Stone fruits contain a wealth of antioxidant anthocyanins, vitamins, and minerals. They are also a delicious source of fiber and may help promote brain health, fend off diabetes, lower the risk of hypertension, and even prevent cancer.
Peaches are the star of this week’s recipe, in this case served up in a fabulous cobbler with a biscuit crust. It was sent to CCSA as part of a series of emails from our resident chef, Dr. Linda Doody. She has been sharing her extensive collection of favorite recipes with friends, family, and the CCSA team as a means of maintaining connections during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nature’s candy in my hand, or can, or pie”
From: The Presidents of the United States of America ~ “Peaches”
BraveTart, Stella Parks (2017)
- Peach Filling
- 4⅔ cups (28 ounces) sliced peaches (~6 large peaches), pitted, peeled or unpeeled
- 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (Meyer lemons are preferable)
- 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt. (Diamond Crystal kosher salt is lighter and less salty. If another brand is substituted, use only two-thirds as much salt. With fine-grained table salt, use half the amount)
- ⅓ cup + 1 teaspoon (1½ ounces) tapioca flour (optional-see note below)
- Buttermilk Biscuits
- 2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1½ teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt (half as much if iodized)
- 1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
- ¾ cup (6¾ ounces) cultured low-fat buttermilk, straight from the refrigerator (buttermilk is what is left after churning milk into butter, so it is naturally low fat)
- Note Dr. Doody adds tapioca flour, also called tapioca starch, as a thickener if the peaches are juicy. It is made from the root of the cassava plant, Manihot esculenta, and creates a light, translucent gel. Make sure to purchase brands that actually mention cassava, such as Bob’s Red Mill; products made from other plants (e.g., sago) do not gel in the same way. In this type of recipe, cornstarch is not a good substitute since it requires boiling to be effective and results in a less glossy filling)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F; the oven rack should be adjusted to the lower middle. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
- Fruit Filling
- Add the peaches to a medium bowl; add lemon juice, sugar, salt, and tapioca flour, tossing with a flexible spatula to combine. Pour into a 7×11-inch glass or ceramic dish.
- Buttermilk Biscuits
- Sift measured flour into a medium bowl. Whisk in baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add butter, toss to break up the pieces and coat with the flour mixture, and smash each cube into a small sheet with cold fingers. Continue mashing and rubbing until the butter has mostly disappeared into a floury mix, although a few Cheerio-sized pieces may remain. (*Note:* This can also be done with 4 or 5 pulses in a food processor, by grating very cold butter over the flour using the largest holes of a box grater, or by using a pastry cutter. The idea is NOT to mix the butter into the flour. The flakes or pieces of butter should be separated by flour. This contributes to much of the flakiness when baked. Folding or stacking contributes more flakiness. If the butter becomes warm and soft, place the dough in the refrigerator for a short time.) Stir in the buttermilk with a flexible spatula, stopping as soon as the dough comes together in a sticky ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, sprinkle more flour on top, and gently pat into a 6-inch square. Fold in half; pat out into a square, and repeat twice for a total of 3 folds. (*Note:* Some Southern biscuit recipes suggest cutting the dough into thirds, then stacking them to form 3 layers, and repeating the process twice more.) Roll or pat the dough into a 10×6-inch rectangle, then cut into 8 pieces with a sharp knife.
- Arrange the biscuit pieces on top of the fruit. Bake on the lined sheet until biscuits are golden brown, about 45 minutes. Serve warm with heavy cream, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.
This cobbler recipe is actually a combination of 2 recipes in the cookbook. For the fruit filling, peaches replace cherries in the filling for the Classic Cherry Pie recipe (page 179); the topping consists of buttermilk biscuits from the Buttermilk Biscuits with Strawberry and Cream recipe (page 85).