Cake

A Peach Cobbler That's Maybe Cake and Definitely Bakes in a Pool of Butter

August 23, 2016

Many families’ heirloom recipes start on handwritten recipe cards. Most of mine come from foodnetwork.com.

Trisha Yearwood and her sister made a cobbler on the family fish fry episode of Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. Nodding to their Georgia roots, it's a peach cobbler. The peaches come from a can. I wouldn’t have kept watching, but my mom did.

Amidst the personalities chit-chatting about how they like to stay inside and bake—because a horseshoe might get hurled at them out by the grill—and about serving “man-sized scoops” of cobbler, a thin, golden, peach-jeweled cake appears. It doesn’t look like cobbler that I know, but it is “quick and easy,” they say, more than once.

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My mom managed to see through the shit-shooting, and she made this dessert part of our summer dessert rotation—with fresh peaches. Whereas schlumpf is 50/50 fruit to topping, buckle 25/75, and pandowdy 75/25, this Southern style of cobbler is 75% caramelly fruit cake and 25% best end-pieces ever.

An entire stick of butter melts in a pan in a preheating oven while sugar-sprinkled peaches effuse their juices in a separate bowl. Then, that peach syrup is strained and used to sweeten a pancake-like batter, which is finally poured over the butter pooling in the hot pan. The reserved, slightly slouched peaches get placed with precision or abandon atop. As the cobbler bakes for an hour, the batter poufs around the peaches, but the butter to batter ratio is such that all that could become “moist cake” instead browns into a crisp caramel chew.

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Top Comment:
“Alas my mother did not leave behind a recipe for a peach cake that was a family favorite. It is so simple I don’t know why my sister or I did not just make one anyway. But Arthur Swartz’s peach crostata to the rescue. A shortbread cookie style crust, topped with a layer of peaches (we always sliced them). Add a good dusting of nutmeg and surround in an egg custard. Peaches baked in custard are divine. It fact it recently occurred to me to ditch the crust and just bake peaches in custard. ”
— caninechef
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For optimum caramelliness, I use brown sugar instead of white and have been known to leave the butter in the oven long after it's melted—it’s this nutty sweetness that makes this cobbler (cake? cobbler-cake?) about more than rescuing fruit from beneath a mountain range of topping.

Every time I’ve made it, plates and forks were traded for fingers ripping from the pan. One time, it didn’t make it to dinner—instead eaten on the car ride there.

Whipped cream, vanilla ice cream: They’re clearly incidental.

What's your best from-TV recipe? Spill the beans in the comments!

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14 Comments

Sian D. November 18, 2016
I accidentally made this with masa harina instead of SR flour (when I realised, I mixed some baking powder into the dough too) and ... it was ok. Not a disaster. Probably not what it was meant to taste like tho.
 
Susan September 3, 2016
Best TV recipe...Martha Stewart's No knife spaghetti. Fresh extra ripe tomatoes, smashed with garlic, olive oil, fresh basil and oregano. Stirred into hot cooked spaghetti , tossed with fresh mozzarella..topped with Parmesan ....
 
Regine August 30, 2016
BrotherCadfael, this is not my recipe but quite a few peach cobbler recipes seem to NOT have eggs, so the way the recipe is written as is is probably accurate. However, of course, only Ali Slagle can confirm. I am looking forward myself to making it in the next few days.
 
brothercadfael August 30, 2016
Thanks!!
 
brothercadfael August 29, 2016
I don't understand what's going on - I thought we were supposed to be discussing the actual recipe And being supportive of our common interest in cooking. I have yet to receive a response about whether or not there should be eggs ?
 
Chelsey August 29, 2016
K and K - She has not said anything inappropriate or mean! She's hinted at her point of view (something she should feel like she can share), and she's a bit pretentious, but..not mean.
 
K A. August 28, 2016
This post has inappropriate and mean comments towards the Food Network. Such arrogant posts makes me cringe and not want to follow Food 52.
 
Elizabeth August 28, 2016
Ali, Thank you for this recipe. I changed it a wee bit more... see my recent recipe post:<br />http://springssmallbusinessmarketing.com/wp/2016/08/peach-cobbler/<br />Thank you for the inspiration. And the cobbler is so yummy!
 
Gwen P. August 24, 2016
My momma made this cobbler 50 years ago. She got the recipe from the school lunch lady. Some call it Cuppa, Cuppa, Cuppa Cobbler. If you have a can of peaches in the pantry you can fix it anytime! I like your suggestion of using less sugar.
 
brothercadfael August 23, 2016
Does this have any eggs in it?
 
Author Comment
Ali S. August 29, 2016
No eggs! (Apologies for the delay.)
 
Alisa R. August 23, 2016
Yes.. that's my (southern US) grandma's recipe too. Although we use a cup of sugar (eek!) and never considered anything but fresh peaches (or berries). <br />And yes, the corners are to fight and/or die for!
 
Shannon E. August 23, 2016
I have a baked-good-filled-with-fruit recipe that can be the fall companion to this summer goodness. It is ALSO from TV and ALSO from Food Network! One of my favorite shows airing right now is The Kitchen, and one of the hosts is Katie Lee. She got her foodie-break as the host of the FIRST season of Bravo's Top Chef before Padma came in and changed the game, but now she has a cookbook of summer food and is delightful on The Kitchen.<br />Anyway, one episode she made an apple galette that she calls "Rustic Apple Pie Crostata" and I've now made that thing like, 50 times. It is so easy and so good. The best is when the apple syrup bursts out the side of the crust in the oven and caramelizes under he dough...omg. I'm drooling just thinking about it. It's one of my favorite things to make in the fall when apples are so amazing! I like to homemake the pie crust and use extra cinnamon just cause I love it so much. <br />http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/katie-lee/rustic-apple-pie-crostata.html
 
caninechef August 23, 2016
Not from TV but from NYC radio (Arthur Swartz). Alas my mother did not leave behind a recipe for a peach cake that was a family favorite. It is so simple I don’t know why my sister or I did not just make one anyway. But Arthur Swartz’s peach crostata to the rescue. A shortbread cookie style crust, topped with a layer of peaches (we always sliced them). Add a good dusting of nutmeg and surround in an egg custard. Peaches baked in custard are divine. It fact it recently occurred to me to ditch the crust and just bake peaches in custard.