This is the last of my vacation cooking posts. I just had to make this cobbler in order to take full advantage of the local ingredients. Fresh South Carolina peaches – YUM! So, I made this for dessert one evening. It is simple to throw together and the most time-consuming part is peeling all the peaches (despite the fact that I use all the little tricks, this never seems to go well for me). However, it becomes completely worth it once you take the first bite of this dessert. The biscuit topping has very little sweetness, but it doesn’t need any because the peaches provide that component of the flavor. Normally I am all about the fruit in a dessert like this and the biscuit is really secondary, but these biscuits are really, really good. The fruit filling is fresh and perfectly juicy, and a bowl of this along with a scoop of vanilla ice cream is simply divine.
My final tip for vacation cooking is this – plan ahead! Vacation is for relaxing, so you do not want to be menu planning or stressing over what to feed 10 people once you arrive. I planned my menu in advance so there was not much thought required once we arrived. Not only that, it allowed me to bring any minimal equipment I needed to take with me, as well as some staple ingredients (olive oil, red wine vinegar, etc.) and spices to avoid having to spend more money on such things at the high-priced grocery store at our destination.
Fresh Peach Cobbler
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For the filling:
2 1/2 lbs. ripe but firm peaches
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Pinch of salt
For the biscuit topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sugar, divided
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
5 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
*Note – this recipe can be doubled easily by baking in a 9×13- inch baking dish and increasing the baking time for both the peaches and the assembled cobbler about 5 minutes each.
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position. Preheat the oven to 425° F. For the filling, peel the peaches and then cut each into 8 wedges, removing the pits as you go. Gently toss the peaches and sugar together in a large bowl and let stand for 30 minutes, tossing several times. Drain the peaches in a colander set over a bowl. Whisk together 1/4 cup of the drained juice with the cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt in a small bowl. Toss the peaches with the juice mixture and transfer to a 8-inch square glass baking dish. Bake until peaches begin to bubble around the edges, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the biscuit topping. In the food processor, combine the flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pulse to combine. Scatter the butter over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about ten 1-second pulses. Transfer to a medium bowl; add the yogurt and toss with a spatula until a cohesive dough is formed. (Be careful not to overmix.) Break the dough into 6 evenly sized but roughly shaped mounds and set aside.
After the peaches have baked 10 minutes, remove the peaches from the oven and place the dough mounds on top, spacing them at least 1/2-inch apart (they should not touch). Sprinkle each mound with the remaining sugar. Bake until the topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling, 16-18 minutes. Cool on a wire rack until warm, about 20 minutes; serve.
Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, March 2008