As the humid summer heat intensifies, the bounty of the ripe, juicy fruit is the very best form of relief.
While there’s no wrong way to eat a peach, summer simply cannot pass without baking peaches into a sweet Southern cobbler. Fresh summer peaches are so ripe and sweet that they need little more than to be sliced and covered with a pillowy cream biscuit topping.
Fresh peach filling
A peach cobbler is all about the fresh fruit — three pounds of ripe peaches, to be exact. The freshly cut fruit may form a mound above the rim of the baking dish, but it will collapse and concentrate as it bakes. It takes little more than a sprinkle of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract to let the natural sweetness of in-season peaches shine. Freshly squeezed lemon juice balances the fruit, adding the spark of acidity that makes you want another spoonful, while cornstarch thickens the natural juices into a luscious, bubbling sauce.
Making the biscuit topping
Southern biscuits rely on butter, buttermilk and a light-handed technique for their tender and flaky layers. Cream biscuits are a simpler cousin, relying on full-fat heavy cream instead of butter and buttermilk. Like other quick breads, the dry ingredients, including flour, salt, sugar, and leavening, are whisked together first before stirring in the cream and forming a wet dough. Use an ice cream scoop to portion the dough evenly across the cobbler. Sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar to give the lightly sweetened cream biscuits a golden crust.
Easy Peach Cobbler
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
8 medium peaches (about 3 pounds), pitted and sliced about 1/2-inch thick
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 tbsp. coarse sugar, such as turbinado or demerara
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375 F. Coat a nine-inch pie plate or 8-by-8-inch baking dish with the butter.
Make the fruit filling. Add the peaches, granulated sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and vanilla, and toss to combine.
Make the cobbler dough. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in 1 cup of the cream, then slowly stir in the remaining cream a little at a time until a wet, but not runny, dough forms. You’ll use 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups of the cream.
Drop heaping spoonfuls of the dough evenly over the fruit, covering the cobbler. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Place the baking dish on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until the fruit bubbles and the topping is golden and cooked through, 50 to 60 minutes.
Cool cobbler for 30 minutes. Let the cobbler cool on a wire rack at least 30 minutes before serving.