After touring the wonders of Texas-style brisket and ham and swiss sliders with Paint, it's time to break for a little dessert. With Georgia Tech on our minds, a southern-style peach cobbler made a whole lot of sense.
Those of you well-versed in cobblers will know that this is not a dessert without controversy. On the field of cobbler competition, our various opposing teams agree on the fruit filling: sweet, blushing peaches, peeled, sliced, and stewed in a little sugar and spice. The true battle rages over the cobbler topping.
There are at least five schools of thought on this. First, a crisp is not a cobbler - the topping is not crumbly and oatmeal-y. But some folks whip up a cobbler with a lattice pie crust topping (I think this is basically peach pie missing it's bottom layer, but whatever). Some folks make cobbler by baking the "topping" ingredients underneath the fruit: through the cooking process, the topping rises up through the fruit to create a glossy, homogenous top layer. Others create cobbler with a sweet, cakey topping.
I'm of the drop-biscuit school: peach cobbler in my world ought to be topped with gently sweetened, slightly dense biscuit batter that you drop on top of the fruit for baking. This is the Notre Dame of peach cobbler toppings, in the sense that you love it more than all the others and cheer uncontrollably when you see it. Not in the sense that the competition with the other toppings is in reality often too close for comfort and, hey, that drop biscuit topping can be a little inconsistent sometimes.
But enough of that (don't say we never #teachthecontroversy). On to our peach cobbler.
These are the ingredients you'll need:
8-9 peaches (Georgia-grown if you want, but these here are premium California peaches)
1/4 cup sugar (half white, half brown works great, or get more Georgia Tech-y and use honey)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons sugar
a little more than 1 cup milk (you can use buttermilk, whole, low fat, yogurt, whatever you want - I mixed about a 1/3 cup sour cream with 2/3 cup milk)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. You need to start by peeling, pitting, and slicing your peaches. You can peel them with a good knife or blanch them for 1-2 minutes in boiling water, as I did here. Immediately dunk the briefly boiled peaches in cold water and the skins will slide right off in your fingers.
Next, you'll gently toss the sliced peaches with the other filling ingredients - 1/4 cup sugar (or honey), cinnamon, cornstarch, and lemon juice. You're welcome to fancy this up to your liking with a little nutmeg or allspice. Let them sit for a few minutes so that the peaches start to soften and absorb the other flavors, then pour them into a greased 2-quart baking dish. Pop them in the oven for 10 minutes to start their stewing.
Now on to the drop-biscuit topping. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and 6 T sugar. Gently stir in the oil and 1 cup milk until evenly combined. Add a little more milk to soften the batter into something you can scoop and drop like dumplings.
When the filling hits the 10-minute mark, pull it out of the oven and reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F. Now use an ice cream scoop or a big spoon to drop handful-sized scoops of the topping batter onto the peach filling.
Bake the whole thing for 30-40 minutes (you want the biscuits to cook all the way through - check that the center's not wet batter with a toothpick or knife). It's a good idea to slide a baking sheet under your cobbler's baking dish since there's a good chance some of those sweet peach juices will bubble right over the top.
Now pull that thing out of the oven and share it with your friends, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
This is the taste of victory.