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It’s probably not summer season till you’ve scooped recent peach cobbler onto an already-overloaded paper plate at a yard BBQ. The traditional summer season dessert of juicy recent peaches and candy cake (or pastry!) is one in all the solely causes I’ll get close to my oven in the warmth of July or August.
To me, the excellent peach cobbler is filled with peak-season fruit lined in a candy, buttery topping. It doesn’t matter whether or not that topping is extra like pie crust, cake, or a biscuit: As lengthy because it’s crisp and golden-brown, I’m pleased.
In this recipe showdown, I needed to search out the secret to the excellent peach cobbler. Does pie crust, biscuit dough, or cake batter make the greatest cobbler? Do peak summer season peaches style greatest with sugar and spices, or only a squeeze of lemon? What’s the greatest proportion of peach to pastry? I went into the kitchen to search out out.
I started by narrowing my search to recipes that used recent peaches. Many standard cobblers are made with canned or frozen fruit, however throughout peak peach season in July and August, recent is the solely strategy to go. I’ve eaten a fair proportion of cobblers throughout the South, and people topped with pie crust are simply as genuine and scrumptious as these baked with biscuits or cake batter. Because of that, I included recipes that showcased quite a lot of toppings.
It doesn’t get simpler than Southern Living’s four-step recipe, the place recent peaches simmer with sugar and lemon juice till tender and syrupy. Then, in the comforting custom of dump truffles, you layer melted butter, the syrupy peaches, and a simple cake batter in a baking pan — with out stirring any of it collectively.
Garden & Gun’s peach cobbler flavors the peaches with heat spices like ginger, allspice, and cinnamon, after which tops them with tangy buttermilk biscuits. I had by no means made a cobbler with so many heat spices, and I used to be curious to know if it was the secret I’d been in search of.
Renee Erikson’s recipe for peach cobbler is like nothing I’ve seen earlier than. This recipe requires twice the quantity of peaches of any recipe in the showdown and flavors them with simply lemon zest and juice. Cake batter is unfold over the high of the peaches, then showered with a layer of granulated sugar. Just earlier than baking, you drizzle scorching water over the whole dish. It would both be good or go horribly incorrect, and I couldn’t wait to search out out.
- How I Tested the Peach Cobbler Recipes
- 1. The Best Cobbler If You Like More Crust than Fruit: Garden & Gun’s Peach Cobbler
- 2. The Ultimate Pie-Cobbler Hybrid: Edna Lewis’ Fresh Peach Cobbler with Nutmeg Sauce
- 3. The Game-Changing Technique: Renee Erikson’s Peach Cobbler
- 4. The One to Put on Repeat: Southern Living’s Fresh Peach Cobbler
How I Tested the Peach Cobbler Recipes
I ready every of the 4 recipes on the similar day precisely as written. I tasted all of them at room temperature, and once more after being reheated in a low oven. I used the similar model of sugar, flour (aside from the recipe that referred to as for self-rising flour), butter, vanilla, and many others. to restrict the variables between recipes. I bought recent peaches of comparable ripeness from the similar grocer on a single day.
1. The Best Cobbler If You Like More Crust than Fruit: Garden & Gun’s Peach Cobbler
In my seek for the excellent peach cobbler, I used to be in search of a recipe during which the recent peaches took heart stage. But on this recipe, the tangy buttermilk crust was the star, leaving me looking out with each spoonful for extra peach items. The taste of the delicate candy summer season fruit was additionally overwhelmed by a trio of heavy spices, making it higher suited to autumn.
That mentioned, the cobbler got here collectively rapidly and the biscuit-Iike topping was tremendous tasty — comfortable and tender with a slight tang from the buttermilk. So if you happen to like your cobbler heavy on the topping and lightweight on the fruit, that is the recipe for you.
2. The Ultimate Pie-Cobbler Hybrid: Edna Lewis’ Fresh Peach Cobbler with Nutmeg Sauce
I’ve made and loved a lot of Edna Lewis’ recipes, and now I understand why everyone loves this one, too. Piling the peaches between two layers of lard-based pie crust means you don’t have to choose between pie and cobbler! Plus, the golden lattice crust makes for a beautiful presentation. This cobbler was also the smallest of the bunch, which makes it great for a weeknight dessert.
My only qualm is that while the top crust was flaky, the bottom crust remained doughy because of the juicy peach filling. Next time, I’ll skip the sauce (the cobbler was sweet enough without it) and just add the nutmeg and orange zest to the peach filling.
3. The Game-Changing Technique: Renee Erikson’s Peach Cobbler
Seattle-based chef and restauranteur Renee Erikson inherited this recipe when she took over the now-shuttered Boat Street Cafe from Susan Kaplan. It was the only recipe of the four that didn’t require peeling the peaches, and now I’m forever a convert. The skins gave the peach pieces a rosy sunset hue and, to my surprise, they didn’t give the filling an unappealing texture. This recipe called for way more peaches than any of the other recipes, and you know I’m here for that! Flavoring the peaches with just lemon zest and juice also let their sweet, floral flavor shine.
The most intriguing part of this recipe, however, is its hot-water and sugar crust. You spread cake batter over the peaches, sprinkle with sugar, then pour water on top, which I’ve gotta say just feels wrong when you do it. I pressed on in the name of science and was richly rewarded. The water helped the sugar melt into the topping, creating a crackly crust with tender cake and juicy peaches underneath.
The only reason this recipe didn’t receive a perfect score? You have to pull out a stand mixer to mix the topping, which means more dishes to wash.
4. The One to Put on Repeat: Southern Living’s Fresh Peach Cobbler
When I think of peach cobbler, this is the dessert I imagine scooping onto my plate in the late-afternoon sun. Start with melted butter in a baking dish, then pour in a milky-sweet batter. Fresh, sweet peaches are cooked with lemon and sugar until tender and syrupy, and spooned on top of the batter. And here’s the key to success: Do not stir! As the layers bake, the magic happens; the fruit sinks and the batter bubbles up and over the peaches until it’s puffed and golden.
I couldn’t believe how quickly and easily it came together, requiring no extra equipment or specialty ingredients. Plus, it makes enough to feed a crowd, and highlights the best in peak summer peaches. If you’re looking for a true taste of summer, look no further than this recipe.
Do you have a favorite peach cobbler recipe? Tell us in the comments.