safe and sound.... and of course so was the peach cobbler.

  11. what an adventure--i can definitely see why this cobbler would be memorable! lovely recipe--i'll be so sad when peach season is no more...

  12. I like cobbler...and you and P should indulge yourself with more cobbler with some Champage since you two survived from the storm and power-off!

    Have a peaceful and flavourful weekend!

  13. 3 days in the making cobbler has to be special :) It looks delicious!

  14. Your photos are beautiful! Love this cobbler!

  15. 3 days!!! omg ... but the results look well worth it :)

  16. Love the look of this cobbler! Now I wish I had access to peach!

  17. How delicious. That was probably even better that you had to wait 3 days!

  18. 3 days!? But surely it is more than worth the wait :)...looks definitely tempting.

  19. Oh my gosh, that's insane!! At least the wait was worth it- man does this look delicious!

  20. Wow, great job here. Awesome picture too! You should really consider submitting this to Recipe4Living's Fall Cobbler Recipe Contest! It looks delicious!

  21. The most beautiful cobbler I've ever seen. I am sure it tastes delicious.

  22. Oh no, what terrible timing! I always think couldn't the power have gone out after everything was baked and done? It looks wonderful though and well worth the 3 day wait ;)

  23. Wow, lovely peach cobbler...look absolutely gorgeous :-)

  24. Oh goodness! I'm glad you came out unscathed from the storm and that the peach cobbler still made it to the table. I remember my mom making peach cobbler for us many many years ago. It was a summer favorite. I can't believe I've never made one myself! This looks delicious!

  25. Glad to hear everyone's safe! And oh my, this must surely be one special cobbler. It definitely looks worth waiting for!

  26. MMMMMMM,...Your special peach cobbler looks divine & ooh so pretty too!

  27. Chanel11 - yes, this wonderful little thing cheered me up greatly.

    Michelle - thx and you're so lucky to be having lots of fresh peaches.

    Rosa - thank you!

    Joanne - haha, nothin comes between me and my peach cobblah...nothing...

    Dorothy - thanks for confirming the myths about the NYT cookie.

    Danielle - quite worth it :).

    Soma - fortunately the rain cooled the weather down, thank god!

    Just Cake girl - thx, girl XD.

    eatme_delicious - I don't think I liked fruit desserts when I was young b/c the cafeteria ones were gross pie filling from the can. But this, this is another creature entirely.

    Trissa - thx. i'd protect my baked goods with my life haha.

    grace - I'll definitely be sad to see the peaches go as well.

    Angie - what a great idea! I actually just found a recipe for peach cobbler with prosecco mmm.

    Avanika - thank yer.

    Ellie - aw gracias. your encouragement is appreciated as I've hit a bit of a wall I feel like with my photography growth.

    noobcook - :).

    Anh - oh I suppose you're in the S hemisphere? At least you can enjoy it when the rest of us up here are locked in the dead of winter ;p.

    Helene - I do think the wait made me appreciate the end result more, true.

    tigerfish - glad you like it!

    Koko - twas quite the adventure :).

    Sophia - thanks for letting me know about the contest!

    elra - aw you're making me blush ^_^

    Lorraine - that's exactly what I thought...right after the cursing haha.

    Juliana - thanks for stopping by!

    smalltownoven - mom's homemade goods are the best. hope you get to try this or another good recipe to make your own cobbler and continue the tradition. funny enough, my mom doesn't really make sweets so I'm introducing her to all this.

    ovenhaven - thx, I'm glad we all came out ok too.

    Sophie - thank you.

  28. I love peach and this pudding looks really good!! Lovely shots too!

  29. I think I am here for the first time .. but u know I was mesmerized seeing the pictures.. u have beautiful pictures and awesome recipes...


  30. Leemei - Thanks! I especially appreciate the compliments coming from you :).

    Pavithra - Welcome and glad you're enjoying what you see.


I love hearing from you all! Please leave me a message if you have questions, advice, or just to let me know you stopped by. Your feedback is always very much appreciated. Thanks! <3 Xiaolu