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"Real" Peach Cobbler for Baxjaxmom

Started 1346714889.783 in Recipe Swap | Last reply 1346804200.763 by Sooner

baxjaxmom,

What you're describing is real, as you say, "authentic", Southern Peach Cobbler the way my Grandmother made it -- she cut the pie crust in strips, then put a layer of sweetened peaches, a layer of pie crust strips, another layer of peaches, then a lattice crust on top. I ALWAYS loved those softened "dumpling" layers of crust better than the crispy top strips. Nothing else is cobbler for me! The thickening of the syrup was from the flour used to roll out the strips. Just white sugar -- no brown sugar. Alton Brown even talked about the way Southerners made cobbler in strips on his show "Cobbled Together" but didn't include the recipe. I'll scout around in my old cookbooks and see if I can find actual proportions for you -- my mother and grandmother never wrote down amounts. And, no, my school cafeteria never turned out anything half as good as Cobbler!

-----

Here are a couple of versions for you to start experimenting with. The first is one I threw together last summer when I had some fresh Georgia peaches and a craving for the taste of my Grandmother's Cobbler -- I'm sure it won't taste exactly like what you remember, but maybe it will get you started in the right direction. You really don't need to do the filling in two steps, but I wrote down what I did as I experimented with taste and texture. This was my third version, and the one that tasted "right" to me.

Honeybit’s “Quick and Dirty” Peach Cobbler

6 large “mud-ripe” peaches, peeled and seeds removed

Roll out enough pie crust (made with lard) for at least a two-crust pie (or cheat and use 2 store-bought pie crusts -- which I did last summer -- I sprinkled them with a little flour to roll and cut)

Cut up three of the peaches into slices. Put in a 9x13” pan. Sprinkle the peaches with:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

A little salt

A little cinnamon

2 tsp flour (gives a little thickening to the juices, and gives the flavor I remember)

Cut one crust into strips and layer on top of the peaches.

Cut up three more peaches and layer on top of crust slices.

Heat together 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup water, 3/4 stick butter. Let cool a little and add a good “pour” of vanilla. Pour this sugar mixture over the peaches.

Cut the second pie crust into strips and layer (or lattice, if you're feeling fancy) on top of the cobbler. (If desired, make an egg wash of 1 egg beaten with a splash of buttermilk; brush on the top layer of crust strips.)

Bake for 15 minutes at 425° and 15 more minutes at 350° until crust is golden brown.

“Young’uns reckon this is larrupin’ good eatin’ -- they like the soft dumplin’ layer better than the crispy top layer of crust. ‘Taint cobbler without both. Good warm or cold -- pour some cream over your serving if you’re so a-minded.”

----

Edna Lewis uses these proportions in the book “The Gift of Southern Cooking” by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock, copyright 2003. She makes a pie crust with butter and lard, but in the book her recipe uses a bottom and top crust rather than the “dumpling” style cobbler we remember.

Note: My Grandmother never had a freshly grated nutmeg in her life!

Peach Cobbler Filling

(Edna Lewis)

8 cups peeled, sliced peaches, firm but ripe

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, thinly sliced

(Use the layering procedure above -- use any pie crust that's your favorite.)

I'll keep looking in my "Southern" collection -- most modern recipes for "cobbler" use either a biscuit crust or the "mix, pour in the bottom, and pour fruit on top, dough will rised through fruit" method. They may be dessert, they may be even be pie, but to me they are NOT cobbler!

Good Luck -- let me know when you re-create your memory of cobbler. I'm sure you're right about the cafeteria taking those big metal spoons and "mushing" the crispy crust into the dumpling layer as they served it to make that "just-right" texture!

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D Oro1346715781.4673916 PostsRegistered 2/17/2011Knock Knock, USA

What is a mud ripe peach? I've never heard of that term.

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.
-- Coco Chanel

Life is too short to spend hoping that a perfectly arched eyebrow or hottest new lip shade will mask an ugly heart.---Kevin Aucoin

Sharke1346716084.266165 PostsRegistered 8/19/2010

probably just an expression. LOL

Baxjaxmom1346717799.5772506 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Oh My Gosh, HoneyBit!!!!! I can't believe you actually know what I'm talking about in my description of real peach cobbler!!!!! You have nailed it, I do believe!! I figured it would have to be someone's recipe from back in the day when our grandmothers cooked from scratch with no shortcuts and usually with no written recipe. Sure enough, this seems to be the case and your word of "dumpling layers" is spot on. I hadn't thought of that word to define what I'm going after and that's it!! This sounds exactly like what I have been trying to figure out to make it come out with the right texture and taste. I can't thank you enough!! I can't tell you the number of recipe books I've looked through over time in trying to pin down what those "cafeteria ladies" did to make that special peach cobbler. I cannot wait to try this and see what kind of luck I have. I so agree wtih you about the various and numerous versions of what is referenced as "peach cobbler" and just as you said - everything from biscuits to cake mixes and even a "peach pie" isn't the same as a "cobbler". All those are delicious, but they are not the same as what I have always thought of as "cobbler". This has just made my day. Okay, I just can't resist: You are a REAL PEACH to send me this information!! {#emotions_dlg.tt1} Thanks again, so very much.

D Oro1346722350.023916 PostsRegistered 2/17/2011Knock Knock, USA

I copied both recipes too. I made a peach pie last week, but I really should have made cobbler. My favorite cobbler is blackberry though.

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.
-- Coco Chanel

Life is too short to spend hoping that a perfectly arched eyebrow or hottest new lip shade will mask an ugly heart.---Kevin Aucoin

rondell1346727774.5813373 PostsRegistered 12/17/2009USA

YUM is all I can say! How tasty sounding and delicious. I want a warm piece with real whipped cream on top. {#emotions_dlg.tt1}

D Oro1346737297.8833916 PostsRegistered 2/17/2011Knock Knock, USA
On 9/3/2012 rondell said:

YUM is all I can say! How tasty sounding and delicious. I want a warm piece with real whipped cream on top. {#emotions_dlg.tt1}


Whipped cream? No, I believe the law says vanilla bean ice cream. Better yet though, homemade vanilla ice cream.

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.
-- Coco Chanel

Life is too short to spend hoping that a perfectly arched eyebrow or hottest new lip shade will mask an ugly heart.---Kevin Aucoin

lavendersa­ge1346761240.165304 PostsRegistered 3/25/2009

hi Bax, I'm so glad that you asked about this cobbler! I want to try it too! I saw Carla Hall make a cobbler on the Chew, maybe she called it something else, I can't remember...

Anyway, she baked her crust and then broke it apart and placed it in the fruit mixture. Then she added an unbaked crust on top and finished it in the oven. I think peach season is over here. I hope I will remember this recipe for next season! {#emotions_dlg.biggrin}

Thank you for sharing your recipe HoneyBit! Smile It sounds delicious!

~ lavender ♥

gubby11346767419.3731504 PostsRegistered 4/13/2010puget sound

Years ago my MIL taught me to make a "cobbler" like this. I thought it was so strange that you would put a layer of lattice in the center and put peaches on it and then another layer of lattice. It truly is delicious. It gets kind of dumpling like is correct. I always thought it was something she made up..she didn't say she did,I just thought she did because it was so different from what I was accustumed to.

rondell1346774468.9513373 PostsRegistered 12/17/2009USA
On 9/3/2012 D Oro said:
On 9/3/2012 rondell said:

YUM is all I can say! How tasty sounding and delicious. I want a warm piece with real whipped cream on top. {#emotions_dlg.tt1}


Whipped cream? No, I believe the law says vanilla bean ice cream. Better yet though, homemade vanilla ice cream.

Ice cream cools is down too much for me. But, it's delicious anyway you eat it, I'm sure. {#emotions_dlg.thumbup1}

HoneyBit1346783335.993292 PostsRegistered 7/17/2011Atlanta, GA

D Oro -- "mud ripe" is probably a Southern colloquial expression. The Edna Lewis recipe calls for peaches that are "firm but ripe" -- "mud ripe" is a ripe peach that is soft to the touch, softer than "firm", but not "squishy" when you pick it up. They are easier to find if you're picking peaches in an orchard instead of in a grocery store! It's a little easier to understand if you've ever walked around barefooted in a field of Georgia red clay after a summer shower!

Baxjaxmom -- it's great to find someone else who knows the taste of "real" cobbler. Did you go to school in the South?

Everyone -- it's been fun to read all the comments. We never ate ice cream or even whipped cream on hot cobbler. Sometimes we poured on real "cow cream" as we ate it. I have lots of fond memories of my grandmother's table -- there were always four or five kinds of cakes and pies on the "sideboard" even though we were a very small family. (I was the only grandchild.)

rondell1346785037.6513373 PostsRegistered 12/17/2009USA

My Daddy would pour pure cream on his hot cobbler! I'd forgotten about that. What a lovely memory of him doing that. Thanks for the reminder, HoneyBit.

chrystaltr­ee1346786192.25310258 PostsRegistered 5/10/2010

Oh, that brings back great memories! I'm from New England, when I was kid we summered in Maine and my grandmother made peach cobbler just like that. Real peach cobbler. Not the stuff some people today call peach cobbler. We ate it warm with a dollop of softened french vanilla icecream. Which leads me to remember another dessert from my childhood. Blueberry Duff. We kids would pick wild blueberries and my grandmother would make Blueberry Duff for dessert. Sometimes we had it for breakfast. My mom used to make it for us too but she used blueberry pie filling. I do believe that this is or is very, very close to their recipe. I think I'll make it for breakfast on Christmas!

 Blueberry Duff  Ingredients   2qt. fresh or frozen -blueberries  1 c  flour 1/2    tsp. salt 2    tsp. baking powder 2    tbsp. vegetable shortening 1/2 c  milk  Instructions  Mix together flour, salt, baking powder and Crisco. Add milk to mixture. Stir. Place blueberries in large frypan (electric or stove top). Heat to steaming. Add approximately 1/4 cup water to fresh berries so they do not burn. Drop dough mixture by spoonfuls on top of steaming berries. Cover. Do not take cover off for 20 minutes. Have heat set low or so it will just steam.  Topping: Confectioners sugar, milk and butter. Mix sauce smooth, but not stiff. Serve warm and top each portion with sauce. ---------------------------------------   

HoneyBit1346802072.08292 PostsRegistered 7/17/2011Atlanta, GA

Here's the results of my research so far. The basic differences I found in the "real" Peach Cobbler recipes are (1) flavorings added: vanilla or almond extract; cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice; or filling basically unflavored (2) whether the fruit and sugar mixture is cooked before baking with the crust, and (3) whether the center crust strips are baked separately before being submerged in the fruit. The sugar-butter-flour-fruit mixture is consistent, varying only in relative amounts -- maybe somewhere in here you'll be able to recreate your memories.

The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery

Sweet Dumplings

Probably no other ingredient so changed the dessert scene as refined white sugar. Some of the resulting desserts were amazingly simple, such as Ione Dickerson’s strawberry dumplings: “You make strawberry dumplings just like you do chicken dumplings. Just have your strawberries boiling good. Of course, you have to put water, sugar, and butter in that, and just drop your dumplings in it like you do any other dumplings. When you make dumplings, it is just as good as a baked cobbler with a crust.”

Cobblers and Pies

With flour came the possibility of cobblers, pies, custards, cookies, cakes, and other desserts.

Ruth Cabe explained about cobblers. “Cobblers were the usual pie -- blackberries, huckleberries, rhubarb, fresh apples or dried apples in winter, cherries, sweet potatoes, strawberries. A deep dish pie, or cobbler, is one that has no crust on the bottom. It has fruit on the bottom. Some people put fruit, a layer of pie dough, a layer of fruit, then their crust on top. They started it cooking on top of the stove because when they put it in the oven, the crust on top would get done before the layer of dough in the middle. By cooking it for a few minutes on top of the stove first, and the finishing it in the oven, it would cook evenly.

Bertha Waldrop tells us how she makes a cobbler: I cut up the fruit and take the seeds out -- use any fruit you want to. I use a square pan now. I put the fruit in the pan, usually a quart of fruit, and put some sugar on them -- it takes a lot of sugar. And we used butter like we had then. For a quart of berries, I use about two tablespoons of butter, stir it around in the fruit, and cover the fruit with the dough. Roll it out right thin, cut it in strips, and put it in the pan with the fruit.

Mary Cabe said: “I bake what I call an oven pie. I put fruit in the bottom of the pan. Then I make up my dough and put it on top of my fruit. I cook it on top of the stove till the stuff gets to boiling good. Then I set it in the oven and bake it.”

-----

Peach Cobbler Supreme

Bettye Wilmoth Webb, Blytheville, AR

(from a church cookbook)

about 8 c. sliced fresh peaches

2 c. sugar

2 to 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract

1/2 c. butter or margarine

pastry for double-crust pie

Pastry For Double-Crust Pie:

4 to 5 Tbsp. cold water

2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp. shortening

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

For Pastry: Combine the flour and salt. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle cold water (1 tablespoon at a time) evenly over surface, that is 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water. Stir with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened. Shape into a ball; chill.

For Cobbler: Combine the first 4 ingredients in a Dutch oven; set aside until syrup forms. Bring peach mixture to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat; add almond extract and butter, stirring until butter melts.

Roll half of the pastry to 1/8-inch-thick square. Spoon half of the peaches into a lightly buttered 8-inch square baking dish. Top with pastry square. Bake at 425° for 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Spoon remaining peaches over baked pastry square. Roll remaining pastry to 1/8-inch thickness and cut into 1-inch strips; arrange in lattice design over peaches. Bake at 425° for 15 to 18 minutes or until browned.

The Original Tennessee Homecoming Cookbook

Favorite Recipes Edited by Daisy King (1985)

Old-Fashioned Peach Cobbler

Linda Henry, Knoxville

This is the best peach cobbler I have ever tasted. It has brought me many compliments and has won First Prize at a fair.

Filling:

8 or 9 peaches, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup water

1-1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons self-rising flour

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Cook peaches in water until tender. Mix flour, salt, and sugar. Add to peaches. Mix. Add melted butter.

Pastry for Cobbler:

1 cup self-rising flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup shortening

4 tablespoons sweet milk, or enough to make a stiff dough

Blend flour, salt, and shortening to coarse meal texture. Add milk. Roll on floured surface. Pour half of peaches in 9x13-inch pan. Cut some dumplings and push dumplings down into the peach juice. Pour remaining peaches in, and top with lattice strips. Bake in a 350 degree oven 35 to 40 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Note: I like to sprinkle a little sugar on top before baking. This should be a juicy cobbler, not dry.

Original Whistle Stop Café Cookbook

Fannie Flagg (1993)

Peach Cobbler

Crust

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup shortening

3/4 cup whipping cream

Filling

8 cups sliced fresh peaches

2 cups sugar, plus more for sprinkling

2 tablespoons all-purpose four

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup butter

Combine first 4 ingredients: cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle cream over mixture and toss with fork until dough forms a ball. Knead 4 or 5 times; wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, combine fruit, 2 cups sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a dutch oven; set aside until syrup forms. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer uncovered 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla and butter until melted. Preheat oven to 475°F. Roll half of pastry to a 12x-8” rectangle. Spoon half of fruit into a lightly buttered 12x8x2-inch baking dish. Place pastry on top. Sprinkle with a little sugar; bake for 15 minutes or until very lightly browned. Spoon remaining fruit on top; roll remaining pastry to 1/8-inch thickness and cut into 1-inch strips. Arrange strips in lattice design over peaches. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 20 additional minutes or until browned.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

Great Desserts of the South

Mary Leigh Furrh and Jo Barksdale (1988)

Grandmother’s Peach Cobbler

Melts in your mouth

Crust

1 cup flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shortening

3 tablespoons ice water

Filling

1/2 cup butter

4 cups peaches (about 9 medium) peeled and sliced

1-1/2 cups water

1-1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Beaten egg white

Sugar

Cream

Combine first 3 ingredients with a fork or pastry blender to make pastry. Add ice water. Form dough. Wrap in wax paper and chill for 8 hours. When ready to make the cobbler, roll out pastry and cut into strips. Reserve enough strips to make a lattice top on cobbler. Place remaining strips on a cookie sheet and bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until crisp. To make the filling: mix butter, peaches, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Blend sugar, flour, and cinnamon, stirring into boiling mixture until dissolved. Remove from heat, and add almond extract. Grease an 8-1/2x9-1/2-inch baking dish. Place half the peach mixture in dish, top with cooked pastry strips. Add remaining peach mixture and place uncooked pastry strips over top in lattice fashion. Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake at 375° for 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm with cream. Serves 8.

Martha White’s Southern Sampler

1989

Old-Fashioned Peach Cobbler

Pre-baked strips of flaky pastry are layered with the peach filling -- the result is perfection.

Pastry:

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1-1/4 teaspoons salt

1-1/3 cups shortening

2/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 400° F. Stir together flour and salt in mixing bowl. Cut in half of shortening using pastry blender or two knives until mixture is fine and mealy. Cut in remaining shortening until mixture is consistency of small peas. Sprinkle water over the mixture; stir gently with a fork until dough leaves sides of bowl. Mixture should be moist enough to form a ball but should not be sticky. Press dough into a smooth ball. Divide dough into thirds. On lightly floured board or pastry cloth, roll out a third of the dough as thinly as possible, about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into 3x1-inch strips with floured knife or pastry wheel. Place strips on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. Cover remaining dough. Prepare filling as directed.

Filling

2 cups sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

7 cups (about 3 pounds) sliced fresh or frozen peaches

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, divided.

Reduce oven temperature to 375° F. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Stir together sugar and flour. Add peaches, water, and almond extract; stir to blend. Roll out half of the remaining dough in shape of baking dish, about 1/8-inch thick. Fit pastry into bottom and up sides of dish leaving a 1-inch overhang. Spoon half of filling into pastry shell. Dot with half the butter. Scatter baked pastry strips over filling. Spoon remaining filling over pastry strips. Dot with remaining butter. Roll out remaining dough in shape of baking dish, about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into 3/4-inch wide strips with floured knife or pastry wheel. Weave strips of crust to form a lattice top. Seal and form decorative edge as desired. Bake of 50 to 60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling begins to bubble. Cool on wire rack. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Beyond Grits and Gravy

Gwen McKee and Barbara Moseley (2004)

Peach Cobbler

Houmas House had many visitors back in the mid-1800s, and often they would write of their experiences on the plantation. One such visitor wrote about the wonderful peas that were grown in the garden and eaten day after day. He mentioned the mint juleps served before breakfast and the fabulous peach cobbler that ended every meal. Here is a rendition of that dish.

Fruit Mixture

6 cups peeled, sliced peaches

1-3/4 cups sugar, divided

1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons flour

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of allspice

Preheat oven to 400° F. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine peaches, 1-1/2 cups sugar, and water. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer, and allow fruit to cook until softened. In a measuring cup, blend flour, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Pour into the peach mixture, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a 9-inch black iron skillet or cobbler pan, and allow to cool slightly.

(Proceed with crust and directions as in recipes above.)

Happy Sampling, Honeybit

Last edited on 9/4/2012

Last edited on 9/4/2012

HoneyBit1346802897.673292 PostsRegistered 7/17/2011Atlanta, GA

Added Note: Some of the more recent recipes I read added a little lemon juice to the filling -- I guess it depends on the flavor of your peaches.

Last edited on 9/4/2012

Last edited on 9/4/2012

Sooner1346804200.76313856 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Most people I knew just used pie dough for cobbler crust, but always did put the dough strips on the bottom as well as making enough for a top crust--which was brushed with cream and sprinkled with sugar. And of course butter slices were put on top of the filling before the top was put on. And it was always cooked in a glass pan. The dough strips in the bottom were my favorite part.

Oh, and I COULD eat peach, but it cannot compare to blackberry cobbler!!!!!!

Last edited on 9/4/2012

Last edited on 9/4/2012

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