It is hard to believe that fall is officially here. At this time of the year, fall fruits have started making their appearance alongside late summer fruits in the markets. Pears and grapes can be found next to aromatic peaches; pumpkins are next to still perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes. I don’t know about you, but while the weather is still warm, I feel torn between wanting to hold on to summer flavors just a little longer and jumping into fall dishes right away.
Last week I found some delicious, juicy peaches at our local farmer’s market. I realize that peach season will soon be over where we live so decided right then and there to make one last peach cobbler once I got home. This old-fashioned stone fruit dessert is a snap to make and the perfect comfort food to say good-bye to summer.
This version is an adaption of a very old family recipe from the late 1800s (hence the “New England” addition to the title) and a family favorite. Make it this weekend — your whole house will smell like baked fruit and spices and butter — why wait?
- For the filling:
- 8 med. peaches (about 10 cups)
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup AP flour
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- 2 tsp. lemon zest
- For the shortcake biscuit topping:
- 2 cups AP flour
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 4 TBSP. sugar
- ½ cup butter, diced and chilled (plus 3 TBSP. for topping)
- ⅔ cup milk, cold
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 9”x13” glass baking dish.
- Make the filling: peel the peaches and cut them into 1½” chunks. In a large bowl, combine the peaches with the rest of the filling ingredients. Mix until thoroughly combined. Spoon the filling into the prepared baking dish and bake for ten minutes.
- Prepare the topping: while the peach mixture is baking, prepare the shortcake biscuit topping. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Add the cold butter. Using your fingers (or a pastry cutter or two forks) cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Butter bits should still be visible and be about the size of small peas. Next, slowly drizzle in the milk, pouring in just a small amount at a time, while you gently stir, until just combined. Do not overwork the dough.
- Once the peaches are pre-baked, remove them from the oven and dot the top of the peach mixture with the remaining 3 TBSP. of butter. Spread the shortcake biscuit topping over the fruit – some of the peach filling will still be visible. Bake for about 30 minutes, or, until golden brown and the topping is cooked through.
- Set the pan on a wire rack and allow it to cool for five minutes. Serve the peach cobbler still warm with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Peach cobbler just out of the oven
Warm peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream
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