There’s no better way to revel in peach season than with a big ‘ol skillet of cobbler. Add a scoop of ice cream and a front porch swing, and you’ve got summer’s quintessential southern dessert.
Peaches are among the most fragile of the stone fruits which means they are difficult to ship and store. What I’m trying to say is, enjoy all you can right now because they are best during summer months and even better when they are harvested locally.
Of the two main peach varieties, freestone peaches are my favorite to use in cooking and baking. Just as the name implies, freestone peaches have a pit that dislodges easily (like in the GIF above). They are also easy to peel. You can simply grab the skin and pull it away from the flesh. Clingstone peaches are also aptly named because the peach flesh tightly clings to the stone and skin, making it more difficult to pit and peel. Recap:
Freestone peaches: Easy to pit and peel. Sometimes the pit will fall right out of the fruit after cutting it in half. (Recommend for this recipe!)
Clingstone peaches: Difficult to pit and peel, blanching required for peeling and skilled knife work needed for pitting.
This recipe uses about 8 medium-sized peaches. It’s important that you choose peaches that firm but ripe because over-ripe peaches will lose their shape and turn to mush in the hot skillet (it’ll still taste good, though!). If you don’t have a cast iron skillet then you can make this in a 13×9-inch dish.
Skillet Peach Cobbler with Biscuit Crust
- 8 medium summer peaches about 2 lbs. pitted, peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup 60 ml wildflower honey
- 1/3 cup 75g granulated sugar (can adjust more or less to taste)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups 240g all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter cold and cubed
- 1 1/4 cup 300 ml buttermilk, chilled plus more if needed
- 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
- Place the peaches in a large bowl and add the lemon juice; toss to coat. Stir in the wildflower honey and granulated sugar. Let the peaches stand at room temperature until they give off their juices (called ‘sweating’ the peaches), about 1 hour.
- In the meantime, prepare the biscuit dough and preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and sugar in a large bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or with the tines of a fork. When the butter is incorporated and pea-sized pieces of butter are speckled throughout the flour, add the buttermilk and stir until soft dough is formed. If the dough is very stiff, add additional buttermilk 1 tablespoon at a time until a sticky dough is formed.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and dust liberally with more flour. Knead five or six times, then pat the dough into a round disk 1/2-inch thick. Use a 2 1/2 inch round cutter to cut biscuits from the dough.
- Lightly spray a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with cooking spray. Add the cornstarch to the peach mixture and stir well until no lumps remain. I didn’t put this in the ingredients list, but a splash of bourbon in the mix never hurts. Add it now if you have it.
- Pour the mixture into the 10-inch pan. Place biscuits just touching on top of the peaches. You will have some leftover biscuits; you can freeze them between waxed paper or bake them for tomorrow’s breakfast! Sprinkle the biscuits generously with the coarse turbinado sugar. Put the skillet in the oven. If your peaches are particularly juicy, add a pan underneath the skillet in case some of the filling bubbles over.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the biscuits are deep golden brown and baked through the centers. You can check doneness by lifting a center biscuit with a fork to see if it’s done underneath. Add additional bake time if needed. A sheet of foil can be used to cover the biscuits if they seem to be over-browning.
- Let the cobbler stand about 15 minutes before serving. Serve heaping helpings of warm cobbler with scoops ice cream.