I have a collection of Australian Donna Hay magazines, gifted by my dear friend Fiona, squirreled away in piles throughout my home that I often refer to for inspiration. She has been gifting her cast-offs to me for years. Fortunately for me, she doesn’t share my recipe hoarding tendencies. Today, I discovered a package in the mail from Melbourne with a a copy of the very last issue (sob).
Donna’s recipes have heart - I've found they’re precisely the sort of dishes you can’t wait to make and share with friends. And the photography is an inspiration - consistently gorgeous.
Coincidentally, I have been tinkering with this cobbler for weeks - inspired from a recipe I cut out of one of those magazines a year or two ago. I love everything about it. Piles of summer peaches lightly spiced and sweetened, then covered with a crunchy cornmeal infused biscuit topping swirled with fresh raspberries. YUM! It’s the Peach Melba of summer cobblers.
Fun fact about Peach Melba - the dreamy combination of poached peaches and ice cream drizzled with raspberry sauce. I was curious about the history of it, and learned the concoction was created by Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel in London for the Australian soprano Nellie Melba, once one of the world’s most famous opera singers. I love that a century-old French chef working in a British Hotel to honor an Australian singer has become a part of culinary vernacular today (even if I was fuzzy on the origin until I Googled it.)
I’ve made this lovely cobbler a few times now, both in a square baker and an oval one… but if cast iron skillets are your jam, that would work well too. You must promise to serve it warm, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I pop my the cobbler into a low oven (200 degrees will do) just as we’re sitting down to dinner, then it’s warmed through by the time dessert rolls around.
Donna says she set out to surprise and delight her readers with her magazine - a great plan if I’ve ever heard one. Trust me, this cobbler will surprise and delight you - and anyone you’d like to share it with.
Peach Cobbler with Raspberry Cream Biscuits
- 8 large peaches, cut into thin wedges (I have used both peeled and unpeeled peaches - either is fine)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 3/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ¾ cup fresh raspberries.
- 2 tablespoons sugar to sprinkle on top
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch, spices and salt.
- In a large bowl, toss the sliced peaches in lemon juice, then sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over it, and mix until all the peaches are covered.
- Transfer the mixture into an ovenproof dish of your choice (could be a 9x9 baker, an oval baker, or a cast iron skillet.)
- Place the dish on a large cookie sheet, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the peaches have softened.
- While the peaches are baking, mix together the biscuit topping.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, brown sugar, salt, and nutmeg.
- Mix to combine, then add the very cold butter.
- Using a paddle attachment, stir the mixture until it resembles coarse meal (you should still be able to see pea-sized bits of butter.)
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the half and half (or cream) and vanilla.
- With the mixer on low, slowly pour the milk and cream mixture into the flour mixture until it just begins to come together. Be careful not to over-mix the batter.
- Crush the raspberries slightly, then carefully fold the berries in by hand.
- When the peaches have come out of the oven, spoon the biscuit topping over the fruit.
- Sprinkle the topping with the additional sugar.
- Pop the cobber back into the oven and bake, uncovered, for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden and cooked through.