This Old Fashioned Ozark Peach Cobbler is so incredibly delicious and flavorful that you will want to go back for seconds and thirds until it is either all gone or your belly is begging for mercy. The peaches absolutely shine in this heritage recipe. Run, don’t walk, to the closest farmer’s market or store and pick up the juiciest American peaches you can find and make this tonight.
This recipe is Jean Jennings family recipe that Nancy Baggett included in her 2005 compilation, “The All-American Dessert Book.” Nancy travelled across the USA, collecting heritage recipes from each region (lucky!), and this Peach Cobbler is from Mountain View, Arkansas.
Honestly Nancy says it best, “A single bite of [Jean’s] peach cobbler convinced me that her local fame was more than deserved. The pastry dough is unbelievably rich and tender, and the filling tastes sublime. The cobbler is soupier than most I’ve eaten, but it seems right that way.” Strangely it does seem right and I would miss the rich juice surrounding the peaches.
As I take my last bite of my third bowl today, all I can do is close my eyes and savor the flavors. Move over pie: this Peach Cobbler really is a piece of tasty American heritage.
This Old Fashioned Ozark Peach Cobbler is so incredibly delicious and flavorful that you will want to go back for seconds and thirds until it is either all gone or your belly is begging for mercy.
For the Filling:
9 ½ cups peeled, pitted, and coarsely sliced large ripe peaches (~4 ½ pounds)
¼ cup water
1 1/3 cups sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
For the Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
13 tablespoons butter flavored or solid-white shortening, cut into chunks (I used butter, because apparently I was moderately illiterate this morning but it still tasted amazing)
½ cups cold water, combined with 2 ice cubes
1 tablespoon sugar for sprinkling over dough
To make the Filling:
Pre-heat oven to 425°.
In a large saucepan, gently stir together the peaches, water and sugar. Add butter. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn it down to medium. Stir occasionally. Simmer until the peaches start to release their juices, about 4 minutes. Or longer if you start reading something else and lose track of time. It’ll still tastes just as good! Pour into baking dish (9 ½ x 13 ½ inches)
To make the dough:
Stir together flour and salt. Add the shortening. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles course crumbs.
Measure out 7 tablespoons of ice water and sprinkle over the mixture. Blend lightly with a fork until the dough holds together. If it is at all dry, then add more water. The dough should hold together when pressed between your fingertips.
Turn out pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead until the dough holds together and is very smooth.
Shape the dough into a log and roll out until it will hang over the edge of your 9 ½ -by-13 ½ inch pan. Trim the edges until it will only hang over by ½ inch. Roll pieces of the cut-off dough into small balls and drop into the peach filling. Stir to mix. This will act as a natural thickener: a trick that Jean’s Mother taught her.
Center the dough on the dish and fold edges and “tuck it neatly into place”. Cut slits with a greased paring knife. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the top of the pastry.
Bake for 20 minutes in pre-heated oven. Reduce heat to 375°. Continue baking 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until the top is nicely browned and the filling is bubbly. Transfer to wire rack. Let cool at least 20 minutes, ideally longer, before serving.
Get really, really excited! It’s going to be mind-blowingly delicious!
If you are having a bad day and your dough is being uncooperative or you want to save a little time, then tear off pieces of the dough and flatten them into small circles. Gently place them over the top of your peach filling. They will taste just as good – promise.
I halved the original recipe for the photos shown.