Last Thursday was July 4th and an American friend of mine had a gathering to celebrate. I made this peach cobbler – I found a recipe in the July issue of Delicious – as I figured a dish from the deep south was as good as any to take to a 4th event. I was also arriving late so dessert was the logical thing to take and it had to be peach based, because, you know, I’m currently obsessed with peaches. It’s a beautiful summer dessert, perfect eaten late in the evening, as the sun is finally setting and it’s cooling off. We ate it late, after hot dogs and smores, in plastic cups…
Apparently cobblers came about with early British settlers. Some of what I read said cobblers emerged because settlers didn’t have ingredients for desserts like steamed puddings and cobbler was a compromise, but others write that cobblers were a variation on pie, which the British had been able to make in brick ovens and which they adjusted to cooking over open flame in America. A pot was filled with fruit and then a dough was placed on top, the lid was put on and it was cooked over a fire. Cobblers became popular in the South, where peaches were abundant. It doesn’t really matter does it? Although food history is fascinating. Cobblers are different from crumbles or crisps, the latter are made with oats and cobblers have batters that are more like scone mix (the Americans would say biscuits).
As I said before, my recipe is adapted from the July Delicious magazine, which had a whole special on American food. I used lime in my peaches and sour cream in the batter as well as half gluten-free self-raising flour.
Adapted from Delicious Magazine
100g golden caster sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
zest of 1 lemon and 1 lime
100ml sour cream
80ml whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
150g gluten-free self-raising flour
60g golden caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
90g unsalted butter, cold
The peaches need to be blanched in boiling water and then refreshed in ice cold water. This will allow you to peel them easily. I put them into the boiling water for about a minute and then put them into the ice water. They then need to be stoned and sliced. (No one wants peach skin or stones in a cobbler.)
Preheat the oven to 180C. You can lightly grease a deep ovenproof dish – I used a glass pie dish (24cm) and didn’t grease it.
In a bowl, toss the peach slices together with the 100g golden caster sugar, cornflour, and lime and lemon zest’s. Place them in the pie dish and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
Whisk the egg, cream, milk and vanilla together in a bowl.
In another bowl, mix together the 60g golden caster sugar, flours, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt. Rub the butter into this mixture, until it resembles crumbs and becomes golden in colour. Add the liquid mixture to this and form a dough. Take the peaches out of the oven and dot balls of dough over.
Bake for about 40 minutes, until the top is golden and the peach juices bubble up around the edges. Serve with ice cream or cream.