Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Total failure as a downsized cobbler, total GENIUS as an ice cream accessory.

Cobbler can be a very personal thing: some devoted to Grammy's biscuit topping, some preferring the kind of batter that rises up around the fruit, some only eat it from a skillet ... cakey, cornmeal, gooey, crunchy. Show me ten ladies, each with a basket of fruit, and I'll show you ten different ways to throw together a cobbler.

I happen to be of the camp that greatly dislikes the "biscuit method," that is, the piling of the fruit on the bottom and the plunking of biscuit-like dough in rounds on top. I don't like my fruit and my topping segregated into different layers, usually dry and crumbly ones that I must fork through like a picky child hunting for the good stuff.

Enter this delightful peach cobbler recipe from the William and Mary Cookbook of all places. It works fantastically as a 13x9-inch crowd pleaser, but how about just for two? Well, the answer is (according to my math), not so good. I believe my problem was pan size. I went too big, leaving the batter too much room to spread out and not enough resistance to rise. The result was about an inch of bubbly caramel interspersed with peach slices and cake. Unsuccessful as a stand-alone entity, but unbelievable spooned over ice cream. You're welcome.

Peach Cobbler Ice Cream Topping
(serves 2; start to finish about 40 minutes. If you use a 3x3 or smaller pan, you might just get something resembling cobbler)

1 medium peach
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch cinnamon
2 1/2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
3 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Slice peach (no need to peel) into wedges and layer in a small pan. I used a 4x4 which gave me more of a topping than a cake. If you go smaller, you may have better luck achieving cobblerness. Pour lemon juice over slices and sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over top.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, powder, salt, and milk. Whisk smooth; batter will be thin. Pour over peaches and drizzle melted butter over all. Bake 35-ish minutes, until edges are nice and bubbly. Serve with ice cream.

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