As a personal chef, and when any of my daily clients head out of town for a week or more, I like to “use up” any of those more fragile food items in their refrigerator lest they spoil and have to be trashed. Usually, it involves fresh fruit.
I scored some beautiful peaches a few days before that I used in another recipe and also had fresh blackberries that I use in their breakfasts. I had more than enough of those delectable perishables to work out something delicious that the client (and the remaining working staff) could enjoy later.
I recently read a recipe from Chef John of Food Wishes where he made a sugary light batter to cover his peach cobbler, instead of the crust filled cobbler norm. Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice sweet crust filled cobbler, but Chef John’s version seemed a bit different and exciting.
Light, sugary, and thin, the top crust (and only “crust”) came out super crisp. Buttery in flavor, plenty of texture thanks to rolled oats, this cobbler was tasty and easy to make. Explore other fruits in yours should fresh peach not be available, especially those other summer stone-fruits like nectarines, plums, and apricots!
Sugar Shell Peach-Blackberry Cobbler: Serves 6
For The Filling:
6-8 medium ripe (not overly ripe) peaches, pitted and sliced thick
1 pint-about 6 ounces fresh blackberries
Zest and juice of a large lemon
1 tablespoon sugar
Butter to line the baking dish
For The Sugar Shell:
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temp softened
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar, Split (Use 1 1/4 cups for the pastry and 1/4 cup before baking)
1 1/3 cup All Purpose Flour (Chef John used Self Rising Flour. Omit the baking powder and salt if you do)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/3 cup rolled oats
2/3 cups whole milk
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and butter the inside of a deep 10” pie dish or baking dish.
In a bowl combine the thickly sliced peaches, whole blackberries, lemon juice/lemon zest, and a tablespoon of sugar. Mix to combine and set aside.
In a separate bowl cream together your softened butter and sugar until light and smooth. In yet another bowl (and now I understand why Chef John used “self-rising flour”… he doesn’t like washing bowls) combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and rolled oats until blended evenly.
Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar, along with the milk. Mix and mix until you have a light batter. It will look and feel to dry at first, but keep mixing until nice and smooth.
Pour the peach and blackberry filling into your buttered dish, and press down to a nice even layer. Spoon on the batter and with a metal spatula or icing knife, smooth out over the top of the filling. Go all the way to the edges of the dish and cover in a sweet thin topping.
Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar evenly over the top. Now, for the water, you can either use in a clean spray bottle or figure out the best way (fingers, pastry brush drip, etc.) to coat and wet the top. The combination of the water and sugar will give that delicate sugar shell crispness while baking.
Place the wet top cobbler on a baking sheet and place in your hot oven. Bake 45-50 minutes or until the sugar crust is a golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest at least 30 minutes before serving… and YES you can add ice cream! Enjoy!