Biscuit-making is for better cooks. At least, that’s what I told myself, content to spend my Saturday mornings with pancakes or homemade granola. I left fluffy, golden biscuits to the pros. But summer fruit at its peak in the South is a siren. When dark blueberries and—have mercy—fragrant Carolina peaches arrive, I’m tempted every time I walk by the fruit bowl. I was tempted even more by the thought of a biscuit cobbler, warm fruit slumped sweetly under a flaky biscuit, a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting faster than you can spoon it up. I got out my rolling pin.
Cobblers in the South vary. There’s the pudding-like cake kind. The drop-biscuit kind. The light-and-fluffy-biscuit kind. And this, of course, makes no mention of cobbler’s cousins: the crumble, the crisp, the betty, the buckle, the schlumpf. Perhaps we just need as many excuses as possible to turn summer’s treasures into dessert yet again.
I stirred my cobbler together after dinner in a cast iron skillet: vanilla, butter, brown sugar, a tumble of vibrant peaches and blueberries. The biscuit dough came together quickly, so quickly I found myself wondering what I had been waiting for all those Saturdays. The best cooks are simply the ones who cook, I realized—failures and victories alike. And if it took a golden peach-and-blueberry biscuit cobbler to teach me this, well . . . it’s hard to imagine a sweeter lesson.
PEACH BLUEBERRY BISCUIT COBBLER
2 lbs. peaches, sliced
1 pint blueberries
¼ c. brown sugar
¼ c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. cornstarch
2 ¼ c. flour
1 ½ Tbs. sugar, plus more for sprinkling
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
10 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
¾ c. heavy cream, plus more for glazing
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a bowl, toss together peaches, blueberries, brown and white sugars, vanilla, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Pour into a 9-in. cast-iron skillet.
3. In a different bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut butter into flour mixture, crumbling together until the butter is like sand. Add the heavy cream and stir together with a fork until the dough just comes together and forms a ball. You may need to add a splash or two more of cream to help the dough form.
4. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and gently pat into a smooth circle about 1-in. thick. Using a 3-in. biscuit cutter (or juice glass), cut 8 biscuits out and place on top of the fruit filling.
5. Brush each biscuit with cream and sprinkle the top with sugar. Bake for 30−35 minutes or until golden brown and baked through underneath. Serve cobbler warm with ice cream.