Peach Cobbler with a Wonderful Batter Topping

August 25, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Most of the batter cobblers remind me of cake or bread. After testing a few, I found this recipe in an old Cook's Illustrated magazine published in 1996, which they adapted from New Southern Cooking (Knopf, 1986). I like this batter because it has a very nice contrast between a thin crisp topping and tender fruit. This batter can be used in all kind of cobblers with fruit and berries. When I use a less amount of fruit, I bake this cobbler in 8-inch square or 9-inch round pan. The vanilla, orange zest and candied ginger are my additions. —Kukla

What You'll Need
  • • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • • 3/4 cup sugar , plus 1 tablespoon
  • • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • • 3 large or 4 medium firm ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/4inch-thick wedges
  • • 1/2 cup candied ginger, chopped in small pieces (optional)
  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Put butter in 11x7x2-inches; set in oven to melt.
  2. Whisk flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in small bowl. Add milk, orange zest and vanilla; whisk until just incorporated into dry ingredients.
  3. When butter has melted, remove pan from oven. Pour batter into pan over melted butter DO NOT STIR; then arrange peaches and ginger (if using) trying not to disturb the batter.
  4. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until batter browns, about 40 to 50 minutes.
  5. Serve warm with a dollop of unsweetened cream, ice cream or crème fraîche.
  6. Note: Although the original recipe is not calling for peeling the peaches, I quickly blanched and peeled them because after the cobbler is baked, most of the time the peel comes of any way.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Mary K Simpson-Smith
    Mary K Simpson-Smith
  • Kukla
  • Sybil
  • Charleen

8 Reviews

Mary K. October 8, 2020
Everything that was mentioned that could go wrong in other reviews happened to me as well. I am so sad but it reinforces my previous reason for reading reviews BEFORE I make the recipe! What a sad waste of ingredients, especially since I doubled the recipe. I'm sad. Live and learn! I'm happy for those of you who came out with an edible offering for your loved ones!
Charleen October 28, 2019
This was blindingly sweet. Followed the recipe exactly but it was only 3/4" deep. Nicely browned crispy top but underneath was a doughy mess. The whole thing ended up in the trash with the recipe going into the recycle bin. This isn't even worth trying to rehab.
ED June 23, 2014
I made this batter cobbler from the original Cook's Illustrated recipe--I subscribe there too. I used *double* the amount of fruit they called for -- a quart instead of 2 cups -- and it was perfect, IMO, and meant the cake stayed moist while still brown on top.

ljb September 4, 2011
I have to say, I made this and it didn't turn out very well. Didn't taste like a crisp to me. The batter was cake like, dry. But this might just be an issue of personal preference.
Kukla September 6, 2011
I am very sorry. I think it could be a couple of reasons why this cobbler didn’t come out as the recipe and I promised: 1. your oven needs to be at a higher temperature, 2. when you poured the batter on top of the melted butter, they did got mixed together, 3. the baking dish wasn’t large enough, 4. the peaches were overripe.
Those are the reasons I could think of. There is so little flour comparing to a good amount of butter that I can’t understand why it came out cakey, and the tablespoon of sugar which is sprinkled on the top, also makes the top even crispier.
Thank you for the comment.
Sybil June 8, 2015
My mom taught all of the girls in our family recipes that had been passed down for generations. She grew up in Oklahoma in a family that was many,so you couldn't waste food. She used to bake her cobbler in a cast iron skillet, melt the one cube of butter in the skillet add the topping while it is screaming hot, than the fruit poured right into the center. the heat of the skillet would give the topping very crunchy round the edges, and the butter would exsorb into the crust, when you pour the fruit in make sure it is real hot and plenty of juice the crust will soak it up. I live right in the middle of the CA. Fruit Bowl-so I get the best of the fruit right out of the tree and right out of the field. Take advantage of your Farmers Markets, and local fruit stands while they are in season. I have a cobbler of peaches and nectarines and cherries going right now. I wish I could share.

Kukla June 8, 2015
Thanks Sybil for the lovely comment! I envy you for living so close to all that best and freshest produce, but when I bake or cook something special, I try to find the best it is available in grocery stores.
Mary K. October 8, 2020
Thank you, Kukla. I think my peaches were too ripe and the temp of my oven a tad low. Also, if I had made a thicker batter it would have been able to soak up more of the liquid? Like I said before, "Live & learn," right? :)