Crumble, crisp, cobbler, pie — which has your heart? I'm a cobbler girl myself; I love biscuits and there's never quite enough biscuit to satisfy me. So this simple dessert is for me and all the rest of us who like a little fruit with our biscuits.
Think of it as a cross between a shortcake and a cobbler — warm biscuits, baked right on top of fresh, juicy peaches, topped with a spoonful of whipped cream. When it comes to summer desserts, this is exactly what I want.
This isn't quite a cobbler; cobblers are juicier and jammier, with less delineation between fruit and biscuit. Here you roast the peaches while you make the biscuit dough (it just takes a few minutes to put together) then bake the biscuits on top, so you end up with still-firm roasted peaches and sweet biscuits.
The word "sweet" is used lightly here, as this is a dessert that lets the butter shine forth, with the sugar taking a backseat. The biscuits have a little more sweetness than usual (I don't normally add sugar to my biscuits at all) and they're topped with a crunchy sprinkle of turbinado sugar.
The main sweetness comes, though, from ripe summer peaches, hot and juicy from the oven. I add a little lemon juice to highlight their sweetness and just a pinch of cinnamon — not too much! — to bring out their flavor.
Together it's warm peaches, hot biscuits, and of course a dollop of whipped cream. Not too sweet, and just right for these warm days at the end of summer.
Sweet Biscuits with Roasted Peaches
For the peaches:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds peaches (4 to 5), thickly sliced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
For the biscuits:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons cream, to brush
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 450°F. Grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet or heavy cake pan with 1 tablespoon unsalted butter. Spread the peaches in the buttered skillet. Cube the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and dot over the peaches. Sprinkle with the lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon. Roast for 12 minutes on an upper rack of the oven while preparing dough.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the 1/2 cup cold butter using a pastry cutter (or process in a food processor in short bursts until butter is crumbled). Add the buttermilk and mix just until a soft dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a floured countertop and very gently pat into a circle about 1 inch thick. Handling the dough as little as possible, cut into 8 to 9 circles with a glass or biscuit cutter.
Take the peaches out of the oven and stir once. Place the biscuit rounds on top of the peaches. Brush with cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
To make the whipped cream, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until it forms soft peaks.
To serve, either serve the biscuits on top of the peaches, like a cobbler, or split each biscuit and fill with fruit and cream.
(Image credits: Faith Durand)