Joanne Sawyer of Newburgh, Indiana sent us the original recipe from which this version evolved. She says, "This tasty, quick-to-make-at-the-last-minute summer dessert uses bread! Peaches are the called-for fruit, but I've made it with nectarines and apples. Now if I could only send you the peaches from our local peach orchard! They're available about July, and my mouth is already watering for them.”
There are those who swear a true cobbler can only be topped with a rolled pie crust. Others say biscuit dough – rolled, or plopped – is “correct.”
Still other bakers claim cake batter poured over the fruit, so that fruit and cake become a cohesive whole as the cobbler bakes, is the “right” way to do it.
And I say – WHATEVER. As in, whatever makes you happy, tastes good, and floats your boat.
History tells us that cobbler was first mentioned in print – at least in this country – in the early 1800s. The crust of choice back then? A “thick paste.” Well, that’s revelatory.
Further research leads me to believe that one thing common to cobblers down the decades is the thickness of the crust on top. None of this delicate, flaky 1/4”-thick stuff; cobbler is topped with something substantial, either biscuit dough, or a thick pie crust.
The following recipe is made not with a thick pie or biscuit crust, but with a topping of cubed bread. It’s the fastest, EASIEST way to hot, bubbly peaches with crust on top.
But is it “peach cobbler?”
Well, uh, hmmm…
I plead the Fifth!
-King Arthur Flour blog/website
6 to 7 medium-sized peaches (2 pounds), peeled and sliced, OR 2 large (1 pound, 15 ounce) cans sliced peaches, drained
1/4 cup (1 1/2-ounces) Pie Filling Enhancer (a King Arthur Flour product containing thickener, superfine sugar, ascorbic acid), to thicken the filling, optional
3 to 5 slices white bread, crusts removed, cut into cubes (4 cups cubes)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or a sprinkling of cinnamon (optional)
Grease an 8" square or 9" round pan.
Combine the peaches with the Pie Filling Enhancer, if you're using it.
Layer the sliced peaches into the pan, and top the peaches with the bread cubes.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the sugars, salt, flour, egg, and melted butter.
Pour this batter over the bread cubes.
Sprinkle with the nutmeg or cinnamon, if you're using it.
Bake the cobbler in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 minutes, until it's golden brown.
Serve it hot or warm, with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired