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Peach cobbler

by Louise Robinson
Peach cobbler

Peach cobbler

PT30M

Why not try?

Cobblers are said to have originated in the British American colonies, where English settlers unable to find suet to make traditional puddings improvised to create this popular dish. There are various different versions of the topping. Some use a batter, others an American ‘biscuit’ or English ‘dumpling' topping. The early American colonists loved their cobblers so much that they would be often served as a main course and for breakfast.

Although there are savoury versions, fruit cobblers are now served primarily for dessert. Perhaps the most popular variety of all, especially in the Deep South, is the peach cobbler. A dish so good, that there is even a special annual event to celebrate it. Peach Cobbler Day has been held every year on 13th April since the 1950’s, when it was created by the Georgia Peach Council to promote canned peaches.

Of course, you could use canned fruit for this dish, but I would make the most of the summer glut of fresh peaches. I have gone for a topping of American biscuits, which are essentially like our English scones. The trick here is not to be too heavy handed with the biscuit mixture so they remain light and fluffy. Any leftover dough can be cut into rounds, placed on a baking tray and baked for 10 minutes at 190°C/gas mark 5. They are delicious warm from the oven, spread with butter and enjoyed as a cook’s treat.

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

1
Preheat the oven to its highest setting
2
Place the peach slices in an ovenproof serving dish (approximately 30cm long). Add the vanilla seeds and pod, lime zest, muscovado sugar, orange zest and juice. Stir gently to combine
3
Turn the oven down to 190°C/gas mark 5. Place the dish in the oven and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the peaches have softened slightly (the length of time will depend on how ripe they are)
4
Meanwhile prepare the cobbler topping. Sift the flour, 30g of the caster sugar, the baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl
5
Add the chilled butter cubes to the mixture and lightly rub into the flour, using your fingertips, until most of it is incorporated. It is fine if there are some small pieces of butter visible
6
Using a butter knife, stir approximately 200ml of the buttermilk into the mixture until everything comes together to form a dough, adding more buttermilk if necessary
7
Gently form a ball with the dough and tip out onto a lightly dusted work surface
8
Pat or gently roll out the dough until it is approximately 2cm thick. Using a 5cm plain pastry cutter dipped in flour, cut out as many biscuits as you can and set aside
9
Add the egg yolk and 1–2 teaspoons of double cream to make an egg wash
10
When the peaches are cooked, remove from the oven, discard the vanilla pod and arrange the biscuits closely together on top of the filling. Brush them with the egg wash, sprinkle with demerara sugar and return to the oven for around 20 minutes until the biscuits are golden
11
Serve warm, with scoops of vanilla ice cream
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Peach cobbler

 
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