Well, this is officially the last peach post for the season. It’s been the best peach season of my life. The reason? I moved to Austin, Texas a year ago and Texas peaches truly are on another level. A few years prior to my move, my Dad gifted me with The Pastry Queen: Royally Good Recipes from Texas Hill Country’s Rather Sweet Bakery & Cafe cookbook after his move to Texas. In it, you’ll find this recipe (which I’ve adapted today with less sugar) that glorifies the season’s final offering of sweet peaches. If you have a few ripe peaches in your kitchen (that are perhaps no longer receiving the admiration as they sit next to the new season’s apples and pears), or if your peach tree has a few more to pick, then this is just the recipe for you.
A cobbler is a fruit dessert that gets baked in a dish and topped with a smooth batter or biscuit topping. In today’s case, the batter (and the butter) go into the pan first and then the fruit gets added to the top. But as the dessert bakes, the batter overtakes the fruit and when you pull it out of the oven, they’ve switched places: the batter is on top and the fruit is nestled underneath.
In case you’re curious and always get them confused: A crisp is also a baked fruit dessert. But unlike a cobbler, there are usually nuts and oats added. And a crumble is similar to the two but usually doesn’t have the oats and nuts and instead has a streusel-like topping.
The beauty of these three desserts is that you can really make them any day of the year with whatever fruit you have in season. And because the fruit gets baked into the cake, it can be the unpretty kind: Speckled, bruised, overly ripe…this is where they shine! When I bake for my Mom for example, I’ll always go with a crisp. She likes the texture and heartiness that the oats and nuts add. When I’m baking for my husband though, I stick with cobblers because he prefers the softer sponge-cake batter for his dessert.
Today’s Texas Peach Cobbler is delicious. While sweet, I’ve reduced the sugar quite a bit because I like to pair any cobbler with vanilla ice cream. Which I recommend you do too with this recipe. 🙂 It’s exceptionally buttery. So much so, when the butter combines with the juice from the peach and the added sugar, it bakes into an almost caramel. It’s delicious, sticky, and has hints of lemon zest and cinnamon that take it from ordinary to mouth-watering.
One last thing, if you happen to be in Texas also, check out Rebecca Rather, the baker that inspired this recipe, at her Frederickburg bakery, Emma + Ollie.
Texas Peach Cobbler
A classic Texas peach cobbler, this recipe is full of peach and southern comfort. The natural juices from the fresh peach bake perfectly with the butter and sugar to create a caramel-like sauce. It's soft, sticky, and has hints of cinnamon and lemon zest. Paired with vanilla ice cream, it is an exceptional end-of-summer treat.
- 1/2 cup Butter, cubed
- 1 cup Flour
- 1 cup Sugar
- 2 tsp. Baking powder
- 1 tsp. Lemon zest (zest of about half of one lemon)
- 1/4 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 cup Whole milk
- 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
- 3 cups Fresh peaches, peeled & sliced into wedges (about 2 large peaches or 4-5 small peaches)
- 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1/4 cup Brown sugar ((can be omitted but you will lose the caramelized crust if you cut it out))
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
Place the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter and stir it often. Once it begins to brown, the bubbles subside, and the smell turns nutty, remove from the heat and pour into an 8-inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt. Add the milk and vanilla and stir until smooth.
Pour the batter directly over the butter in the baking dish. Do not stir. And do not worry — it the batter will bake up over the peaches while it bakes.
Toss the sliced peaches with cinnamon and place them in an even layer over the batter. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the center is no longer jiggly. It may take longer than 40 minutes depending on the juiciness of your peaches. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream.
*Note: This dessert is best eaten the same day it is made. Store in the refrigerator (sadly it doesn’t make the best leftovers).
Adapted from The Pastry Queen cookbook.