Ready for the best peach cobbler — ever? Here cinnamon-y sweet peaches are topped with flaky ricotta biscuits: and we dare you to eat just one bite.
It’s peach season! Those elusive days where peaches are ripe and juicy makes them all the more special. Peaches give me major nostalgia, remembering lazy summer days noshing on my mom’s famous peach pie. So today I’m thrilled to unveil another peach recipe that’s about to be famous: this incredible peach cobbler. Imagine: cinnamon-spiced, ripe and tangy peaches, covered in delightfully flaky ricotta biscuits. It’s truly something special, from the new cookbook Dappled, by Nicole Rucker, chef behind LA’s Fiona Bakery. Keep reading for more about the book and the recipe!
How to make peach cobbler
Now, there are all sorts of ways to make a peach cobbler. And there are lots of ways to shortcut the work and make a decent peach cobbler. But this recipe is about making a stellar peach cobbler. That means making flaky ricotta biscuit dough: like the professionals do it! Nicole notes in the book that the ricotta melts into the biscuit in most places and created “a fluffy crumb that I had been trying to achieve for years but never knew the secret to”.
For the ricotta biscuit topping
- 2 1/2 cups (250g) cake flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick (113g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into½-inch cubes
- 1 cup (236ml) cold buttermilk, plus more for brushing
- 3/4 cup (186g) cold whole-milk ricotta cheese*
For the peach cobbler filling
- 2 pounds (908g) ripe peaches, skinned, pitted, and cut into ¾-inch pieces (about6 cups)
- 1 cup (200g) sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream, for brushing
- Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Place the bowl in the freezer to chill for 20 minutes.
- Add the butter to the dry ingredients and toss to combine. Pinch and smear the pieces of butter between your fingers. Processing the butter like this creates small leaves of butter that layer in the dough, resulting in flakes later. Once all the butter chunks have been pinched, grab small handfuls of flour and butter and rub the two together between the palms of your hands until the mixture resembles uneven pebbles on a sandy beach.
- Create a well in the center of the mixture and add 1/2 cup of the buttermilk. Using a fork, toss the flour and butter from around the edge of the well into the center. Fluff the buttermilk and flour mixture with the fork five or six times, until shaggy looking.
- Crumble the ricotta cheese into tablespoon-size chunks over the dough, making sure not to break up the cheese too much. Using your hands with your fingers spread wide open, loosely incorporate the cheese into the dough with a lift-and-gently-squeeze motion. Drizzle the remaining 1/2 cup of buttermilk over the dough while using the fork to bring the mixture together into a loose and shaggy mass.
- Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and use your hands to shape the dough into a 10 x 7-inch rectangle. Fold the rectangle in thirds like a letter and then rotate 90 degrees. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough back into a 10 x 4-inch rectangle. Repeat the folding, rotating, and rolling process two more times, ending with the dough shaped into a 10 x 4-inch rectangle of about 1-inch thickness. Wrap the dough with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- While the dough sits, peel the peaches and cut them into 3/4-inch pieces.
- Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Place a parchment-lined baking sheet on the lower rack of the oven to catch any drips.
- Combine the peaches, sugar, lemon juice, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a 2-quart baking dish.
- Place 1-inch blobs or cut small squares of the dough on top of the filling (here the instructions called for 2-inch squares — we did about 1-inch squares and they were still rather large! Next time we’ll try the blob method). Brush the surface with the heavy cream.
- Bake the cobbler until the biscuits are browned and baked through and the juices bubble vigorously around the edges of the dish, about 45 minutes. Serve the cobbler warm. Any leftovers will keep well at room temperature overnight, but it’s really best eaten the same day.
Reprinted from Dappled: Baking Recipes for Fruit Lovers by arrangement with Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2019, Nicole Rucker. *The original recipe calls for draining the cheese for at least 1 hour in a fine-mesh strainer lined with two layers of cheesecloth. Our cheese was very thick and did not strain out any liquid after 1 hour — so this step can be optional depending on the texture of your cheese.
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