The peach man at the farmers market and I have become friendly this summer. Twice a week, I stop in for a basket of his stand’s fat peaches, juicy orbs that fall off their pits when cut and drip onto your chin when bitten.
What’re you making today? he asks, knowing the likely answer, More cobbler. Every cook’s recipe collection should include at least one good cobbler. All the recipes start with a fruit base, some times peaches, often apples, pears or even apricots, occasionally mixed with berries.
Then the recipes diverge.
Most call for mounds of sweet biscuit baked on top, others for a coat of butter-laden, sugar-sweetened oatmeal or nuts or both. They are both so good but pack on calories.
The cobbler I’ve been longing for is one where the fruit can shine, one you might eat every day if you were careful, one with a small measure of crunch and richness.
And I found it.
Better still, I discovered Peach Uncobbler, all fruit, no topping, and deliciously virtuous. (Or would that be virtuously delicious?)
Try one, try both. Either way, your answer will become, More cobbler, please.
Time-to-table: 80 minutes
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Zest from ½ lemon
- 1 tablespoon fruity liqueur (such as Gran Marnier) or lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon fruity spice such as ginger, cinnamon or nutmeg
- 3 large ripe peaches (about 1½ pounds)
- ½ cup flour (whole wheat is good)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup toasted pecans, optional
OPTIONAL COBBLER TOPPING
Preheat oven to 425F.
Mix sugar, lemon zest, liqueur, cornstarch and spice in a large bowl. Halve peaches, remove pits and cut into bite-size pieces. (See ALANNA’s TIPS.) Stir fruit into sugar mixture. Transfer to four one-cup ramekins. Place in oven for the number of minutes left to preheat the oven plus an additional 10 minutes. (To continue without a cobbler topping, bake another 25 minutes until peaches are cooked and bubbly.)
Mix the cobbler topping’s dry ingredients in a small bowl, then mix in butter with your fingers, then add the nuts. Arrange evenly atop the peaches, bake another 25 minutes.
Let cool 30 minutes before serving.
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