Recipe: Mom’s Old-Fashioned Peach Cobbler


This image is almost three years old … and I never posted it before??

A couple days ago I was over at Shelby’s food blog reading her post describing her Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler with Cornmeal Biscuit Topping. At one point Shelby wrote:

Next time I make this, it’s going to be with peaches, since peach cobbler and cornbread are mainstays of any good southern square, why not compact the two into a glorious, sweet, savory, crumbly dish of summer? Just replace the strawberries and rhubarb with some sliced peaches (I’d imagine about two-or-so pounds would do just fine, a few tablespoons of sugar and a tablespoon of cornstarch, bake the peaches a bit before topping with the biscuit mixture. Once topped, just bake as below for about 25 minutes.

I was thinking to myself, “That sounds good … use the filling from my mom’s 1930’s-era cobbler with Shelby’s topping. What a great idea!” So I came back here to point Shelby to the recipe.

I was totally dumbfounded. Searching my own blog for the recipe came up with … nothing! The recipe just wasn’t here. Mary was actually kinda flabbergasted; “Oh, I don’t even believe that!” Well honey, you should, because it’s true.

I’ve never posted the recipe for my mom’s best-ever, classic, old-fashioned, Mary-asks-for-it-instead-of-birthday-cake Peach Cobbler.

Geez Louise …

I’ve made this quite a few times over the past few years. In fact, the image at the beginning of this post is almost three years old. I know this because that year, 2005, was the first year Mary asked for this cobbler instead of the traditional birthday cake for her September 25th birthday. I made it a point to ensure that was one of the best batches of peach cobbler I’d made yet, not only to honor Mary’s birthday, but also so I could take a picture for the PDF version of the recipe. That’s where this photo came from.

Mom’s Peach Cobbler is actually simpler than the recipe makes it appear. Sure it’s a lengthy process, but the steps themselves are rather simple. This recipe has stood the test of time, from when my mom Joyce first started making it when she was a kid in the 1930ʹs (weʹre not quite sure who she learned it from), to my own kids making it themselves today. The kids do make mistakes in reading recipes (one young man once used 1/4 cup salt in this particular recipe instead of the specified 1/4 tsp salt in the filling), but thatʹs a good way for them to learn to pay attention to details.

One more thing: Obviously this cobbler tastes best when fresh peaches are used. Keep that in mind if you decide to make this using canned peaches.

Mom’s Old-Fashioned Peach Cobbler

Filling Ingredients
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbs unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup all‐purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 lbs Michigan peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into wedges OR 3 14.5 oz cans peaches in light syrup, drained

Equipment
1 medium mixing bowl
1 9ʺ x 13ʺ glass baking dish
1 large metal spoon (for creaming)
1 rubber spatula
Non‐stick spray

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with non‐stick spray and gently lay the peach wedges in the dish, making sure none of them are on their edges. In the mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter with the back of the spoon until the mixture is nice and smooth. Add the milk, flour, baking powder and salt (sift these last three together to really do this right), mixing it all together until itʹs smooth again. With a rubber spatula, cover the peaches with the creamed mixture. This mixture might be a bit stiff, and thatʹs ok. Just make sure each peach wedge is covered by some of it.

Topping Ingredients
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar (if using fresh peaches) OR 1/2 cup sugar (if using canned peaches)
1 Tbs cornstarch
1 cup boiling water

Equipment
1 medium mixing bowl

Mix the salt, the sugar and the cornstarch together. (If the cornstarch has been in the cupboard for a while, pitch it and get a new one!) Sprinkle this dry mixture over the filling you made before. Boil some water (really boil it, donʹt nuke it, and donʹt use just hot tap water either) and pour the measured water over the completed dish. Bake the completed cobbler in the preheated oven for one hour. Cool it for a while on a rack before chilling it in the fridge for at least a couple hours before serving.

Notes:
• 2 pounds of peaches? You might need just 6 or 8 whole peaches depending on their size. At Whole Foods Market in Ann Arbor, it only takes 4 of what they label as “conventional peachesʺ to get the 2 pounds. But be sure to actually weigh this!

8 Comments

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  1. Well I’m glad this realization came to light! Glad I could, uh, help, I guess? It really does look so delicious!

  2. Thanks @Shelby! With the camera I used for this photo it still looks quite good. Must be the food, eh? 😉

  3. Peach cobbler is probably my second favorite dessert (my first is Key Lime Pie). And because I am not much of a “sweets” person, they are about the only desserts I eat.

    I remember my Grandmother’s cobbler, and believe that it was the best on the planet (but that was MANY years ago). She had her own peach trees.

    Your photo looks almost exactly like her cobbler always turned out.

  4. @DC, this batch was made with the whole fresh peaches. I’m really wondering if this is possibly the same recipe you remember.

  5. This is my favorite cobbler recipe, I have made it like 8 times.

  6. I have never made Peach cobbler or any cobbler for that matter before. I had a hankering for a taste from my childhood and just could not rest until I had some peach cobbler. In my search for a good recipe, who really knows from an unknown recipe right? Anyway I saw your recipe and decided that the boiling water on top of the dish was most unique and would either turn out terrible or terrific. I got Terrific. OMGosh it was absolutely the best I have ever tasted. I have friends and co-workers begging me for another pan or 3 of this most wonderful dish. Thank you so much for sharing, it is a keeper and will be passed on in my recipe folder. Cheri, Treasure Island, Florida

  7. This peach cobbler was the best I’ve ever had. I have looked for years for a old fashion recipe and this was it. Absolutely the best!

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