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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Individual Peach Cobblers

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If you had asked me to choose, a year ago, between a cobbler and a crisp, I wouldn't said crisp without missing a beat. Really, I'd take any dessert that combines warm fruit with a carby topping and a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream. But being an oatmeal lover, I couldn't resist the homey oat topping found on apple crisp.

Then Maggie introduced me to this Williams Sonoma recipe for cobbler. The original recipe calls for Bing Cherries, but she's made it for me with mixed berries (you can use frozen!) and peaches. Now the question--cobbler or crisp?--doesn't have such a clear answer!

The biscuit topping on these individual-sized cobblers appears crunchy, protecting the tender fruit beneath it, but once you stick your fork in you find a light cake below which is the perfect match for the steaming peaches and melty ice cream!

If you can no longer find good peaches, you can easily substitute another fruit. Like I said, Maggie's used frozen berries before and I think other frozen fruits would work just as well...or even apples or pears. Crisp-lovers, prepare to find a new love. Cobbler-lovers, this will put you in a euphoric state ;)

One Year Ago: Caprese Tart with Basil-Garlic Crust (a MUST make!)
Two Years Ago: S'mores Brownies

Individual Peach Cobblers
adapted from Williams Sonoma

for the filling-
-5 cups peaches, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
-1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
-3 tbsp sugar

for the topping-
-2/3 cup buttermilk
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1/3 cup sugar
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
-1 tbsp sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (I used coarse sugar)

1. Place 6 (1 cup) ramekins on a baking sheet. Set asdie. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Stir together the peaches, lemon juice, and sugar in a large bowl until well mixed. Divide the fruit equally among the ramekins and bake for 10 minutes.
3. While fruit is baking, make the topping. In a small bowl, mix the buttermilk with the vanilla and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the butter pieces and mix on low until the mixture has large coarse crumbs in it. (This can also be done by hand, cutting the butter in with a pastry blender or 2 knives.)
4. Slowly pour in the buttermilk mixture and mix just until combined and a soft, sticky dough is formed.
5. Remove fruit from oven and drop spoonfuls of dough over the fruit in each ramekin (note: topping will spread as it bakes). Sprinkle each ramekin with a bit of the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
6. Bake until the fruit filling is bubbling and the topping is browned, or an inserted toothpick (into the topping) comes out clean (30-35 minutes). Transfer ramekins to a wire rack and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.
*This recipe can also be made as a large cobbler in a 9-inch pie or baking dish