I ate a lot of peaches growing up. We ate plenty of local (Georgia) peaches, but the best selection came (and still comes) from Gaffney, South Carolina, home of the giant peach-shaped water tower. Every couple of weeks during the summer, my mom would drive up to her parents' house in North Carolina and stop by her favorite peach stand in Gaffney. She'd buy as many peaches as she could cram in the car. We'd feast on them for weeks for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and, of course, dessert. I'm pretty sure she still makes a huge purchase every time she drives up and down I-85, even with no kids in the house.
Our family's favorite peach dessert is this dead simple batter-style cobbler we call "cuppa cuppa sticka." There's a "cuppa" self-rising flour, a "cuppa" milk, a "cuppa" sugar, and a "sticka" butter in addition to the fruit and a little vanilla. (It should really have three "cuppas" in the name.) Instead of a two-layer cobbler with fruit on the bottom and a crumble or biscuit on the top, this recipe makes a supremely buttery and moist cake studded with fruit. The butter is melted directly in the pan and isn't mixed into the batter, so it slips and slides around the batter to create these crisp browned edges that truly make the cobbler sing.
Perfectly ripe local peaches are the fruit of choice here, and any variety will work. I often add a handful of blueberries for little bursts of color, which is what I've written here. —Kate Williams
Test Kitchen Notes
This unique dessert with an amazing name celebrates the season's best bounty -- fresh peaches and blueberries -- by bathing them in butter. There's a kind of sweet satisfaction in watching the quick and simple batter of milk, sugar, flour, and vanilla get poured into the pan and then quickly overtaken by a slosh of hot, melted butter, which bubbles up from the bottom and settles itself heavily in pools around the fresh fruit on top. The result -- crisp, chewy edges and a moist, custard-like center -- puts this dessert in the camp of both a buckle and a clafoutis. It's got parts of both, but is entirely neither. Since it's so fruit-and-butter-laden, I'd probably serve this for a decadent brunch, alongside some scrambled eggs and fresh orange juice. —mollydunkncrumble
6 to 8
medium-sized peaches, chopped into bite-sized pieces (about 2 cups)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the butter in a 13x9 baking dish and put it in the oven to melt.
Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in large bowl. Add the milk and vanilla, and whisk gently until smooth. (A couple of teeny tiny lumps are okay, but you want the batter to be as smooth as possible.)
Once the butter is melted and starting to bubble, remove the baking dish from the oven and rotate the dish to coat the bottom and sides with melted butter.
Pour the batter into the hot baking dish. Use a spatula to spread it out along the pan. Butter will slop over the sides of the batter -- this is a good thing. Scatter the peaches and blueberries over the batter.
Bake cobbler until the center is just set and the edges are deep golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Eat hot, warm, room temperature, or cold from the fridge for breakfast the next morning. Vanilla ice cream is a wonderful topping, but not strictly necessary.