It feels like I can’t keep up with the seasons this year! Moving to Georgia has really messed up my seasonal clock. But with Georgia on my Mind, I can’t help but think of peaches even if it is a little early. If you’re looking for a recipe where peaches really shine, you just can’t go wrong with this Old-Fashioned Peach Cobbler.
This is a peach cobbler made with fresh peaches, but I gotta say right off the bat that I’ve got you covered if you want to use frozen peaches or canned. I might just mention, too, that while I always love the idea of using fresh peaches, the recipe is actually easier with frozen or canned. But more on that, below.
About Old-Fashioned Peach Cobbler:
There are so many ways to make this Old-Fashioned Peach Cobbler, or any cobbler, for that matter. They can be made with what are basically biscuits (or scones if you’re from Britain) as a topping. I’ve had them before with a pie crust topping. One of my fave types is a cobbler with what amounts to a sugar dough topping, like this family fave, Blueberry Cobbler.
But when the heat of summer is upon us, I’m always loving simple, casual easy dishes and desserts, and that’s where this super easy classic old-fashioned cake-like cobbler comes into play. It’s nothing to mix the quick batter up by hand and what you’ll end up with is a beautiful play on flavor and textures.
The batter goes down on top of butter in the skillet or casserole, then on go the peaches. As it bakes, the juices from the peaches mingle with the batter, the batter rises and the whole cobber basically inverts. You end up with the cake on top and juicy saucy peaches on the bottom and where the two meet, my fave part, is just a bit of gooey, gummy deliciousness.
Serving Peach Cobbler:
Now, this is an old-fashioned “Grandma” recipe for sure. I guess what you’d call “plain-cooking.” There’s nothing fancy, just the flavor of the peaches enhanced with a touch of vanilla. No spices, just fresh peach flavor. And be prepared, it’s just a little homely compared to so many of our fancy desserts these days!
And there’s only one way to fancy up this dessert. You have to have ice cream! It’s pretty much essential, in my opinion! Just a scoop of vanilla melting slowly on top of the warm cobbler mingling. It’s perfection. You could go with whipped cream but it’s “light” compared to the heavier cobbler.
Variations on Peach Cobbler:
If you wish, you can always jazz the recipe up. A lot of people like to add a little cinnamon to fruit desserts, so try a teaspoon or two sprinkled over the peaches if you’d like. I often see a good squeeze of lemon, a tablespoon or so added to the peaches.
For a more modern twist, just a touch of ginger (maybe half a teaspoon of ground) goes well with peaches. Brown sugar can sub in for the white, and if you’re doing that, consider a little splash of bourbon over the peaches. I’m just sayin’ 🙂
If you’d like to use other fruits, you’ll probably want to stick with other stone fruits. Nectarines would be perfect and plums will work. I wouldn’t attempt this with apricots, though. Slice, they’re tiny and the fruit needs to be heavy enough to sink to the bottom of the pan.
Making Old-Fashioned Peach Cobbler:
I used my 10″ cast iron skillet which is always lovely for a cobbler. It’s not necessary to use cast iron, though, and you can use a slightly larger skillet, too. You can also make this in a casserole. The size really isn’t all that particular, but I think a 9 x 13″ is a little large (but does work so don’t stress it if you have to go there) so if you have something a bit smaller, maybe an 11 x 7″ I think it gives the perfect thickness in the layers of fruit to topping.
The key to this recipe is basically an insane amount of butter that’s laid down first in the pan and placed in the oven to melt as the oven preheats. As far as the batter, just mix it together by first mixing in the dry ingredients and then slowly adding the milk as you stir. Easy peasy! The batter is poured on top of the butter and nudged if needed, to the edges of the pan. It’s normal for some of the butter to rise around the edges. Just leave it alone and fiddle as little as possible.
Then the peaches (you’ll need about 4 cups of peaches which is about 4 to 5 medium) and syrup (see the notes below) are gently spooned on top. No matter what kind of peaches you use, fresh, frozen, or canned, you’ll bake until the center when pressed lightly, springs back up, 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees F.
For Your Listening Pleasure:
Now we all have probably heard that baking is an exact science; it is and it isn’t. Especially with this recipe. I remember stressing years ago about trying to get the exact amount of peaches called for!
There’s a lot of leeway in old-fashioned make-do recipes like this; all you really have to do is get close to the amount. Your cobblers might vary a little when using fresh vs. frozen vs. canned but they’ll all be good.
Just FYI, if you’d like to see the best peaches (that you can buy in the market) check out this article from the Kitchn.
- With fresh peaches, about 4 to 5 medium peaches (about a pound and a half) are going to be great, and they need to be peeled. To make that job easy, score a small X across the bottom then drop them in boiling water for about a minute. Remove with a slotted spoon. The peel will come off easily. Use a knife and your fingers to catch the loose peel near the X and just peel them by pulling upward. Careful, though, when you cut them. They are slippery little devils.
- With fresh peaches, you’ll simmer with sugar for just a few minutes.The juices from the peaches release and they’ll form a syrup with the sugar. The peaches soften just a bit, too, when you do this, making them perfect when the cobbler is finished.
- When using frozen slices, hopefully, they won’t all be stuck together so they are easy to measure. If they are, just guestimate. This is not a recipe that needs exact measuring. It’s helpful to know that 1 pound of frozen is the equivalent of about three medium-sized peaches so you’ll want about 1 1/2 pounds.
- Add the sugar to the frozen peaches when thawing. They have already been partially cooked during processing so by the time they are thawed (gently stir now and then) the sugar should be dissolved in the juices enough to form a syrup on its own with no heating.
- When using canned you’ll be running into all kinds of variables. Your canned peaches will come in different sizes, different amounts, and be packed in either water, light, or heavy syrup, or sometimes juice. No matter what kind or amount of canned peaches you use to get to your .four cups (one 15 ounce can has about 2 cups of peaches and around 2/3rds cup of liquid) don’t use more than 2/3rds cup of the liquid. If using multiple cans, strain the peaches and then measure out the 2/3rds cup.
- If your peaches are canned, already packed in syrup, you’ll be home free. Just use the syrup from the can. Obviously, if they are in heavy syrup (twice the amount of sugar to the liquid), your cobbler will be sweeter than if they are packed in light syrup (equal amount of sugar to liquid). If packed with juice, it’s hard to tell just how sweet the liquid is. I’m only guessing but I think about 2/3rds cup of sugar will work. If your peaches are in water, that water still has flavor. so use it. Just add a cup of sugar and let sit or stir till dissolved.
Saving Money on Old-Fashioned Peach Cobbler:
The biggest impact on the pricing is how much those peaches will run you. If you buy seasonally you may find that fresh is often less than frozen. If buying frozen, usually the best time to stock up is shortly after the harvest comes in, and you may expect the same with canned. Warehouses are full and products often go on sale to move them quickly.
I also buy the majority of my baking goods during the big holiday sales or at Aldi. Let’s talk about butter coz that’s a pricey item, too. Real butter IS pricey but if you buy strategically and freeze it until you need it, you can have it for half the cost or less. Aldi butter is always reasonable (and Costco isn’t bad) but the sales on butter at the regular grocery store during the big baking holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter are usually even better.
Start to get into the habit of noting how much you use of products (and what you’re paying for them) and stock up at the low, buying enough to last to the next great sale. I literally count the weeks between holidays & figure out how much butter to buy. I bake and use about a pound of butter a week. If I can buy at a $1.69 sales price as opposed to our normal whopping $4.99 a pound it makes a huge difference. Over the course of a year, I can pay $87.88 instead of $259.48.
If you’re curious how much it costs to run a freezer, the average is about $4.99 a month. Less than the cost of a Big Mac. Just sayin’. You might want to take a peek at my articles on Banking Your Food and Freezer Options.
I hope y’all enjoy this simple, comforting dessert! It’s a fabulous recipe for a new cook (just help with the in/out of the oven and the hot butter if appropriate.) and easy enough to toss in the oven even after dinner. I’m hoping one of our tweens will take a shine to this and make it often! See, there’s a method to my madness, haha!
Old-Fashioned Peach Cobbler
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Dessert
For the peaches:
4 cups sliced peaches (about 4 to 5 medium)
1 cup granulated sugar
For the batter:
6 tablespoons butter cut into about 10 chunks
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
The butter in this recipe is added to the skillet as the oven preheats to 350 degrees F. Perform this step at the appropriate time for the recipe.
Place peaches and sugar in a small saucepan. Turn on heat to medium-low and cook until peaches begin to give up their juices and the sugar begins to dissolve. Raise heat to medium and stirring (gently) as needed, continue to cook until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and place peaches and syrup in a small bowl to cool.
When ready to bake, scatter butter across the bottom of 12″ cast iron (or another oven-appropriate skillet or casserole dish. Place the pan in the oven while the oven preheats to melt the butter. Once melted, remove the pan from the oven.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add milk, stirring until just combined. Pour the mixture over the melted butter, nudging in place as needed. Gently spoon the peaches and juice (see notes in the body of the text for preparing canned or frozen peaches) over the batter.
Bake for about 38-40 minutes until golden brown and the center (or close to it) springs back when touched. Serve warm, with a scoop of ice cream, if desired.
Keywords: Cobbler, Desserts, Fruit Dessert, peaches