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Cobbler Technique

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It depends on what type cobbler you're making. Many popular cobbler recipes, especially these days, call for a biscuit-type topping. The old-fashioned way called for pastry -- not biscuit dough, but pie pastry -- in and on top of the cobbler. For example, here is a recipe from our cookbook for Old-Fashioned Peach Cobbler:

Old-Fashioned Peach Cobbler

8 cups sliced fresh peaches

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/3 cup butter, melted

Pastry for double-crust pie (see Standard Pie Pastry)

Preheat oven to 475°F.

Combine the peaches, sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in a Dutch oven. Allow to set until sugar is dissolved and a syrup forms. Over medium heat, bring the peach mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in melted butter. Set aside and keep warm.

Roll out half the pastry as for a pie, but cut it into an 8-inch square. Spoon half the peach mixture into a lightly buttered 8-inch square Pyrex dish. Cover with the pastry square. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and spoon remaining peach mixture over the baked pastry.

Roll out the remaining pastry, and cut into strips about an inch wide. Arrange strips in a loose lattice weave over the peach mixture. Sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar, if desired. Bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until browned.

I won't deny that the old-fashioned type is a bit more work, but that's okay with me because I think it makes a better cobbler.

There is another type of cobbler that does not use a biscuit topping, and it is easier and quite delicious. Here's our recipe for Grandma's Peach Cobbler:

Grandma's Peach Cobbler

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1 cup milk

3 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches, with their juices

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Put the butter in a 9x13-inch Pyrex or other oven-proof baking dish and put the dish in the preheating oven. While the butter is melting, mix up the batter by combining the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and milk.

When the butter is completely melted, remove the pan and pour the batter into the melted butter. Then, carefully spoon the peaches and juice evenly over the batter. Return dish to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

As the cobbler cooks, the batter will rise up and around the peaches. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Note: Cobblers require ripe peaches of the highest quality. If you can't find really excellent fruit, but are desperate for peach cobbler, a satisfactory peach cobbler can be made with frozen peaches to which no sugar has been added. These are available year round at most any supermarket.

I may be wrong about this, but I believe that the cobblers shown here are more common in the southern U.S., while cobblers that have only a "topping" are native to the northern U.S. If anyone else has an opinion about this, let us here from you.

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Why is cobbler batter spooned on the fruit instead of pouring the batter all over the base

I run a small walk-in carryout and make a scratch white corn meal cornbread that by adding a fruit filling to it makes another menu item with little extra effort. It comes out ok but I was trying for better.

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Well, I'm sure I over-answered your questions or perhaps didn't answer it at all. But basically, the main difference between, say, a peach pie and a peach cobbler (other than appearance) is that a peach pie has a bottom crust and top crust. A peach cobbler has no bottom crust but may or may not have pastry or some other type of dough in it or on top of it.

What you describe -- fruit filling over made-from-scratch cornbread -- sounds great, but I don't know what to call it.

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Well, I'm sure I over-answered your questions or perhaps didn't answer it at all. But basically, the main difference between, say, a peach pie and a peach cobbler (other than appearance) is that a peach pie has a bottom crust and top crust. A peach cobbler has no bottom crust but may or may not have pastry or some other type of dough in it or on top of it.

What you describe -- fruit filling over made-from-scratch cornbread -- sounds great, but I don't know what to call it.

Thanks so much. I did see a video demo on americas test kitchen and have a better idea thanks to you and the video

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