Every southerner seems to have his or her idea of a superlative cobbler. Some like biscuits or a dumpling-style top layer over baked fruit, while others like me (go figure) like a buttery, cake-like cobbler made with a batter that turns into a comforting golden crust, oozing with caramelized fruit. If this sounds familiar, maybe it's because I'm talking about the the Cuppa Cuppa Peach Cobbler recipe of Steel Magnolias fame,.
If you've seen the movie, you know the one Dolly Parton's character, Truvy, mentions that's so simple, one doesn't even need to write it down:
"It's a cuppa flour, a cuppa sugar, a cuppa fruit cocktail with the juices, and you mix and bake at 350 degrees 'til gold and bubbly."
I discovered the Cuppa Cuppa cobbler recipe in college at a meat'n'three restaurant in Athens, Georgia where I worked during my university years. After serving it day in and day out to everyone in town from hungover frat boys and businessman to professors and even grandmas (who'd had a whole lifetime of cobbler experience, which was quite telling), I was sold on its goodness. Once I figured out how to make it, this classic recipe became a summer staple that I've whipped up every year since.
Truvy doesn't mention the sticka butter, a very necessary component, but this recipe is still very simple. The only other edit to the original recipe is that I use fresh fruit, usually straight peaches, with a little lemon and sugar to create a fresh fruit syrup. Sometimes, in late summer, when my blackberry bushes are exploding, I add a handful of fresh berries to my cobbler, too, and that's never been a bad idea.
I've had it with pineapple, cherries and apples, as well, and I urge you to try them all, piping hot with ice cream or cold with your morning coffee. Whichever fruit you choose, it's the only cobbler recipe you'll ever need.
Since I already have a lot of dessert in my life, I often like to divide the batter and peaches in half and make two smaller cobblers in my 8" cast iron pans: one for home and one to share with a friend. For a crowd, the full recipe works perfectly in a 13" x 9" casserole pan.
Cuppa Cuppa Peach Cobbler
adapted from Food 52
- 8 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup AP flour, plus
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 cup organic sugar + 1/4 cup
- 1 cup organic whole milk
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla
- 4-5 ripe peaches, about 2 cups, peeled and sliced
- 1 lemon zest + juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Peel and slice peaches and add to a medium mixing bowl.
- Add zest of one lemon, juice of half a lemon and 1/4 cup sugar to peaches and stir until combined; set aside.
- Place the stick of butter in a 13x9 baking dish or split between two 8" round cast iron skillets (so you can share one with a neighbor:).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar and salt).
- Add the milk and vanilla, and whisk gently until smooth.
- Once the butter is melted and starting to bubble, remove the baking dish(es) from the oven and rotate the dish to coat the bottom and sides with melted butter.
- Pour the batter into the hot baking dish(es). Use a spatula to spread it out along the pan. Butter will slop over the sides of the batter -- this is a good thing. Scatter the peaches with their lemony juices over the batter.
- Bake cobbler until the center is just set and the edges are deep golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.