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!"
the power out for 2 days, we were forced to pick the most important (read, expensive) items to jam into our tiny coolers.
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 [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.