Friends of ours recently went to South Carolina and returned with a whole bunch of delicious peaches. They were so ripe and juicy and fragrant, I couldn't wait to start cooking with them. The first thing that came to mind was this peach cobbler. I had made it a few years ago when my father was visiting. He loved it so much that he kept going back into the kitchen for a little more, and a little more, and a little more. So last year when I went to visit him, he asked me to make it again. What can I say, it's good stuff. Yes, you can use frozen peaches, but honestly, ripe summer peaches really are the best.
To make the best peach cobbler, you need to start with the best peaches you can get your hands on. Peel them any way you like. I like to use a serrated vegetable peeler, but if you like to use the boiling water method, feel free.
When all the skins are off your peaches, remove the pits and slice the peaches into 1/4-inch slices.
Butter a baking dish well.
Add the sliced peaches and sprinkle with sugar.
Next we'll add some very finely grated lemon zest. The easiest way to grate lemon zest is to use a microplane. It does a wonderful job grating all kinds of things - chocolate, nutmeg, garlic, cheese... wonderful, wonderful tool.
We'll also need some of the juice from the lemon. For that, I use a citrus squeezer. Did you know there's a right way and a wrong way to use a citrus squeezer?
Now that we have that cleared up, time to squeeze some fresh lemon juice to add to the peaches.
There's a little pure almond extract too.... it really bumps up the flavor of the peaches.
Stir, stir, stir. I love when I can stir right in the baking dish. One less dirty dish to clean.
Spread the peaches out evenly and bake for 20 minutes.
While the peaches are in the oven, make the topping. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and a touch of sugar.
Then add unsalted butter.
Use a pastry blender to incorporate the butter until it's the size of peas.
Now we add a beaten egg and some heavy cream. Mix with a fork until it forms a shaggy mass.
Shaggy mass achieved.
By now the peaches have baked for 20 minutes so take them out of the oven. See all those yummy juices they started to release. Yum!
Spread the shaggy topping evenly over the partially cooked peaches.
Stir together the last of the sugar with some ground cinnamon.
Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the top and pop the baking dish back into the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the topping turns a lovely shade of golden brown.
Mmmmmm. I wish you could smell it! Serve it warm with ice cream or cold with fresh homemade whipped cream.
Old Fashioned Peach Cobbler
- 6 cups sliced ripe peaches (peeled and pits removed)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar (or more if your peaches aren't very sweet)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Butter a 2-quart baking dish and set aside.
- Stir together sliced peaches, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and pure almond extract in baking dish; bake for 20 minutes while you prepare the topping.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Use a pastry blender to "cut in" the butter until the butter pieces are the size of peas.
- Use a fork to mix in the beaten egg and heavy cream until all the dry ingredients form a shaggy mass with no dry clumps of flour visible.
- When peaches have baked for 20 minutes, remove from oven and spread shaggy flour mixture all over.
- Combine the last 2 tablespoons of sugar with the ground cinnamon and sprinkle all over the cobbler topping.
- Return to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes more, or until the topping is golden brown.
Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.