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Classic Peach Cobbler

by food.admin

whole grain peach cobblerIf you like to go camping, you’ve probably got a cast iron Dutch oven in your garage.  And if you have a Dutch oven, and you’re like me, then you have probably made peach cobbler in it at some point.  I love the combination of sweet peaches and cake batter, all together in a paper bowl, all while sitting under the trees in nature.

But while peach cobbler is one of my favorite camping treats, for me it is still most closely associated with my Gramma’s house.  Most Sundays we would all end up over at her house, playing with cousins and eating ham and au gratin potatoes.

For dessert I remember having bowls of peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream slowly melting over the top.  Bright yellow peaches and vanilla bean flecks running in creamy rivulets into the golden cake.  Perfection!

Of course, the recipe for peach cobbler at my Gramma’s house was made from canned peaches and cake batter mix.  Like most traditional recipes, canned items and convenience foods had taken the place of the whole foods that were used originally.  I’m sure if we went back a few more generations, perhaps my great-great-grandmother would have made peach cobbler with real foods.

Fortunately for you, it’s my real foodification project to the rescue!

Canned peaches are replaced by simmered fresh peaches and whole cane sugar and spices.  Cake mix is discarded and instead, we make a simple cake batter to pour into the baking dish.  I promise that the changes are worth it!

According to Wikipedia,:

Cobblers originated in the early British American colonies. English settlers were unable to make traditional suet puddings due to lack of suitable ingredients and cooking equipment, so instead covered a stewed filling with a layer of uncooked plain biscuits or dumplings, fitted together. When fully cooked, the surface has the appearance of a cobbled street. The name may also derive from the fact that the ingredients are “cobbled” together.

I find this history fascinating.  I also note that even though this definition of a cobbler says that biscuits or dumplings were baking on top of the peach filling, my recipe calls for melting the butter, pouring in the batter, and then putting the peaches in last.  Strangely, the cake batter rises to the top while baking.

Because of this curiosity, I have also worked out a peach cobbler recipe that uses my buttermilk biscuit dough as a true topping.  You make the peach filling and then spoon the biscuit dough over the top of the cobbler.  You can see the recipe later today, here.

Another distinction for the cobbler is the addition of ice cream, such as:

In the Deep South, cobblers most commonly come in single fruit varieties and are named as such, such as blackberry, blueberry, and peach cobbler. The Deep South tradition also gives the option of topping the fruit cobbler with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream.

Now, I don’t think I have any family or ancestry in the Deep South, but I feel a need to put ice cream on my cobbler!  Lucky for all of us, I have a killer Vanilla Bean Ice Cream recipe, made with snow white, grass-fed cream and milk, real vanilla beans, and whole cane sugar.  It’s the perfect companion for this Peach Cobbler.

Equipment Needed:

  • measuring cups & spoons
  • large mixing bowl, pastry blender, wooden spoon
  • kitchen towel, dinner plate (optional), large dehydrator (optional)
  • large baking dish, cooling rack
  • large serving spoon, ice cream scoop

Note:  When peaches are in season, you can get several pounds for only a few dollars.  Wait until they’re ripe, blanch them for one minute in boiling water, then cool and peel.  Then, cut them in half, pit them, and slice them.  Use in pie filling (try these pie crusts, or this one) or in cobbler or even can your own peaches!

Classic Peach Cobbler

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter (buy grass-fed butter here, see how to make butter here)

peach filling:
4 cups peaches, peeled & sliced, preferably organic (see note, above)
1 cup whole cane sugar (buy whole cane sugar here)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (buy organic extracts here)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (buy organic spices here)

cake batter:
1 cup freshly ground or sprouted flour (buy sprouted flour here, how to make sprouted flour here)
1 cup whole cane sugar (buy whole cane sugar here)
1 tablespoon baking powder (buy aluminum-free baking powder here)
pinch salt (buy unrefined sea salt here)
1 cup whole milk (find raw dairy near you here)

  1. Place the butter in the center of a large casserole dish.  Place into the oven and preheat to 375 degree.  While the oven preheats, the butter will melt.  After 5 minutes, remove the casserole dish and set aside while the oven heats up completely.
  2. Make the peach filling: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the peaches, whole cane sugar, water, lemon juice, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, make the batter: In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Then add the milk and stir until just combine.
  4. Pour the batter into the casserole dish with the melted butter in it.  Let it spread out.  Then add the peach filling over the top of the batter.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the batter rises to the top, browns nicely, and no longer looks wet.
  6. Let cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes to firm up a bit.  Then, scoop out into shallow bowls and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!

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