Perfect Peach Cobbler, for 2, for 6 or for 12

I’ve been waiting for the Locally-Grown Peaches to show up at our market because I wanted to pay homage to my friend, Marlene Cornelis’ recent cookbook review of Nigella Bites. Because, per her persuasion, I picked up that book and have been enjoying it immensely. Read her excellent review, and get the recipe for Apple & Blackberry Kuchen, which I was going to make with these peaches.
I couldn’t make that delicious-looking Kuchen today, because when my husband saw the peaches, he insisted I make my signature dessert, which he can never get enough of. This is, in his opinion, the perfect peach cobbler. Today, I scaled down the recipe to serve 2 because it’s best right from the oven. (The ingredient list for 6-8 is at the bottom of this post.)
If you can’t get local, fresh peaches, used canned. Really. Peaches from far-away orchards are picked so unripe, they don’t even taste peachy.

Start by mixing up dough for a tiny crust. 

  • Stir together 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon sugar.
  • Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut in 2 tablespoons lard and 1 tablespoon butter.
  • Add one tablespoon beaten egg and 2 tablespoons milk.
  • Stir until all the flour is moistened and form into a ball. Wrap and refrigerate.

And make a light syrup.

  • In a small pot, stir 1/3 cup granulated sugar into 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat.

Now, skin and slice the peaches. 

  • Pour boiling water over 2-3 locally-grown peaches and let sit for 5 minutes.
Peaches bathing.
  • Shock them in some cold water, then cut an X in the top and slip of their skins.
Peaches, undressing.
Peaches undressing.
  • Tip: Hold on the the peach with a paper towel while slicing little crescents away from the pit, letting the fall into your perfect little baking dish (one that holds approximately 2 cups).
Peaches: cutting up.
Peaches cutting up.

Sauce the peaches.

  • Sprinkle over the peaches 3/4 teaspoon instant tapioca, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, a dash of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  • Pour the syrup over to almost fill the dish (you probably won’t use all the syrup) and give a good stir, to distribute the dry ingredients all through the dish.
  • Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. The tapioca will refuse to be rushed. If you’re impatient, you will end up peach soup instead of peach cobbler.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and make the crust.

  • Tearing off small pieces of the pastry, flatten them into your fingers to make uneven thin disks, roughly 2-inch diameter.
Like this.
Like this.
  • Place the pieces on top of the filling, overlapping slightly to form a cobbled-looking crust.
And this.
And this.
  • Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden.
And, oh! This.
And, oh! This.

Cool for 20 minutes and serve with vanilla ice cream, please. 

To serve 12 — the Crust: 2 cups flour; pinch salt; 1 tablespoon baking powder; 1 tablespoon sugar; 1/3 cup (3 ounces) lard; 3 tablespoons (1-1/2 ounces) butter; 1 egg; 1/3 cup milk. (This will make two crusts; if you’re only serving 6 freeze half.)

The Filling for 6: In a 1-1/2 quart baking dish, combing 1 (29-ounce) can sliced peaches in syrup; 1/4 cup brown sugar; 1 tablespoon tapioca; 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; 1 teaspoon raw sugar. (Double recipe and use a 3 quart dish for 12.)

Do you prefer to bake large or small or not at all? If you don’t bake, how DO you satisfy your sweet tooth?

26 thoughts on “Perfect Peach Cobbler, for 2, for 6 or for 12”

  1. Just this weekend I was at our local farmers market in Ann Arbor and I picked up some peaches! I agree with you that there is nothing that tastes quite like a vine ripe locally grown peach. I’m bookmarking this recipe because I don’t have a peach cobbler recipe and it’s a favorite dessert of mine. My grandma used to make it when I was younger and I loved it. Thank you for sharing Tracy and hope all is well with you 🙂

    1. I’m so glad to help you remember your grandmother’s cobbler, Heather. The raw sugar on the crust is certainly something she never did, but it adds another dimension. I always make this with a bit of an attitude, “Not again…. can we ever do something else with peaches? Please?” But then I taste it and think — WOW! No wonder they like this stuff so well. I hope you enjoy your peaches!

  2. I love peaches. I love anything with a crumbly topping… Your advice as to how to peel a peach is very welcome here, I’ve made a real hash of it in the past! I’m not generally a baker but I’d make an exception for this…and my family will be forever grateful 😀

  3. In Colorado, we eagerly await Palisades Peaches from the southwestern slope, and today I was given a sack of early peaches from a friend. Tonight I will make your recipe, Tracy! You’re the best.

  4. I think that’s really good advice – a good canned peach is better than a disappointing one that isn’t quite right. That Kuchen looks wonderful, so beautiful with the fruit on top.

    1. I find the same is true for tomatoes. Both are fragile to ship, and are therefore picked green to be transported any distance. So if fragile produce is not in season locally, and grown locally, I’d rather have canned or frozen than green and gas-ripened.

      1. It is true… sigh… I tried to cut down on my waste (cos I have to take the recycling round the corner myself now) by using fresh instead of canned tomatoes, but the sauces are much thinner and less flavoursome. I may go back to the tins – much more consistent flavour.

        1. The tins do pose a dilemma — the only solution we’ve come up with for that is to have a huge garden, grow our own tomatoes and when they’re perfectly ripe, can them in glass jars, used year after year. We’ve done that in the past But this is one of those times in life when that’s just not possible. And, although we could buy them from our local grower right now, we don’t have the storage room for a years’ worth of jarred tomatoes.

          1. That sounds such a beautiful solution. But at the same time, the pressures and priorities of life mean that it can’t always be. I’m very impressed that you managed it in the past though.

  5. I read this with my morning coffee. Instantly, I wanted peach cobbler for breakfast!
    Thanks for the little trick on peeling the skin.
    Hope you made more than one of these as summer passes.

    1. I’ve been eating the peaches fresh and raw–the cobbler was really good, but I’ve been either too busy, too hot, or too lazy to repeat the production. (Because I know that the winter version, with canned peaches, is nearly as good!)

  6. Thank you for the mention of my book review, Tracy – I do appreciate it! Your peach cobbler sounds and looks so good …. sometimes our plans for baking must take a back seat to the seasonal imperative. Go glad you shared this recipe with us! As for me, I’d probably make the version for 6, and then eat it all by myself. (But not all at once — let’s say in 3 sittings.)

  7. I just read your love story on Pam’s blog and felt bad that we had lost touch, Tracy. So happy you spotted your match made in Heaven with a 25 pound feather knocking the 2 of you down!♡♡
    I like peach cobbler and will try this with apples since i just bought a bag. :)I have been the past 3 weeks using photos on my blog and writing far less words (which I noticed losing people left and right, with too many long essays. Lol!) Take care and enjoy your weekend! Smiles, Robin

    1. Hi, again, Robin. I’ve been taking a bit of a break from blogging, but hope to get back to it when things settle down a little. It’s been quite an intense season, and I’m not sure where I’m going with blogging at the moment; also have so little time to read blogs. But I popped in today, because I miss my friends. I’ll peek at your pictures…

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