World’s Simplest Cobbler

(This is a big old cobbler with lots of peaches before baking.  Photo courtesy of Jason Perlow.  I don’t have a shot of the finished product, so you’ll just have to make it to see how good it looks!)

People love them some cobbler.  I knew I made a lot of people happy when I recently posted my recipe for Bill Neal’s Four Berry Cobbler, which certainly wasn’t a secret (I don’t believe in secret recipes, quite honestly — especially for home cooks).  But that’s not the only type of cobbler I make: one of my favorite desserts is a simple peach cobbler where the crust makes itself.  Yup, you don’t have to make a biscuit dough and cobble it on top — you  start with a simple cake-like batter that creates its own crust as you bake.  It’s extraordinarily simple, and you really can use any kind of fruit you want, but I prefer peaches.

This recipe came from the wonderful cookbook, Coastal Carolina Cooking, which is very near and dear to me because the first chapter focuses on my wife’s late grandparents, Emest and Katherine Taylor, from the Currituck County town of Maple (population 50, including livestock).  This cookbook is a treasure trove of wonderful stories and great recipes, but the one I use more than anything else is the one for Cherry Cobbler.  And I rarely make it with cherries.

My wife actually made this recipe for me one day, using some peaches that I had cut up for no real reason.  This was significant for two reasons.  First, my wife doesn’t cook.  She especially doesn’t bake, unless it’s a boxed cake.  The second significance was the flavor of the cobbler.  It was nearly identical to a dessert my own grandmother used to make, a dish she called Peach Roll.  This was a painstakingly difficult dessert to make, requiring multiple steps, resulting in a fluffy cake-ish dough with sweet, almost caramel-like peaches.  It was my favorite dessert my grandmother made, but I rarely made it myself.  It just took too much time.  But with my first taste of Mrs. Varmint’s cobbler recipe, I couldn’t stop grinning.  The flavors and textures were remarkably similar to Grandma’s Peach Roll, but this was so easy my wife could make it.  Hot Damn!

So, here’s the recipe for the world’s simplest cobbler.  Even if you’ve never baked in your life, you can make it.

World’s Simplest Peach Cobbler

  • 6 Tbsp salted butter (it’s better tasting with the salt in this recipe)
  • 2 cups peeled and sliced peaches
  • 1-1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup self rising flour (or use all purpose flour plus 1 tsp. baking powder)

Preheat oven to 350°.  Melt butter in a deep dish pie pan in the oven while it’s heating.  Toss 1/4 cup of sugar with peaches.  Whisk together remaining sugar, flour and milk.  Pour batter into pie pan once butter is melted.  Add fruit to the batter, distributing evenly, but do not stir.  Bake for 50-60 minutes until a deep golden brown.  Serve warm with ice cream.  Can also use with berries and cherries.


12 Responses to World’s Simplest Cobbler

  1. Moose says:

    This is very similar to the No-Brainer Cobbler that I wrote about years ago and still get requests for (just this week, in fact). I use regular flour and leavenings, plus I add a little vanilla. A peach-blueberry combo is stellar, too. I’ve used and 8×8 pan, too. No need to worry about storage.

  2. Rochelle says:

    Debbie, what are the proportions if you don’t have self-rising flour on hand? I don’t keep it around, and neither does my Mom, and I’m thinking of making this for 4 July when we all get together.

  3. Varmint says:

    Just add a teaspoon of baking powder to your all purpose flour. I’ve modified the recipe accordingly.

  4. Maura says:

    Cobblers, crisps, crumbles, pies. It doesn’t matter. Just give me peaches in some way, shape or form. This sounds great, Varmint.

  5. Varmint says:

    “Millions of peaches, peaches for me. Millions of peaches, peaches for free!”

    Peaches, by The Presidents of the United States of America

  6. Moose says:

    Here’s my version, which is quite similar to Varmint’s. I’ve been told this recipe is like a “sonker,” which is a deep-dish fruit dessert popular in the Mt. Airy area. They have a sonker festival every year. The most popular sonker there is a sweet potato version, believe it or not!


    3/4 stick butter
    1 cup flour
    2/3 cup sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup milk
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1 egg
    2 cups peeled and chopped ripe fresh or frozen and thawed yellow peaches

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the butter in an 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish and melt.

    Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, mix together milk, vanilla and egg. Pour liquid mixture into flour mixture and stir well to combine and no lumps remain. Pour the mixture over the melted butter in the baking dish. Evenly sprinkle peaches over the top.

    Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

    Serves 6.

  7. Rochelle says:

    Awesome. Thanks ya’ll.

  8. VaNC says:

    Came home from the beach today with a big bag of fresh cherries and found that hubby had bought a big bag too, while the kids and I were gone. So, we had people over and made the cherry version of this tonight. It was wonderful. I think my favorite thing about this cobbler is the chewy corners.

    I have to get a cherry pitter though, as I made the mistake of trying my knife-smashing method of olive pitting on cherries tonight with a white shirt on. Luckily, it was an old shirt!

  9. Maura says:

    Varmint, I made this with blueberries a few days ago. An easier recipe, I’ve never seen.

    I used 1/4″ tsp. of salt, as I don’t have salted butter in the house; and, on Moose’s recommendation, an 8″x8″ baking pan. It was terrific. The edges were crusty and sticky, a good thing in this house. I was expecting the batter to be like a biscuit (I have no idea why. I just did), but it’s kind of cakey, also a very good thing.

    There are some nice peaches at our corner grocery story (King’s Red and White, for Durham locals), so I think I’ll be making this again soon. And by soon, I mean within the next 24 hours.

    Thank you for this recipe, Varmint. Sometimes I want a pie but I’m too lazy to make a crust. This is just as good, maybe better.

  10. it’s realy peerless

  11. moose says:

    I didn’t note in my recipe, but I use unsalted butter, usually. I’ve also used unsalted, lactose-free margarine when the dairy-allergic husband wants to indulge. Although, why, since there’s milk, I don’t know. I made one last night for a dinner party with blackberries, topped it with vanilla ice cream. The only fruit that I have not found satisfactory in this recipe is apples. That might be me – I expect a more apple crisp crunchy top when I’m using apples.

  12. karen says:

    my mom use to make a strawberry cobbler in a big pot and bake it, i just wish that i would have watched her more when she made it so i would know how to do it. do you have a recipe close to this?

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