Here in the south, there is an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. For a lot of people, a few steps out the back door is as far as you need to go. When we finally move out of this apartment and into our new house, I will be starting my very first garden! I’m so excited to be able to pick my dinner (or at least part of it) seconds before I cook and eat it. There’s just something so wholesome and intimate feeling about caring for the food you’re going to eat. Anyways, back to the cobbler…
Since I like to buy locally grown and harvested food, the season definitely tends to play a huge role in what gets put on the table. In the summer, watermelons, berries, and peaches are in blissful abundance. So on our way home from the beach a couple weeks ago, we stopped in Clanton to get some peaches (I highly recommend a stop by Heaton’s if you’re ever traveling I-65). I bought a bushel! And apparently, great minds think alike, because my mom went to the farmer’s market while we were gone and bought a ton herself. We were eating plenty of them, but just couldn’t make it through them before they started to soften… there were sooo many. So my mind starting racing… what all can I make with peaches? Sauces… Syrups… Ice Cream… Bread… Waffles… COBBLER. I actually made two of them this week (in addition to syrup, bread, and ice cream!).
Cobbler is probably one of the easiest desserts to make – six simple ingredients (plus water) and very little work. You can use canned pie filling or just plain ole canned peaches to make your life simpler. But using fresh peaches and cooking them down yourself will seriously make your taste buds jump for joy! It really isn’t hard and only takes about 12 minutes. To cook down enough peaches for a 9×13 pan of cobbler, wash, peel, and thinly slice roughly 6 to 8 medium peaches. To easily slice a peach, stand it up with the stem on top and run a sharp knife just to the right of the stem. Let your knife find the top of the pit (the giant seed in the middle) and run it down and around the edge. Repeat on the other three sides then slice your four sections thinly. You want at least 4 to 5 good cups. I usually set a measuring cup beside my cutting board and slice the fruit right in the cup, letting it almost overflow before I dump ’em in the pan. A heavy-bottomed saucepan that is.
Add 1 cup of sugar and the water to the peaches in the pan and turn the burner to medium low. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the mixture starts to simmer. Then simmer for roughly 1o minutes – you want soft peaches and a thin syrup when you’re done. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool while you finish up your cobbler.
Place the stick of butter in a 9×13 dish and put in the preheated oven to melt. When you pull the pan out of then oven, rock the dish side to side to try to evenly distribute the butter. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the remaining sugar and all the flour. Stir them together to distribute evenly. Now, slowly pour in the milk while stirring constantly.
You don’t want any lumps to form. This is the milky slurry you want after adding all the milk.
Now pour this over the melted butter in the pan, distributing as evenly as you can. But do not stir them together.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The most important thing about making a cobbler is NOT to stir your layers together. Yes, I said NO STIRRING. And yes, it will look a little bit like a hot mess as you place it in the oven. But what you pull out of the oven 30-45 minutes later is no mess… it’s BE-U-TI-FUL.
Now take your cooked peaches and pour them over the pastry in the pan, again trying to distribute them evenly. And you guessed it, no stirring. Put down that ever-tempting spoon! Trust me.
Sprinkle the top with cinnamon, more or less depending on your taste. I’m a pretty big fan of cinnamon so I give it a pretty good sprinkle.
Now pop in your oven. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the pastry is set and golden brown and the peaches are bubbling up around the edges. Just look at that beautiful baby! So golden and warm and delicious!
Ideally, you want to let the cobbler sit for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven to allow the peaches to set, creating a pretty piece of cobbler when you cut into it. But if you’re like my family, the spatula is cutting the first piece before the pan ever touches the pot holder! Now scoop a giant ball of homemade (or BlueBell) vanilla ice cream next to your cobbler, and rejoice!
Mmmm…. Mmm. My taste buds are dancing the jig… jumping for joy… shouting with glee! It’s the perfect combination for your palate. The warm, soft, pastry on top with those juicy, sticky sweet peaches nestled underneath, and to top it off, the cool, slowly melting ice cream… it’s simply devine!
Now jump up and run on into your kitchen, honey! And prepare your taste buds for a little dance… A Happy Little Peach Cobbler Dance!
Southern Peach Cobbler
6-8 medium peaches
1/2 cup water
2 cups sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups self rising flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 stick butter
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400°. Peel and slice your peaches and dump them in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add to the fruit 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Stir together and place on the stove over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to simmer. Simmer about 10 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally, until the peaches are nice and soft and you’ve made a thin syrup. Remove from heat and set aside.
Step 2: Place butter in a 9×13 baking dish and set in the oven just long enough to melt the butter. Remove from oven and set aside.
Step 3: In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup sugar with the flour and stir together. Slowly pour in the milk, stirring constantly to prevent any lumps from forming. Pour mixture evenly over the butter in the pan; do NOT stir together.
Step 4: Pour peaches and syrup over the pastry evenly. Do NOT stir together. Sprinkle the top with a little cinnamon. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the pastry is set and golden brown and the peaches are bubbling up around the edges.
Step 5: Allow the cobbler to cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Cue happy dance.