Let’s get something out of the way: I hate baking. My preferred type of cooking usually involves some kind of obscenely huge pot (stockpot, Dutch oven, risotto pot, please), big chunks of meat, some sort of broth or, even better, wine, and assorted veggies. Dishes you can season roughly by the recipe and then keep tasting and tweaking as you go. Read: rabbit stew, gumbo, coq a vin. Preferably something you can remedy, worse comes to worst, with copious amounts of hot sauce or wine. The precision, chemistry, and (in my mind) fickleness of baking just pisses me off. But I have a sweet tooth and I often succumb to it.
I really love pie, but it’s a pain to make, especially if you try to make the crust from scratch. This recipe is wonderful because it gives you all the deliciousness of a fruit pie PLUS an amazingly buttery cake-like “crust” mixed in—no extra work required! It’s perfect for lazy and impatient bakers like myself and just also happens to be ideal for dinner parties because it’s quick, easy, and completely addictive. You only stir anything once and you don’t even sift the flour.
This is a recipe handed down to me by my maternal grandmother (I love you, Granny B!), one of the fine Southern women that have enormously contributed to my love of cooking. In the South, especially in the summer, we would use fresh peaches. In fact, I may be disowned for suggesting that it can be done otherwise! But let’s be real: St Andrews is in Scotland, and getting fresh, ripe peaches is impossible for a good deal of the year. So I’ve doctored the recipe a little so it can be done with canned peaches, easily acquired at any grocery store. By using canned peaches you lose a little bit of the natural firmness of the fruit, but I’ve never had complaints about the quality of the modified recipe. I’ve included both the traditional recipe with fresh peaches, and the modification that uses canned peaches.
Quick apology: All my units are in cups because they’re US recipes, but I’ll do my best to convert where I’m able to do so. If possible, try to use the original, US measurements because they’re what was originally given and the “translated” measurements are only best estimates.
-½ cup butter (115 grams), melted
-½ cup butter (115 grams), melted
-1 cup self-rising flour, not sifted (125 grams)
-Granulated sugar (table sugar): 1 cup (200 grams) if using canned peaches OR 2 cups (400 grams), separated if using fresh peaches
-1 cup milk (137 milliliters—if you have to round, round down to 135ml but no lower)
-4 cups peach slices (if using fresh peaches) OR 4 cups canned, peach slices in syrup with about a quarter cup of the sugar syrup from the can. * I can’t get a very good unit conversion on this, but there should be enough peach slices to cover the top of the cobbler, as shown in the picture.*
Preheat the oven at 375F (190C). Melt the butter and pour it into a 13”x9”x2” pan (33cmx22.9cmx5cm)—a standard, fairly shallow Pyrex-type dish. Combine flour, 1-cup sugar (do this regardless of what kind of peaches you’re using), and milk. Whisk together, but don’t over do it—you still want it to be a bit lumpy. Pour the flour/sugar/milk mixture over the butter but DO NOT STIR!!!
Here’s where the recipe deviates based on what type of peaches you’re using:
DO EITHER: If you’re using fresh peaches, combine all 4 cups of them with the remaining cup of sugar in a saucepan and bring the sugar/peach mixture to a boil. After you’re done with that, pour the peach and sugar mixture over top of the pan with all the other ingredients. DO NOT STIR!
OR: If you’re using canned peaches, simply pour them into the pan with all the other ingredients with about a quarter cup of the syrup from the can (more if you have a super sweet tooth!). D0 NOT STIR!
Regardless of what sort of peaches you use, once the oven has preheated, stick the pan in the oven at 375F(190C) for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Don’t be surprised if this takes longer than 30 minutes, but stay vigilant throughout the baking because all ovens are different!
Wait for it to cool (or not, it’s delicious either way!) and serve by itself or with vanilla ice cream! Enjoy!
Photo credit: Emily Grant
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