Explaining Cobbler to a Yankee

Of all the desserts I love – and trust me, there are A LOT of them – I must admit, peach cobbler holds a special place in my heart.  Cobbler is one of those “any season” desserts, since you can use just about any fruit that’s in season, but there’s nothing quite like peach cobbler.  For me, it embodies the sweet, spiced, warm memories of Fall…there wasn’t a Thanksgiving that my mom didn’t make her famous peach cobbler.  Warm out of the oven with a heaping scoop of vanilla bean ice cream…it was heavenly!

I remember the first time I made a peach cobbler for my husband (the Yankee).  First, I tried to explain what a cobbler was.  Much to my chagrin, Evan’s response was something along the lines of, “So it’s like an upside down pie?”  Now, that sentence would make any Southern girl clutch her pearls…an upside-down pie?!  No, honey.  A cobbler is nothing like a pie.  But bless your Yankee heart, sometimes we forget you don’t have biscuits “up north”, and our Southern ways can be confusing.  Let me explain…
My husband has been an eager taste-tester for Southern cooking from the day we met.  The first time I had him over for dinner, I fried porkchops.  Don’t you know you’re someone special if you’re getting bone-in, double-dredged fried porkchops?  Evan sat at the table, and I proudly placed the heaping plate of comfort in front of him…and the first words out of his mouth were, “I didn’t know you could FRY a porkchop!”  Heaven help him, I knew then that we had a looong way to go.
About six months after that, we stopped by his parent’s house one afternoon.  Evan hadn’t seen them much over those six months, but I’ll tell you that when we first started dating, he weighed 135 pounds soaking wet. But again, that was before he met me.  The first words out of his mother’s mouth that afternoon were, “What have you done to my son?!”  And my simple reply?  “Why, I fed him of course.”  Again, those Yankees are unfamiliar with our Southern ways!
Nine plus years and 30 pounds later…Evan is quite the fan of the cobbler.  And so, without further ado, I’m going to share my famous peach cobbler recipe.  Enjoy!
Filling Ingredients
8 large peaches, cut into wedges (I don’t peel mine)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Spices as you like.  I use cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and a dash of cloves.  Or, if I’m especially lazy, just use pumpkin pie spice (shhh…that’s one of my lazy baker secrets).
Biscuit Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick cold, unsalted butter, chopped into pieces
1/4 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss all filling ingredients together in a large bowl, then pour into a two quart casserole dish and bake for 10 minutes.  While the filling is baking, blend together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Mix in the butter with your fingers, until mixture is crumbly.  Stir in boiling water until just combined.  When filling is done, remove from oven and top with spoonfuls of your biscuit topping (it will spread as it bakes).  Pop in the over for another 25-30 minutes, or until your crust is golden brown.
Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, or all by itself.  Right out of the casserole dish, if you’re like me… 🙂
Happy baking!

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