A ripe peach, brimming with flavor and juice just below a thin velvet skin, requires little to no adornment. It's why, when considering any dessert recipe that features the stone fruit, there will occur a certain level of reverse inquiry. Will your efforts be rewarded? Or will you find that the fruit would have been better left as is? These are the kind of questions that might come to mind. That is, unless a pastry chef like Cooks County's Roxana Jullapat shares her recipe for a peach cobbler, which in her rendition comes topped with cream biscuits.
Before she opened her restaurant with chef (and husband) Daniel Mattern as well as Claudio and Adria Blotta in Beverly Grove, she already gained acclaim for desserts that accentuate what's seasonal at restaurants such as Campanile, AMMO, AOC, and Lucques. At Cooks County, the sweet pastries and dessert are no different. There might be a huckleberry meringue with blueberry compote and blueberry ice cream, or ambrosia melon ice cream with lemon verbena. You'll likely find a variation of the peach cobbler recipe Jullapat has shared below on the menu, except with streussel topping as opposed to biscuits.
Jullapat came up with this recipe earlier this summer. At the time, she was working on a gluten-free cobbler and thought that it'd only make sense to develop a version that wasn't gluten-free as well. For at-home bakers, she has a few tips to keep in mind. To begin with, she strongly advises against using white peaches, which are too sweet. Yellow peaches are best, she says, for cobblers.
Even with yellow peaches, Jullapat recommends that you always taste the fruit first for sweetness. This will help determine whether the amount of sugar needs to be adjusted or if you should peel the skin of the fruit (you might want to leave the skin on if it's too sweet). To add a little acidity for balance, consider adding a splash of orange juice instead of lemon juice -- the latter is too prominent a note.
Finally, she says that it's important to check after the fruit has been macerating for 30 minutes or so that there is not too much juice rendered. You'll want to pour some out before topping the fruit with biscuit dough, leaving enough to coat the fruit plus a tablespoon. During baking, the fruit will release more liquid.
Peach Cobbler with Cream Biscuits
From: Roxana Jullapat of Cooks County
Serves: 6 to 8
6 ripe medium to large peaches
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
½ cup peach jam
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons + 1½ teaspoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1¼ teaspoon baking powder
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1. Fill a medium pot with water and bring up to boil. With a paring knife, score an "X" on the skin of each peach.
2. Gently drop one peach at a time in the boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes, before removing from the pot with a slotted spoon. Place in separate container until you are done with all six (or eight) peaches. Once peaches are cool enough to handle, remove their skins; they should come off easily.
3. Slice the peeled peaches into wedges, about eight to 10 wedges per peach. Put the prepared peaches in a bowl; add sugar and honey to macerate for 30 minutes.
4. Add the peach jam and cornstarch to the macerated peaches, and toss until well combined. Cover and set aside until ready to use.
5. Set an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375º F. Meanwhile, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Lightly coat a 10-inch glass pie pan with the melted butter, transfer the peach filling to the pie pan and place it on top of the cookie sheet.
6. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and three tablespoons of sugar into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center.
7. Pour heavy cream in the well of dry ingredients. Stir gently with both hands (the way you would toss a salad) until the mixture forms a soft and somewhat sticky dough.
8. Using a spoon scoop the dough into seven mounds (about ¼ cup each), placing each mound on top of the peach filling. Make sure the biscuits are at least 1½ inches apart from each other. Dust each biscuit generously with the remaining sugar.
9. Put in the oven, and set a kitchen timer for 15 minutes. Then turn the cookie sheet, and let the cobbler bake for another 10 minutes or until the biscuits are golden and the fruit is juicy and bubbly. Let cool completely for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve while still warm.
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