This Peach Cobbler recipe comes to you from a Southern lady I know who is everything you imagine a Southern lass to be: a big personality, big laugh, big heart, and a very (very!) big appetite for life and food.
You’ll love how the syrup is made using peach juices, rather than just a plain sugar syrup. Peach flavour to the max!
Fruit cobbler is a traditional American dessert that pushes everybody’s comfort food-lovin’ buttons. Peach cobbler especially is a solid favourite, particularly in the Deep South.
There’s two main types of peach clobbers – those with a batter topping, and the ones with the American biscuit / Aussie scone type toppings.
I way prefer the latter. It’s kind of crumbly on the outside and fluffy on the inside, wafting with the smell of cinnamon. The topping is a perfect match for soft, juicy and warm peaches swimming beneath in a peach syrup that’s not too sweet!
What you need for the Peach Cobbler Filling
First up, here’s what you need for the peach filling (hint – it involves big fat juicy ripe PEACHES! 😂):
Peaches – As emphasised above, ripe and juicy is the key here!
This recipe will work beautifully as written with other stone fruits, including white peaches, nectarines and plums.
As for canned peaches (because I do not blame you if you can’t wait until summer to try this!), they will work just fine too. Just read the recipes notes for how to adjust the recipe to use canned peaches.
Sugar – This is tossed with the peach slices to make them sweat so they drip peach juices. The juices are then used to make the syrup for this Peach Cobbler. Because a peach syrup that tastes of peaches trumps plain and bland sugar syrup any day … and twice over during summer!
Cornflour / cornstarch – This is used to thicken the peach juices to turn it into a syrup that coats the peaches.
Lemon – For a touch of tang that balances the sweetness. It doesn’t make the syrup sour, it just adds freshness.
Salt – As with almost everything sweet just a touch of salt brings out the flavours.
Ingredients for Peach Cobbler Topping
And here’s what you need for the topping for the Peach Cobbler:
Flour – The recipe calls for plain flour but you can substitute with self-raising flour if that’s what you’ve got. Just skip the baking powder and baking soda.
Baking powder and baking soda (bi-carb) – Yes, this is one of those irritating recipes that calls for both but for good reason. I personally think the combination makes the topping lighter and better than just using one or the other. The baking soda is more powerful than baking powder so it gives a boost to the rise when it first goes in the oven.
Butter – OOPS! Missing from the photo! 🙂 Cold cubes of unsalted butter are rubbed into the flour to make the topping dough. It’s just as you would do for Southern biscuits / Aussie scones which is essentially what the topping for this peach cobbler is.
Yogurt – Adds wetness into the batter without making it thin. We want a really thick batter so it can be “crumbled” across the surface of the cobbler.
Sugar – For sweetness. Not too much, just 1/3 cup. We’re mainly relying on the natural sweetness from the peaches!
Demerara sugar – This is a larger-grained type of sugar with a light toffee taste, sprinkled across the surface to add a nice textural crunch! If you don’t have it, any sugar you have is fine.
Cinnamon – Also for the topping. The hint of cinnamon here is just divine!
How to make Peach Cobbler
The nice thing about this peach cobbler is how the peach juices are used to make the syrup for the dish. There are easier and quicker recipes out there that don’t do this step but believe me when I say it makes it taster!!
Peel and slice peaches – Peel then halve the peaches. Remove the stone and cut each half into 4 wedges (so each peach gets cut into 8 wedges in total);
Macerate – Toss peaches in sugar then leave for 40 minutes to let them sweat. This is called macerating. If they are ripe and juicy, they should drop plenty of juices!
Drain – Drain peaches in a colander set over a bowl.
1/4 cup peach juice – Measure out 1/4 cup of the peach juices and pour it back into the bowl. If you are short, top it up – preferably with peach juice, otherwise with water. But if you used ripe peaches, you should not have this problem!
Syrup for cobbler – Mix the reserved peach juice with cornflour and lemon juice.
Toss peaches in syrup – Then add the drained peaches and toss to coat.
Baking dish – Pour the peaches and juice into a medium glass or ceramic baking pan – mine is a 28 x 18cm / 11 x 7″ oval. It is best not to use a metal pan as it may turn the peaches brown.
Parbake – Bake for 12 minutes, then remove from the oven. The purpose of this step is to give the peaches a head start because they take longer to cook than the topping.
While the peaches are in the oven, get started on the topping!
Topping and assembling
The topping for this Peach Cobbler is made much in the same manner as American biscuits / Aussie scones. Because that’s essentially what it is!
Rub in butter: Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine. Then rub the cold butter in with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Alternatively, use a food processor – about 10 x 1 sec pulses.
Mixture after adding butter: This is what it should look like after rubbing the butter in.
Gently fold through yoghurt: Add yoghurt and gently mix through with rubber spatula until dough is formed. Stop mixing when the yoghurt is mostly mixed through with some streaks of flour still visible (they will disappear when topping).
Use a light touch. Not overworking the batter is essential here so you don’t end up with a tough, dry topping!
Top peaches: Crumble big lumps of the topping across the surface. Don’t fully cover the surface or else the syrup won’t reduce and thicken.
Sprinkle with demerara sugar and cinnamon.
Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from oven. The cobbler is done when an instant-read thermometer shows the centre of the biscuit topping as 95°C/203°F and the top is a lovely golden colour.
The exact cook time depends on how thick the biscuit layer is so it is best to use a thermometer. But if you don’t have one, just check by breaking the topping open in the middle.
Rest for 20 minutes to allow syrup to thicken. Don’t worry, it will still be perfectly warm for serving.
Peach cobbler ready to be baked Peach cobbler fresh out of the oven
As with all warm pudding-like desserts, serving with ice cream is absolutely not optional! I pretend that cream is an acceptable alternative (I even suggest it in the recipe to tick that box), but it’s a filthy lie. Cream is a poor substitute.
Because nothing, I repeat nothing, can beat the combination of creamy, cold ice cream melting all over a warm dessert. Especially when that warm dessert is a Peach Cobbler! – Nagi x
PS. Just a reminder to fellow Aussies and others shivering through winter with not a local peach in sight, this can be made with canned peaches! Otherwise, try my other warm winter puddings: Apple Crumble, Butterscotch Pudding, Sticky Date, Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding, Baked Apples or Rice Pudding!
Watch how to make it
- 1.5kg / 3lb (8) yellow peaches (ripe and juicy!), peeled, stone removed, cut into eight wedges (Note 1)
- 1/4 cup caster / superfine sugar
- 1 tsp cornflour / cornstarch
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (plus more as desired)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups flour , plain/all purpose
- 1/3 cup caster / superfine sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (bi-carb) (or extra 1 1/2 tsp baking powder)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 85g / 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup plain yoghurt (or sour cream), full fat
- 1 tsp demerara sugar (Note 3)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- Ice cream or whipped cream
- Macerate peaches: Put peaches and sugar in a large bowl and toss together. Leave for 40 minutes to macerate, to let the peaches leach juice and sweat.
- Preheat oven: Partway through the maceration, preheat oven to 210°C/410°F (200°C fan).
- Drain peaches: Drain in a colander, saving the juices.
- Syrup: Measure out 1/4 cup (65ml) juice and put in a large bowl. Add cornflour, salt and 1 tbsp of the lemon juice to the peach juice. Mix well.
- Mix with peaches: Pour peaches into the syrup, toss to coat. Taste – it should be a bit tart, slightly sweet, but not overly sweet. Add more lemon or sugar to adjust to your taste (fresh peaches always vary in sweetness!).
- Parbake peaches: Pour the peaches and juice into a medium glass or ceramic baking pan. Mine is a 28 x 18cm / 11 x 7" oval dish (Note 2). Bake 12 minutes, then remove.
- Rub in butter: Meanwhile, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine. Add butter and rub it in with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs (Alternatively, food processor via 10 x 1-sec pulses).
- Gently fold through yogurt: Add yogurt and gently mix through with rubber spatula until a dough is formed. Stop mixing when yogurt is mostly mixed through with some streaks of flour still visible (they will disappear when topping).
- Top peaches: Crumble lumps of the topping across the surface. Don't fully cover the surface, to let some heat through else the syrup won't reduce and thicken.
- Sprinkle with demerara sugar and cinnamon.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from oven. The cobbler is done when an instant read thermometer measures the centre of the biscuit topping as 95°C/203°F and the top is a lovely golden.
- Rest to thicken sauce: Rest for 20 minutes to allow syrup to thicken – it will still be perfectly warm for serving.
- Serve with a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream!
Life of Dozer
Just another Friday morning in the Life of Dozer – at the park with his mates!