I'm known to make a peach cobbler on Labor Day weekend. There is something about a peach cobbler that both reminds me that it is the end of summer and makes me feel like summer is unending. How is that for a paradox? At this time each year the farm down the road has peaches filling their bins. They are practically spilling onto the floor telling me there is an endless, most plentiful supply of summer fruit. Summer indeed! Yet, the leaves are just beginning to turn around here, and I know that apples and squash will soon take over. So, I buy tons of those peaches and I make a dessert that is sweet and indulgent, and when I'm quiet I can hear it whisper, "Relax! It's still summer!"
The farm offers nice big bags of utility peaches for $4.00 a bag, which always inspires me to bake them down into what, for me, feels like the perfect dessert. Don't be horrified if you bite into a utility peach and it tastes like a tasteless sponge with hints of peach. Once those beautifully ripe utility peaches simmer, they will be knock-your-socks-off flavorful. I love how the peaches get soft and even more peachy as they bubble under the biscuit topping. It is best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. This year, we went on a beach adventure (pictures to follow), so the cobbler traveled with us - across the Long Island Sound -to Greenport, NY.
The recipe I use is modified from one that was torn from a newspaper years ago. While I've read peach cobbler recipes that suggest peeling the skins, I really don't see the need since they become soft and almost indistinguishable after it cooks. I just slice the peaches as is -with the skins on- and toss them in a big bowl with the lemon juice.
I use this particular drop biscuit top recipe for berry cobblers too. It is simple and has the perfect balance of butter, sweet, dough.
modified from a recipe torn from a local newspaper insert
8 medium peaches - sliced with skins on
1 t fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 T cornstarch
1/2 t cinnamon
Drop biscuit top
1 1/2 ounces chilled butter
1 cup flour
2 T sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss sliced peaches with lemon juice. Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and then toss with the peaches. Put in a buttered baking dish and bake until hot and bubbling. In my oven, this takes about 25-35 minutes depending on how many peaches I've used.
While peaches are baking, prepare biscuit topping. Put all dry ingredients and chilled butter in a food processor and pulse until it is crumbly. Alternatively, you can use two forks or a pastry blender to combine. Put crumbly mixture into a mixing bowl and gently whisk in the milk. Be mindful not to over-mix.
Drop biscuit topping onto the hot peaches and bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.