May I call this peach cobbler?: (Do I dare to eat a peach?)

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Peach cobbler.

Yours, your mom’s, Cracker Barrel’s, Hardee’s…

Which is “real?”

STOP RIGHT THERE. Put your spoon down, your hands at your sides, and listen.

The Recipe Police have left the building.

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!

If you’re willing to cast aside long-held assumptions about what constitutes authentic cobbler, give this Just-Too-Easy Peach Cobbler recipe a try. Or Just-Too-Easy Apple Cobbler, or berry… this recipe is ripe for tweaking using the fruits or berries of your choice.

First, preheat your oven to 350°F.

Choose your pan: a 9” pie plate; or a 9” round cake pan, or 8” square pan.

The pie plate should be at least 1 1/2” deep; the cake or square pans, a minimum of 2” deep.

Let’s start with the peaches. You’ll need 6 to 7 medium-sized peaches (2 pounds), peeled and sliced, OR 2 large (1 pound, 15 ounce) cans sliced peaches, drained. Or two 1-pound bags of frozen peaches, thawed; which is what I’m using here.

These peach slices were super-large, so I pulsed them briefly in a food processor, to cut them into bite-sized pieces.

Add 1/4 cup Pie Filling Enhancer to the peaches. I love this enhancer for all kinds of fruit fillings. With starch for thickening, a bit of sugar for sweetness, and a touch of ascorbic acid for color and a flavor-boosting citrus note, it does wonders for pies and crisps featuring apples or pears, berries, or stone fruits.

Can you make this cobbler without Pie Filling Enhancer?

Sure. The filling will just be thinner. Feel free to use your own thickener (flour, tapioca, etc.), if desired.

Spoon the filling into your chosen pan.

Next – bread for the topping. Use a firm, moist, sandwich-type bread, for best results. King Arthur’s Classic White Bread is my go-to loaf.

You’ll need 3 to 5 slices of bread, depending on how tall your loaf is. Your goal is about 4 cups (5 ounces) bread cubes. No need to remove the crusts.

Pour the bread cubes onto the filling.

Distribute evenly, pressing down gently.

Next, the topping that brings this dish together.

Put the following in a bowl:

1/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 large egg
1/2 cup melted butter

Mix to make a thick syrup.

Drizzle over the bread cubes.

Yes, there’s a lot, and it may run over a bit. That’s why I’ve set the pie plate on a piece of parchment.

Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or cinnamon, if desired.

Bake the cobbler in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 minutes…

…until it’s golden brown.

Remove it from the oven; the juices should be bubbling.

Serve it hot or warm, with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Or with plain heavy cream. Ah, peaches & cream…

Read, rate, and review (please) our recipe for Too Easy Peach Cobbler.

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P.S. As I continued to experiment with this recipe, I found it works equally well with other fruits. This apple version, made with leftover dinner rolls, hit the spot on a chilly autumn afternoon.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Beth @ 990 Square

    PJ, I know you’re a baking genius (seriously, I love everything on this blog) but this is not cobbler! Cobbler has biscuit dough in my world…this is more brown betty. Not that the name makes it any less delicious!

    Beth, a cobbler by any other name would taste as sweet? I was actually trying to address the “this isn’t cobbler” concerns in my preamble, but when you deviate from a classic dessert, there’s bound to be discussion, so bring it on! Thanks for sharing here – PJH

    Reply
  2. Sarah

    Looks delicious! I’m from the “thickly rolled biscuit” cobbler school, but I can see that using cubed homemade bread would solve one of the challenges that we run into with thick biscuit dough; ensuring that the topping is cooked all the way through. With my biscuit-topped cobbler, I’ve solved that problem by starting the fruit base in the hot oven while I mix and roll out the biscuit dough, then I put the dough on top of the bubbling hot fruit so that it cooks from below AND above – perfect. My daughter loves peach cobbler for breakfast.

    Good solution, Sarah – and what’s not to love about peach cobbler, whatever it’s incarnation, right? :) PJH

    Reply
  3. HMB

    I’ve heard that the dessert is called a cobbler because the dollops of biscuit look like cobblestones; another thing I’ve read is that it’s called that because the dessert is just something the cook cobbled together. I like that second description, because that means no matter how you cobble it, it’s a cobbler!

    Reply
  4. Pat in TX

    So I am no recipe czar; I just use what I like. And I think we will be liking this one!! I can see that the kids will probably call it Peach Crouton Dessert or some similarly useless name.

    Sorry, but we will continue to call my fresh peaches topped with a nice lattice crust and enough real butter to give a cow heart failure *peach cobbler*!! The biscuit-type cobblers are okay, except that I grew up with a mom who thought Bisquick and canned peaches was homemade. I cannot stand the cake batter poured on top of peaches-type at all – again, a taste preference, not a condemnation of those who would call it cobbler!!

    Reply
  5. Leslie

    Wow! this looks amazing and I imagine it taste the same!…I have made alot of Peach Cobblers from Mom’s old recipes…but I really appreciate when someone like you comes up with a different idea! Thanks so much for your time and effort and the fact that you shared with us!! Can’t wait to try this wonderful “Peach Cobbler”

    Reply
  6. Maureen

    Call it whatever you want and it will still be delicious, I’m sure! The topping looks especially luscious. I usually alternate between the cake-batter-poured-over-fruit and the thick-biscuit-dough-plopped-on-top methods, but this provides a great alternative. Now I will have a beautiful use for leftover bread (besides bread pudding). Thanks!

    Reply
  7. Nads' Bakery

    Here here! With so many different varieties of cobblers, tarts, pies, and crumbles out there… I think the term “cobbler” can be open to interpretation. For me, what makes cobblers a cobbler is that it has a “cobbled” topping to resemble a cobble stone pathway. I’ve never used bread for a cobbled topping but by golly, it sure looks like a cobbled top to me. Very creative and easy for any home baker.

    Reply
  8. Jean

    This sounds very good and I intend to try it. I am or have been a fan of shortcake bisuit dough for all my cobblers. I may make a chamge after I try this recipe.

    Reply
  9. Susan Reid

    May I suggest stirring the syrup (aka “the goo”) and the bread cubes together before putting them on top of the fruit? you’ll get more even soaking up of the good stuff that way….:-)

    Reply
  10. Cynthia Atkinson

    This looks yummy! Especially since I have fresh peaches on the counter to use tonight. I may still make a shortcake biscuit dough for the top – mainly because my homemade bread always has garlic in it – but love the syrup topping recipe!

    Reply
  11. Nikki Pals

    What a great way to use the “not so great” peaches. I have had a difficult time finding the “great”, delicious, juicy peaches, the ones that are so juicy that you have to either eat them over the sink or in a bathing suit. Miss the ones I remember getting on our trips down south every summer. We would reach Georgia and look for a roadside stand. That was the place to get a bag of peaches.
    Any way I look forward to trying this tomorrow. Should go great with the BBQ pork I am planning.
    I have yet to try one of your recipes that was not the greatest.
    By the way made a stop at the store on a trip from Chicago to visit a friend in Maine. Wonderful place, great people and delicious bakery treats.

    Reply
  12. Jackson

    I like the cobblestone street theory for the name of the dish. And the cubed bread looks nicely cobbled to me. But I wanted to note the unexpected shout out to T.S. Eliot in the title of the post–nice work! But what is next, Ezra Pound Cake? H.D. rolls? Cream-filled Longfellows?

    Reply
  13. Sue E. Conrad

    Hi, PJ!

    We’re back home from our six weeks in New England…….with the FL-style weather, except for the first two days in VT!!! Got in our annual pilgrimage to KAF, and I picked up a supply of cinnamon chips….plenty of Easy Cinnamon Bread to be made!

    The GA peaches are in season here in FL, so the cobbler recipe couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Of course, there’s the old standby peach pie plus peach crisp (same topping as my 7th-grade Home Ec apple crisp) and last but not least, peach snow pudding – egg whites, unflavored gelatin, fresh peaches, etc. whipped up in a blender!!! So refreshing on these hot nights…..

    Enjoy the rest of your summer!

    Reply
  14. skimmer

    Wonderful. I love easy and delicious, as this is. Did anyone think that the KAF bread is what makes it sooooo good???

    Reply
  15. Julie Cancio Harper

    I have always loved pie and crisp, but I’ve never loved cobbler. The biscuit-topped version never appealed to me, and if I wanted to make pie crust for a topping, I’d just make a two-crust pie.

    I am so very glad that you’ve posted this recipe because I’m always on the look-out for variety. For my own part, I don’t want another traditional cobbler recipe of ANY kind. Your approach strikes a very positive chord with me.

    I have several bags of cubed Easter bread in the freezer. I usually reserve them for a quick bread pudding, but this is another great use. Now I just need to get some fresh fruit!

    Reply
  16. Alissa

    Hmmm….what if you used fresh from the orchard apples? Yeah, and the syrup was block caramel melted? And maybe you mixed in some pecans with the bread? Would challah or brioche work? Might work for Thanksgiving or a back to school brunch? Or a Tuesday night….thanks for the springboard. But I’ll probably have to try the original first, just to be sure. :)
    We have not tried the apple and caramel version-it would be a nice flavor combination. If you try let us know how this turns out. JMD@KAF

    Reply
  17. Jamie

    Could I do this with Apples? I love peaches, but don’t like them when cooked or baked…Thanks!
    Should work just fine Jamie! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  18. KimberlyD

    Call it what you want, but don’t call me late to eat it! Ha,ha! It looks yummy! I think other fruit would work to don’t you? I used the biscuit and other fruit. And love crisp too. I like when the fresh fruit come in.

    Reply
  19. Beth

    I wonder how this would work without adding the sugar. Someone asked me to make “a peach pie without sugar.” My first thought was to make a cobbler, but this might do the trick instead. Do you think it would be possible to eliminate most of the sugar? PJ, you’re always coming up with great ideas. And a belated Happy Birthday to you.
    HI Beth,
    You could use a sugar substitute, or just the nature sweetness of the peaches, and it should work out just fine. Some thickeners like ClearJel do need to be mixed with sugar, do keep that in mind. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  20. Kristin

    Had four large overripe peaches which got me halfway to the required amount of fruit so I used fresh blueberries for the rest. Fabulous! Pretty much a brown betty, but that’s just semantics. Everyone loved it.

    Reply
  21. Helen Drake-Perrow

    Delicious, no matter what it’s called. Actually made mine with peaches, mangoes and blueberries. Also used Splenda brown sugar blend. Wonderful!

    Reply
  22. Marsha

    If I use Instant ClearGel, how much would it take?
    Marsha, use 3 tablespoons of ClearGel and mix it with your sugar first. JMD@KAF

    Reply
  23. Dianna

    This looks really good and easy. I usually make an easy cookie dough type topping for cobbler.

    Thanks for the hint of using ascorbic acid, I have never heard of that before.

    Reply
  24. Linda in Fresno CA

    Just made this w/fresh apricots. Didn’t have any white bread handy, so used a couple of dutch crunch rolls … D-lish!!!! Thank you for the recipe!

    Reply
  25. Barbara

    Pastry, babe. That’s the ONLY way to make cobbler. Really good pie crust is a far, far better flavor than biscuit dough, IMHO. A rough raggedy edge folded up and over the FRESH fruit in a 9 x 13 pan. A cornstarch, water and sugar boiled thickener, and you’ve got peach heaven. My Mama said so.

    Seriously, I think no other baked good has as many opinions as this except potato salad! I did eat something called peach cobbler that was made with cake batter and poured over peaches in a Dutch oven and cooked over a campfire that was good, but I’d call it a fresh peach cake. I’m stickin’ with my recipe. You just can’t improve on perfection.

    Oh, maybe pie crust, too – EVERYONE has the “right” and “only” way to make pie crust. But then, I guess Mama is ALWAYS right, Barbara – right? :) PJH

    Reply
    1. member-nellie88

      Barbara – I’m a new member and new to King Arthur products. Just received my first order the other day and have been making biscuits ever since.

      I agree with you about cobbler – we’re from the south and don’t care for the biscuit topping. My husband loves peach cobbler where the crust gets “slightly burnt and gooey” on the top and bottom. He and my son-in-law fight over those parts.

      Would you be willing to share your recipe please and send it to me at nellie88@suddenlink.net?
      Thanks so much and here’s to good cooking!

  26. Pattichef

    I too, have had many different “types” of cobbler’s over the years. I make my coobler’s the same as shown here, with one exception. I make my buttermilk biscuits and drop my dough on the top of the hot and bubbly fruit. The dough is always baked and the cobbler, be it peach or other fruit, is always soooooo delish! I love it the next day cold, with cream.

    Oh, you’re killin’ me! I have some wonderful peaches just getting a bit too ripe… but I’m too tired to turn on the oven! Maybe tomorrow – thanks for the inspiration. PJH

    Reply
  27. Barbara

    I made mini peach cobblers (or call them pies, if you want) in 1/2 pint Kerr canning jars a couple of days ago. I rolled out my pie crust, cut strips as wide as the jars are tall, cut some tops with the screw band, and presto! I had mini pies or cobblers ready for the oven. I intend to make many more of these which will be sealed with the lid and band before baking, and put into the freezer for a treat for one or two when I want one. I made it my usual way except that I used Splenda instead of sugar so my better half could have a couple also. One pie crust and 3 peaches made 4 mini cobblers. I think today I will do mixed berries with a crisp topping. Isn’t summer fruit just fabulous?
    Summer fruit is indeed fabulous, but not as fabulous as our customer/bakers and their baking ideas! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  28. Peggy Barco

    I have just recently made this cobbler. This is the best I have ever eaten or made. So simple. The next time I make it , I will get the enhancer. I used extra flour and it was still runny but still delicious. Compliments to the cook.

    I have given this recipe to several of my friends. They could not believe how easy and tasty it was.

    My husband & I are both diabetics and I used splenda and splenda brown sugar. I also doubled the topping and used a 9×13′ pan.

    Works very well.

    Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

    Peggy Barco

    Thanks for mentioning that you used Splenda with success, Peggy – that’s a big help to our readers trying to cut calories or carbs. Cheers! PJH

    Reply
  29. Aaron Frank

    This looks great and it is probably a great way to use bread that is getting a little stale too (not that that ever happens in our house).

    Have you tried whole wheat bread? We have some challah lying around so maybe I’ll try that.

    Thanks
    Hi Aaron,
    We’re all about “give it a try” here in the kitchen so take our cue and well, give it a try! Have fun! ~ MaryJane

    Aaron, I actually made this yesterday to bring to someone’s house for dinner. What a versatile dish! I used bruised peaches and plums from the bottom of the fruit drawer in the fridge; plus frozen raspberries from last summer. For the bread: chopped up cinnamon-raisin English muffins, and a couple of crumbled stale blueberry scones. Tossed the bread with the topping, ladled it on, baked – SUPERB. Everyone raved over it. I’m sure even whole wheat bread would be great – PJH

    Reply
  30. suelynn

    The family is coming over tonight and I have been waiting to make this, YUM, YUM. Make homemade bread two days ago just to have on hand for this event. Will report later. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply
  31. Kristine

    This is an awesome idea. My daughter has celiac disease and this would allow me to cut up some of her gluten free bread to use as the topping. Much easier and I always have gluten free bread on hand. Thank you.

    So glad to hear about a gluten free treat! So often we hear about the struggle/quest for gluten free desserts and we’re glad this cobbler will please your daughters palate. Happy GF Baking! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  32. jenn0870

    So, if I wanted to do a lot of this for a crowd, and doubled or tripled it in a much larger, but shallow enough dish, I wonder how long I might have to bake it?

    Double this and bake in a 9 X 13 pan. Check after 30 minutes of baking at 350′ – look for the center to tell you if it’s ready by bubblin’ at you! Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  33. momofthree

    I was looking to do something with my peaches and this recipe came up. Abolutely fantastic!!!! I didn’t have homemade bread, and used leftover whole grain Wonder bread (don’t judge me!) and it is perfection. I will make this again, for certain.

    Reply
  34. cocoissweet

    this is wonderful recipe! i will definitely give it a try! couple of question though, can i divide this cobbler into four six or four ounces ramekins? and how long should i bake them? can i replace the bread with stale croissant?
    I don’t see why not! The croissants will work, but they might bake a bit faster, which might not be a bad thing if you are using smaller dish. We haven’t tried it in a smaller size, but I would say same baking temp, and check on them at around 10 minutes, adjusting for more time if needed. Bake until the bread is a deep, golden brown, and the filling is bubbly. ~Jessica

    Reply
  35. bsteimle

    I made this yesterday and brought it to a friend’s for July 4th lunch. It was FABULOUS. I was a little worried when I put it in the oven, with the syrup over all the top of the bread. I wondered how this was going to work out. But I should know better than to doubt PJ. The syrup baked into the bread cubes to a gorgeous crunchy goodness. And it was much easier than my traditional cobbler with a biscuit top. I used leftover (frozen) bread “ends” (loaf leftovers) most of which were oatmeal bread, I think ;)

    Reply

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