This cornmeal drop-biscuit peach cobbler, made with a cinnamon-scented peach filling and an easy drop biscuit topping, is a simple but utterly impressive summer dessert.
Cornmeal Drop-Biscuit Peach Cobbler
For the peach filling
- 2 pounds ripe freestone peaches (6 to 7) unpeeled, pitted, and cut into slices (about 6 cups)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar depending on your peaches and your sweet tooth
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water (if the fruit is very ripe or overripe, omit the water)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the biscuit dough
- 3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup fine stone-ground cornmeal (yellow or white)
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt or fine sea salt
- 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter cold, cut into pieces, plus more for the baking dish
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (either low-fat or full-fat), cold
Make the peach filling
- Heat the oven to 425°F (218°C).
- Butter a 2-quart ovenproof dish. Add all the ingredients to the dish and toss until the peaches are evenly coated. Forget about it for 10 minutes or so while you prep the drop-biscuit dough.
Make the drop-biscuit dough
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and cut it into the flour by pinching small amounts of the mixture together between your fingertips. Do this until the mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-size pieces of butter mixed throughout.
- Add the buttermilk and stir with a rubber spatula just until a tacky, wet dough comes together. This should take no more than a few seconds.
- Gently plop spoonfuls of the biscuit dough on top of the peach filling or, if the dough is too sticky to plop, simply spread it unevenly. The dough should be patchy and should not cover the entire surface of the filling.
☞TESTER TIP: The cobbler looks most sensuous when you top the fruit with the dough patchily, so that the syrup bubbles through the crust in spots.
- Bake until the cobbler bubbles and the biscuit top is alluringly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before you scoop the warm cobbler into small bowls, ramekins, even cocktail glasses.
*What You Need To Know About Removing Peach FuzzDon’t care for the gently nubbly texture of peach fuzz in your cobbler? We’ve a simple and, we have to say, a pretty slick process to dispense of them. Simply bring a pot of water to a boil, grab a paring knife, cut a small “x” on the bottom of each peach (that is, the opposite of the stem end), plop the peach in the burbling water for 30 seconds or so, fish it out with a slotted spoon, and rinse under cool water. All that’s left to do is to gently use your fingertips to coax the skins from the peaches. They ought to slip right off.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I’ve always adored a classic peach cobber, and this specific drop-biscuit variation is no exception. Always simple to assemble (and even more simple to eat!) there is something so decadent about a peach cobbler; bubbling, sweet peaches surrounded by thick juices, a dash of warming cinnamon and a crust to-die-for. I loved the way the lemon juice brought all the flavors together in the filling.
A staple with any peach cobbler for me is vanilla bean ice cream; there is something in the way the melted ice cream mixes with the sweet juices of the peaches and the buttery crust that gets me every time…
As for this delectable recipe, I had 2 pounds sweet local Georgia peaches on hand which, when sliced, did equal 6 cups. My peaches were very ripe and naturally sweet, so I only used a scant 1/2 cup dark brown sugar. I did not add the extra 2 tablespoons of water, either. I used a low-fat buttermilk in the biscuit dough as well. At such a high oven temp, the cobbler baked up bubbly and nicely browned after 30 minutes. It was a gorgeous presentation with the browned drop biscuits on top and the orange peaches poking through, not to mention the pink-hued sauce bubbling up to the top.
The dough came together very nicely and yes, it was only a couple of seconds after adding the buttermilk that the dough becomes biscuit-like—a bit sticky but easy to plop spoonfuls on top of the filling. This served only 4 at my table it was so delicious! But it could feed 6 if I had given into smaller portions.
As a big fan of the Lee Brothers, especially their desserts, I had high hopes for this one. It didn’t disappoint. Next time, I’ll double this recipe for sure. Fabulous recipe!
What a perfect dessert for summer, especially if you have fresh, ripe peaches. The recipe suggests serving the cobbler warm, but it tastes great cold or at room temperature.
When I made the cobbler, my peaches were very ripe, so I followed the suggestion not to add the water to the peach filling. Next time, if I have sweet and juicy peaches, I’ll cut back on the amount of brown sugar in the filling. The cobbler was a little bit on the sweet side this first time, but still very delicious.
Picture this…an evening with friends enjoying dinner and each other’s company. We eat and then dessert is served and the talking stops for a moment as one after another the sounds of mmms and aahs take over for a moment. That’s what happened when I served this dessert.
The combination of the ripe, sweet peaches with the lemon juice, dark brown sugar, and cinnamon produced this sublime liquid that worked perfectly with the biscuits, softening them slightly and infusing them with peachy, lemony flavor.
I used 1/2 cup dark brown sugar and just a teaspoon of water, which turned out to be the perfect amount. The dough came together quickly after I added the buttermilk and at 25 minutes the syrup was bubbly and the biscuits were nice and browned. I served this with lightly whipped, slightly sweetened cream. I’m not sure it needed the whipped cream, but the combination was a hit with everyone.
Depending on appetites and waistlines, the recipe yielded 6 servings at dinner and was still delicious 2 days later when we ate the remaining two servings. 1I definitely will be making this again.
If you love fresh peaches, this is another great way to enjoy them. This recipe is so easy, you’ll read it again and again just to be sure you didn’t forget anything. The peach filling is just perfect—not too sweet, not too thick. All said and done (and devoured), it’s an easy, beautiful, delicious dessert that I’m trying for breakfast!
The cornmeal drop biscuit is the only thing that needs a bit of an adjustment. It’s almost too sweet, and I’d cut back or eliminate the brown sugar that’s in it. Of course, tasting your peaches first might help here—if they’re really sweet, which mine were, you could leave out about two-thirds of the sugar. But this is just a personal thing, as “too sweet” for some is sometimes not enough for others.
P.S.: A scoop of vanilla ice-cream brings this dish to an A+.
Talk about a homey and delicious cobbler! This recipe was so easy to follow and get in the oven. Any fruit in season would work in place of the peaches.
The only thing I’d change for next time would be to add an extra tablespoon of brown sugar to the cornmeal drop-biscuit dough.
This recipe was easy to follow and produced perfect results—what more could you ask for? The topping is light and nicely textured from the cornmeal, even though it looks wet and doughy when you put it in the oven (don’t be fooled, it’s supposed to look like that). The peaches are sweet with just the right hint of cinnamon.
I dare say that the better quality the peaches, the better the result will be—and the easier they’ll be to stone, which I found to be the most time-consuming part of the process. This cobbler is a comforting, traditional dessert that had everyone wanting seconds.
I’ll be making this one again as we all enjoyed the taste and texture of the biscuit topping with that bit of stone-ground cornmeal.
The recipe was clear and easy to follow except for one thing: It said to drop the topping by handfuls. My dough was a bit to moist to use my hands, so I just used the spatula to drop what I thought a handful was.
My tasters and I enjoyed this one except for one thing: none of us cared for the peel on the peaches.
As a former Southerner, I make a lot of cobblers, and this one is definitely a keeper! It was simple to make (as most cobblers are), looked beautiful (with the contrast of the golden topping against the darker brown filling), and tasted delicious.
My peaches weren’t as sweet as I’d have liked them to be, so the sweetness of the filling was just right with the amount of sugar added. However, I’d suggest tasting your peaches first—if they’re very sweet, cut back on the sugar.
I’ll definitely make this cobbler again, using not only peaches, but other summer fruits.
Originally published June 22, 2019