Today I’m giving you an infinitely flexible recipe for Georgia Peach Cobbler.
Recently the Georgia Peach Truck came to town and I dutifully lined up to buy some peaches. I had read about these peach trucks and was excited to take advantage of the fact that one was going to be in my neck of the woods. (This was one of those rare times when I stepped away from buying organic stone fruits and let these sweet peaches from Georgia take precedence.)
I actually have a friend who has peach trees in his backyard, and I have begged him to make the long ride to my house (with bushels of peaches in tow) so that I, too, could enjoy the bounty of his harvest. I would try to influence him with thoughts of the pies and cakes and bars and cobblers that I would make with those darn peaches…
Alas, timing has never worked out. Actually, one summer, his visit was perfectly timed to spoil me with some peaches. Unfortunately, the squirrels made a mess of his harvest prior to his trip and once again, no fruit for me :(
So, when the Georgia Peach Truck came to town, I thought, well allllrighty now. I’m gonna get myself some peaches! So I did. I bought a half case and then, the stress began. Similar to the stress my CSA box brings every week, I suddenly had peaches (a lot of peaches) that were going to be perfectly ripe in 2 days!
What would I make? Well, I made a lot of different things. One was Fresh Peach Iced Tea, and then a bunch of other things that still need to be perfected. But I knew that Georgia Peach Cobbler was definitely going to happen.
Cobbler? Of course I had to make cobbler! I’m a biscuit, scone, shortcake loving fool, so what better treat to make than a cobbler? I researched tons of recipes and none really appealed to me.
For one, there was so much sugar in so many of the recipes! Some had 2 to 3 cups of sugar! That’s way too much sugar for me to put into a 9″ square pan.
So I went back and decided to figure out my own topping, inspired by some of my favorite recipes. That was a good move. Let me just say that if you love my biscuits, scones and shortcakes, this cobbler is definitely going to become a fave for you.
The topping has some fluffiness like my biscuits, but it’s rich and buttery like my scones and shortcakes. I love it. I love it so much that I knew I would be baking a cobbler with a high topping to fruit ratio.
I peeled and sliced my peaches. Tossed them with sugars and nutmeg and lemon and cornstarch. Once it baked, I was worried I had gone overboard on the biscuit topping #moreisbetter
But when we were eating it, it seemed pretty balanced to me. Thinking that not everyone would like that ratio, I made it again.
(And for the next lazy batch…I skipped peeling the peaches…)
This time, I used 8 cups of peaches and I didn’t peel them. I didn’t mind the peels being left on when I made the syrup for Fresh Peach Iced Tea, so I thought I’d save myself a step and leave them on.
Mind you, my peaches were not overly fuzzy at all and having cooked some for other recipes, I knew the skins cooked up tender enough to skip peeling. I played around with the cornstarch and sugars and flavors. I used less cornstarch so I had more juice in the pan to to be mopped up by the biscuits.
This time, there was more of a balance of biscuit to fruit. I happen to love a high biscuit ratio, but I also love fresh peaches…decisions, decisions.
The final verdict? We enjoyed both. I couldn’t decide which one to post, so I’m going to give you the recipe to guide you below, but I’m also going to give you a bunch of different options so that you can make the cobbler that you like best. For those of you who are not comfortable playing around with a recipe, especially when baking is involved, this list will help you make changes that won’t ruin your end result.
Options for making Georgia Peach Cobbler:
- Use anywhere from 6-8 cups of sliced fresh peaches. For a high biscuit to fruit ratio, go with 6 cups. For a more even ratio, use 8 cups or anywhere in between.
- I used 1/4 cup of white sugar and 1/4 cup of brown sugar for 8 cups of peaches. How much sugar you add will depend upon how sweet your peaches are, how many you use and how sweet you like your fruit mixture. I didn’t want a super sugary sweet mixture and my peaches were pretty sweet on their own, so add or subtract sugar to taste. You can also use all white sugar or all brown sugar.
- I peeled my peaches for the first batch. I liked them peeled, but I didn’t really enjoy the process of peeling them. Since my peach skins weren’t very fuzzy, I left them on for the second batch and I thought it was fine and it didn’t seem to bother anyone else. Either way is good. I probably like them a little better peeled, but if peeling them keeps you (or me) from making the recipe, then I would leave the peels on.
- How thick do you want your fruit mixture? For the first batch I used 3 Tablespoons of cornstarch with 6 cups of peaches. My fruit mixture came out thick with no fruit sloshing around in syrup in the bottom of the pan; it was thick like you might want for a pie. Again, no complaints from anyone. The second time I used 1 Tablespoon with 8 cups peaches. This was just enough to thicken the juices a little, but left it syrupy enough so that I had some liquid to spoon into my bowl. That syrup would later mix nicely with my melting vanilla ice cream. More juices means more to flavor to mop up with the biscuit topping. So, for the thickest filling use 3 Tablespoons. Want a juicier fruit mixture? Use 1 Tablespoon or even 2 teaspoons if you’re only using 6 cups of peaches. Or, you can skip the cornstarch all together and just bake up a juicy fruit mixture. If you’re using more sugar than the recipe calls for, that will also help thicken up the syrup for you.
- I flavored my biscuit topping just a little (1/4 teaspoon) almond extract. It was just enough to add a hint of flavor in the background without being overpowering. I also tried 1/2 teaspoon and many felt like that it was too much. You could also add almond to your peach mixture instead of your biscuit mixture. Alternatively, if you don’t like almond extract, substitute vanilla instead.
- I used freshly grated nutmeg because I didn’t want a typical cinnamon flavor as my spice. But, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice would both work wonderfully if you only have or prefer those flavors. Again, I only used 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg because I didn’t want an overpowering flavor. You could use more cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice if you want to bring that flavor forward.
- For the biscuit topping, 1/3 cup of sugar made it sweet enough for us. You’re also sprinkling raw sugar on the tops which will add more sweetness. If you like your topping sweeter, increase the sugar to 1/2 cup. You can also be more generous with sprinkling on the raw sugar.
- If you want to go whole grain, feel free to use a whole wheat pastry flour in place of all purpose flour.
- I used 1% milk. You can use a higher fat or lower fat milk or any non-dairy milk. Just keep in mind that higher fat milks will add richness, lower fat milks will lighten it up.
These are just some of the options you have. You can change the fruit or the fat or use different flavors. But I don’t want you to get overwhelmed with choices. I simply want you to be aware of them. These are all the things I think about when testing recipes. That’s why I always feel like even my ultimate recipes can always be improved in some way.
In the recipe below, I keep it simple and focus on two things: how many peaches you use and how thick you want your fruit mixture. Those are key to making a cobbler that you will enjoy.
For me, I love the biscuit topping as written and I will probably try 7 cups of peaches next time and maybe try it just with brown sugar.
Other than that, just serve me up a bowl of warm Georgia Peach Cobbler, throw a scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream on top…and when that ice cream begins to melt…and I have warm, sweet, syrupy peaches, melty vanilla ice cream and sweet rich biscuits all making friends in the bottom of my bowl?
Yeah, that’s pretty much perfect for me :)
Georgia Peach Cobbler
For the peach base:
- 6-8 cups sliced fresh peaches you can peel or not, see notes
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1-3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1 lemon I got about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of juice from mine
For the biscuit topping:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup milk I used 1%
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- raw sugar for sprinkling
- vanilla ice cream for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9" baking pan with cooking spray.
Decide how many peaches you'll be using. For a higher biscuit to peach ratio, use 6 cups. For a more even biscuit to peach ratio, use 8 cups or anywhere in between.
Decide on how juicy you want your fruit base to be. If you want a juicier fruit base, use 1 Tablespoon cornstarch. If you want a thicker fruit base, use 3 Tablespoons. Or use 2 Tablespoons for something in between.
Place peach slices in a large bowl. Add sugars, desired amount of cornstarch, the nutmeg, lemon zest and lemon juice. Toss until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
Make biscuit topping. Whisk flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl.
Cut butter into small pieces. Add to flour mixture and use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the mixture until it's various sizes no larger than peas.
In a liquid measuring cup, measure milk, add the egg and almond extract and whisk until well combined.
Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and gently combine until you're left with a sticky dough. Do not over stir. Just mix until the flour has combined with the wet ingredients.
Pour peach mixture into prepared pan and spread evenly.
Drop spoonfuls of dough evenly over the peaches, then sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake for 45 minutes or until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Refrigerate leftovers. Reheat uncovered in an oven.
*You can choose to peel your peaches or not. I did it both ways. I think I prefer it just slightly better with them peeled, but it's a job to peel them, so I will probably leave the peel on more often than not. My peaches were not extremely fuzzy, so the skin was pretty tender once cooked.
*To peel the peaches, I brought a large pot of water to boil. I filled a large bowl with ice water. I scored each peach with a shallow "X" on the end. Then I blanched the peaches in the boiling water for about 30 seconds or until I could see the peach splitting just a bit where the "X" was cut. I immediately submerged them in the ice water then the peel was loose enough to peel off. I like to quarter them, then peel each quarter. That way, I'm not holding a slippery peach while trying to use a sharp knife.
*When deciding how many peaches you'll need, one average sized peach should give you about 3/4- 1 cup of slices.
*If your peaches are tart or you like a sweeter filling, increase sugar to taste.
*If you like a sweeter biscuit topping, increase sugar to 1/2 cup.
*If you don't like nutmeg, feel free to substitute with ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
*Can't enough almond flavor? Add a 1/4 teaspoon into the peach filling. Hate almond flavor? Omit it.
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