Monday, July 22, 2019

Peach Rosemary Biscuit Cobbler

Here in the South, we mean a lot of things when we say the word "cobbler." Here in the Upstate of South Carolina, "cobbler" often means a batter where you pour a thin, almost pancake or cake batter in the bottom of the pan, toss the fruit (mixed with spices and sugar) on top, and the batter bakes up around the fruit. I think the French call that clafouti! But where I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, "cobbler" always meant Bisquick topping, aka biscuit topping, with the fruit and spices mixed in and layered first.

It all started with a smoothie I had at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe - I'm a sucker for drinks with savory elements so when they started advertising the peach rosemary smoothie I had to try it. It was great, the rosemary didn't overpower the peach, but it just tasted like the fresh ingredients, not a lot of extra sugar or syrupy sweetness. After just a few sips, I knew I had to recreate the flavor in a cobbler. At that point we had just hit peach season, which is always cling first, and freestone soon after. I poked around for recipes and decided to adapt one from Sally's Baking Addiction. I liked that her biscuit batter was homemade and included buttermilk, as I had some in the fridge I needed to use up. I also liked that her biscuit batter was not actually full biscuits, which would dwarf the peaches after baking, but just enough to give a clear sense of biscuitness. I cut the recipe in half and baked it in an oval dish but could have used a 9" square pan. I will include the recipe below as I made it, but if you want the full-size recipe, please go visit Sally. She also has recommendations for storage, etc.

Peach Rosemary Biscuit Cobbler

  • 4-5 medium peaches, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks (about 5 cups)
  • 2 tbsp packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Rosemary Buttermilk Biscuit Topping
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, broken into pieces or roughly chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, cold
  • egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon milk or buttermilk
  • optional: 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9x9 inch pan.
  2. Make the filling: In a large bowl, stir the peach chunks, brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together until thoroughly combined. Spoon filling into prepared pan, tuck in sprigs of rosemary, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside as you prepare the topping. Keep oven on.
  3. Make the topping: Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the rosemary and butter. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal (pea-sized bits). While slowly stirring, slowly drizzle in the buttermilk. Mix until evenly combined. Take handfuls of dough and gently flatten out. Place dough all over the top of the peach filling. It doesn’t need to be perfect or look pretty– some peach filling can be showing.
  4. Brush the top of the biscuit dough with egg wash, then sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar if using.
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until lightly browned and biscuit topping is cooked through. (Stick a toothpick into the biscuit topping, if it comes out clean– it is cooked through and the cobbler is done.) Set the pan on a wire rack, then cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
  6. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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