What do those words mean to you?
From my strictly anecdotal research – gleaned from the assortment of treasured regional cookbooks behind my desk – I conclude that your mental image of peach cobbler will be quite different if you live in Boston compared to, say, Baton Rouge.
There are exceptions to every rule – even this one, which I'm making up on the spot. (And I'm sure you'll let me know about those exceptions.)
But here's my conclusion –
Up North, cobbler is fruit baked under a baking powder biscuit crust.
Down South, that same fruit is covered with sweetened batter, yielding a very moist yellow cake heavily laden with fruit: bottom, middle, and top.
And in between those geographic bounds – and I mean everywhere in between, from Maryland to Montana – there are regional variations on the theme.
Some of you like a rolled-out biscuit crust topping your cobbler, much like a pie's top crust. Some prefer sweet yellow cake batter; others, barely sweetened batter falling somewhere between cake and biscuit, taste-wise.
And me? I REALLY REALLY REALLY like a version sent to us long ago by Joanne Sawyer of Newburgh, Indiana. Not Northern; not Southern; neither biscuit nor cake. Instead, wonderfully tender, sweet peaches bubble away under a crust of...
Well, we'll get to that in a bit. For now, let's look at our Northern and Southern cobblers.
★★★★★ “Oh my good golly gosh, this cobbler is delicious. I used brown sugar for the filling and it turned out perfectly. Nothing is quite so satisfying as the juxtaposition between the sweet, soft, slippery peach slices and the flaky, creamy biscuits on top. Wonderful!” – Samantha Reckford – KAF Community
From down South: Southern-Style Peach Cobbler. Start with batter in the bottom of the pan, and fruit on top. The layers switch places during baking, and the finished product resembles nothing so much as a moist, fruity cake on top of luscious fruit filling. Classic accompaniment: whipped cream.
★★★★★ Will this become a 5-star recipe? It's just been published to our site, and no one's reviewed it yet. We look forward to hearing what you think.
And now, for something completely different –
Warm, tender peaches under a crust of... cubed bread?
Make that bread drizzled with buttery brown sugar syrup, the whole baked until crisp and crunchy on top, creamy-smooth and tender underneath... Let's let Joanne from Indiana, the source of this recipe, speak to her Just Too Easy Peach Cobbler –
"This tasty, quick-to-make-at-the-last-minute summer dessert uses bread! Peaches are the called-for fruit, but I've made it with nectarines and apples. Now if I could only send you the peaches from our local peach orchard! They're available about July, and my mouth is already watering for them."
★★★★★ "As the only male in our office, there was a little skepticism when I sat this down in the break room. The next thing I heard (from an experienced baker) was, 'That was the best peach cobbler I have ever eaten. I don't think I took a breath until it was gone!' I printed a stack of recipe copies, and those disappeared just as quickly as the cobbler." – dwulfman – KAF Community
So: North, South, East or West – yummy peach cobbler, who makes the best?
The answer might very well be Indiana...
What's your favorite style of peach cobbler? Let us know in the comments below!