(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.