Peach season is winding down at this point, so if you are interested in making this recipe, get to it quickly! I actually made this twice already because we liked it so much the first time. It all started when I saw a cardboard basket of peaches at Trader Joe’s for a better price than the loose peaches. Not the greener option…but my frugal side won out in this case. As soon as I got home, I started researching recipes for peach pie. Since I’m not a very experienced baker, I quickly abandoned that pursuit in favor of the lazy baker’s dessert – cobbler.
I used this recipe from Southern Living. While reading through the instructions, I thought for sure that something was wrong, as it called for putting down the batter and then the peaches. Was this like a pineapple upside-down cake, where the dish would need to be flipped at the end? Luckily, someone explained in the comments that the peaches would sink and the batter would rise during the baking process, so I stuck to the recipe pretty closely.
First, I heated the oven to 375°. I chopped up a half cup of unsalted butter (one stick, in this case) and put it in a 9″x13″ pan, then popped the pan into the oven while it preheated to melt the butter.
Meanwhile, I chopped 5 peaches into thin slices. I also measured 3/4 cup of sugar (reduced from the recipe), and about a tablespoon of lime juice (although the original recipe called for lemon). I actually forgot to save limes for this recipe, so I ended up squeezing the remaining juice out of a few lime slices, which worked pretty well!
The peach slices, sugar, and lime juice got mixed together in a small pot that I brought to boiling. I mixed the peaches for a few minutes, stirring fairly frequently.
While the peaches were cooking, I mixed 1 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar (also reduced from the recipe), 1 tbsp baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Once they were combined, I added in 1 cup milk and stirred just until mixed. The batter then got poured over the melted butter in the baking pan.
Finally, I topped the batter with the cooked peach mixture. Again, the peaches sunk during the baking process, so even though it looked weird at this point, it turned out well.
I put the baking pan in the oven and let it bake for ~40 minutes. Towards the end, I checked the cobbler every couple of minutes. When the edges were starting to brown and the middle was a golden color, I pulled it out of the oven.
As you can see, the batter did rise!
We got eight servings out of this dish, each served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. It was the quintessential summer dessert.
+/- The butter came in a cardboard box and each stick was wrapped in paper. From what I’ve read, this doesn’t seem like an easily avoidable situation. At least I’m no longer buying foil-wrapped butter.
+/- Both times I made this, I bought the peaches in bulk to get a better price. Unfortunately, this meant that they came in packaging. The first time, they came in a cardboard basket that I reused for other counter-ripening produce for the next few weeks, and then recycled. The second time, they again came in a cardboard box, but there was a plastic bottom for keeping the peaches separated, which I unfortunately didn’t think about until after the purchase.
+ The flour and sugar came wrapped in paper.
– The baking powder, which I’ve had forever, is in a paper canister with a metal top/bottom and plastic lid. The inside seems to have a metallic lining, so I’m guessing it’s not recyclable.
+ The salt is in a huge cardboard box that lasts a long time. It was actually in my parents’ kitchen before they moved, so we’ve really gotten a lot of use out of it.
+/- The first time I made this, I used milk that came in a returnable glass bottle. The second time I had to resort to a plastic container, as I’ve had a hard time finding glass milk bottles locally.
+ I squeezed real limes for the juice, and actually reused limes the second time around (mostly out of desperation).
– The ice cream we served the cobbler with came in a standard ice cream carton, which is not recyclable.
+ I used a large beeswax wrapper to cover the pan when it went in the fridge rather than plastic wrap.
As I try to go zero-waste, I’m cooking more and more items from scratch. This was one of those instances where I would have simply bought a pie in the past, but chose instead to make the dessert on my own. So, there was no box, disposable pie pan, etc. wasted in this process. And, I actually think it tasted better than most store-bought desserts that I’ve had lately, although I’m probably biased. I’d highly recommend this recipe and might try to squeeze in a third round myself before peaches are out of season.