Recipe Review

This Southern Peach Cobbler Is All About the Biscuits (I Could Barely Find the Fruit)

updated Jul 20, 2021
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Credit: Peach Cobbler Photos: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

As I sat down to choose contenders for this peach cobbler recipe showdown, I knew Southern cooks would have experience on their side. After all, peach trees heavy with summer fruit are synonymous with the South. Garden & Gun is a magazine that chronicles the art, music, and food of the region, and I was eager to try out the peach cobbler recipe I found between its pages.

While the first peach of the summer is best eaten whole, the natural next step is cobbler. In this recipe, fresh peaches are peeled, diced, and covered with a golden layer of buttermilk drop biscuits. I was curious to see how the sour tang of buttermilk would play against the sweetness of peak summer peaches. Would this hot dish of biscuit-topped fruit be the best cobbler of the season? Here’s what happened when I gave it a go.

Credit: Peach Cobbler Photos: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

How to Make Garden & Gun’s Peach Cobbler

Peel and chop four cups of fresh peaches, and then add them to a large bowl with granulated sugar, honey, cornstarch, and the zest and juice of a lemon. Season the filling mixture with ground cinnamon, ginger, allspice, kosher salt, and vanilla extract. Transfer the filling to a buttered 9×13-inch baking dish.

Whisk self-rising flour, granulated sugar, and salt together in a large bowl for the topping. Add softened cubes of unsalted butter to the dry ingredients. Work the butter into the flour mixture until it’s the consistency of wet sand, then stir in buttermilk until combined.

Scoop large spoonfuls of the batter onto the fruit filling. The fruit might not be covered completely, but that’s expected. Bake in a 400°F oven until the crust is golden and cooked through, about one hour. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Credit: Patty Catalano

My Honest Review of Garden & Gun’s Peach Cobbler

While I liked the texture of the peaches — the cornstarch thickened their sweet juices, creating a sweet and jammy consistency — I wanted more peach flavor in every bite. The trio of spices — cinnamon, ginger, and allspice — overpowered the peaches’ delicate fruit flavor, and hinted at fall flavors rather than peak summer. Garden & Gun‘s headnotes recommend swapping peaches for apples in autumn, and after tasting the flavors, I say that’s the better option.

It’s also worth noting that the biscuit topping was deeply browned after just 40 minutes in the oven. Heed the recipe’s advice to cover the baking dish with foil if the biscuit is browned yet still needs time to cook through. I kept it in the oven, covered, for the full hour to make sure the biscuit was done and the peaches were tender. The biscuit was super tasty — soft and tender with a slight tang from the buttermilk — but its flavor was overpowered by the heavily-spiced peaches.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

If You’re Making Garden & Gun’s Peach Cobbler, a Few Tips

  1. Add more peaches. Peaches should be the star of this summery fruit cobbler, but there’s a greater proportion of biscuit topping to tender fruit. Use six cups of fruit instead of four for the honey-sweetened fruit to stand out.
  2. Cut back on the spices. Ripe summer peaches don’t need much help to taste delicious, but this recipe relies on too many spices for flavor. Start with half of the amount of cinnamon, ginger, and allspice, then taste the peaches before adding any more.
  3. Make your own self-rising flour. Self-rising flour is a staple in many Southern kitchens (how else could we get biscuits on the table so fast?), but don’t despair if it isn’t in your pantry. Make your own self-rising flour with all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.

Overall rating: 6/10

Credit: Peach Cobbler Photos: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Have you tried Garden & Gun’s Peach Cobbler ? Let us know in the comments!