As of yesterday, I can officially claim residency of having lived in Portland for a year now. How crazy kookoo is that? Honestly, I am in disbelief. The last year has been pretty great all around, despite still not having found a permanent job. Somehow I’ve managed. Managed the anxiety, frustration, rejection, and attitude. And I suppose from having to constantly manage those emotions, that can really make the time fly by. Super duper fast.
Although I’m picking up momentum in that arena, I honestly haven’t had much time to bake but it’s all good. Last weekend I baked this fabulous lavender peach cobbler, so good your grandmother would approve.
My grandmother has always made the best, THE best, peach cobbler on the planet. I think she uses Bisquick for the dough cobbler topping and super ripe juicy peaches, which is why it probably always tasted amazing. Set out to somewhat replicate the perfect peach cobbler with that silky texture, sweet fresh fruit, and a crisp, sugary biscuit topping, I Googled peach cobblers from head to toe. And then something in my gut told me to flip through my one and only issue of Cook’s Illustrated, that free issue they send you in the mail to try to get you to subscribe? Yeah, that one. It has been sitting in my stack of magazines in the bathroom for a lightyear it seems, and something told me to flip through it the other night. And to my surprise… a tried-and-true peach cobbler recipe and write-up. What more could I have asked for?
Now some of you that prefer the crumbly oatmeal topping, I can’t help you out on that one. I’m a thick, rich biscuit kind of gal. In fact, I even doubled the biscuit topping from this recipe. So if you’re a biscuit kind of gal or guy, let me let you in on a little secret that makes the biscuit have a tangy flavor with the best texture–whole milk yogurt. According to Cook’s, they tested the “fat” component of the biscuit with shortening, cream cheese, heavy cream, half & half, milk and buttermilk, but nothing compared to the yogurt. Simple solution, and one that I am now inspired to incorporate in more similar dough recipes (and scones, perhaps!). I used Nancy’s Whole Milk Honey yogurt.
This wasn’t the first time I’ve experimented with lavender in baked fruit and dough dishes. This Vegan Lavender Berry Cream Pie I made some time ago was out of this world. Lavender always seems to kick summer fruits up a thousand notches, so why not add it to this cobbler? It was quite a wise decision, let me tell ya. This turned out beautifully and the lavender was far from overpowering. It was a delicious compliment to the dish that will have you coming back for more. And more.
*If you’re not sure where to find lavender sugar, you can either make your own or find some on Amazon.
If your peaches are firm, you can peel them with a vegetable peeler, but if they’re a little soft and ripe like mine were (I let mine sit out for a week), you can either peel with a butter knife or blanch and shock them before peeling. Nonfat or low-fat yogurt can be used in place of the whole milk yogurt, but the biscuits will not be as rich. Also, don’t prepare the biscuit dough sooner than the recipe indicates; if left to stand too long, the leavener will expire and the biscuits won’t rise properly. To serve a larger crowd, double the dish by using a 13 x 9″ baking dish and increase the baking times in both steps by 5-10 minutes. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream!
- 2½ pounds ripe but firm peaches (6-7 medium)
- ¼ cup lavender sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
- pinch of salt
- Biscuit Topping:
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons regular sugar
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼″ cubes
- ⅔ cup honey whole milk yogurt
- additional lavender sugar, for biscuit topping
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- For the filling: Peel peaches, then halve and pit each. Using a small spoon, scoop out and discard the dark flesh from the pit area. Cut each half into 4 wedges, Gently toss peaches and lavender sugar together in large bowl; let stand for 30 minutes, tossing several times. Drain peaches in colander set over a large bowl. Whisk ¼ cup of the drained juice (discard extra), cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt together in small bowl. Toss peach juice mixture with peach slices and transfer to an 8-inch-square glass baking dish. Bake until peaches begin to bubble around edges, about 10 minutes.
- For the topping: While peaches are baking, in food processor, pulse flour, 6 tablespoons of sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine. Scatter butter over and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about ten 1-second pulses. Transfer to medium bowl; add yogurt and toss with rubber spatula until cohesive dough is formed (don’t overmix dough or biscuits will be tough). Break dough into 6 evenly sized but roughly shaped mounds and set aside.
- To assemble and bake: After peaches have baked 10 minutes, remove peaches from oven and place dough mounds on top, spacing them out as much as possible. Sprinkle each mound with some of the lavender sugar, to taste. Bake until topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling, 18-20 minutes. Cool cobbler on wire rack until warm, about 20 minutes; serve.