Peach Cobbler

My friends know me well. They know if they invite me over and I see that they have bushels of fresh-picked peaches just waiting for a home that I will offer my own kitchen counter space to take some of those gorgeous peaches off their hands. Such sacrifice, yes, I know. ;-)

Peaches, nectarines, and all manner of stone fruit are glorious in summer. Here is a simple and delicious peach cobbler recipe from Sunset that we’ve used for several years. Feel free to experiment with the ratios and the fruit. You can easily add in some blueberries or nectarines.

Tart fruit makes the best filling for a cobbler like this, and depending on how ripe your peaches (or other fruit) are, you may need to adjust the sugar levels up or down.

Peach Cobbler Recipe

  • Prep time: 40 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8.

Use ripe, sweet, flavorful, firm peaches. The cobbler will only be as good as the fruit going into it, so taste test your fruit first. The best peaches to use with this recipe are yellow peaches. White peaches, although delicious on their own, are too delicate and don't hold their flavor as well as the yellow when cooked.
Preparation and cooking time: 1 1/2 hours.

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs of ripe yellow peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced into 1/2 inch thick wedges (free stone peaches will be easiest to work with)
  • 1 cup sugar, divided 2/3 cup and 1/3 cup
  • 1/2 cup instant tapioca
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (6-ounces) butter, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream

Method

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1 Place the peaches, 2/3 cup of the sugar, instant tapioca, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla in a large bowl and stir to evenly coat the peach slice with everything. Let sit for 30 minutes for the peaches to macerate and the tapioca to soften, stirring occasionally.

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2 Preheat oven to 350°F. In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, 1/3 cup of sugar, baking powder, and nutmeg. Cut the butter into the flour with your fingers or a fork until the mixture has the texture of a coarse meal. Add the cream and stir with a fork until the dough mixture just comes together.

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3 Butter a 2 1/2 to 3 quart casserole baking dish. Spread the sliced peaches out in an even layer. Crumble the dough mixture over the peaches.

4 Bake at 350°F until the peaches are bubbly and the topping is well browned, about 50-60 minutes.

Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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From a recipe in the July 2004 issue of Sunset Magazine.

Links:

Grilled peaches with bourbon vanilla whipped cream from The Kitchn

Plum and peach crisp by Heidi of 101 Cookbooks

Peach cobbler recipes from Food Blog Search

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27 Comments

  1. emily

    What is a good alternative to instant tapioca?

    You can use corn starch or all-purpose flour. Typically the substitution ratio is half as much corn starch for the tapioca (1/4 cup to the 1/2 cup) and a one to one ratio for flour (1/2 cup in this case). But I haven’t tried recipe this with these thickeners so I don’t know how they will turn out. Something tells me that 1/4 cup of cornstarch is a bit much for this, I might start with 3 Tbsp and see how that turns out. ~Elise

  2. Nichole

    WOW! I tried it and it was delicious. My favorite dessert ever! Thanks!

  3. Brian

    I liked the tapioca – consistency of the sauce was excellent. Couple of things I would change if I make it again – 1) less lemon juice, and completely eliminate grated lemon peel, the two together took too much away from the peaches. 2) use half white sugar, half brown wherever the recipe calls for sugar. 3) use only 1/4 t nutmeg, along with 1/4 t cinammon. 4) sprinkle with cinammon before baking.

  4. Kinsey

    Our cobbler recipe is very different, and I suspect turns out a very different result:
    1 stick of butter, melted; 1-2 cups of fruit; 1 cup self-rising flour; 1 cup sugar; 1 cup milk
    Pour butter into 9×9 pan, mix flour, sugar and milk. Pour batter over butter, add fruit to the top. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes or until golden brown.
    I made it last night with fresh peaches and blueberries–my husband’s favorite. I would add blackberries and raspberries, but he doesn’t like the seeds. Can also add a bit of apple pie spice and/or vanilla to the batter.

  5. Bob

    Tapioca, huh? I never thought to use that in a cobbler, I’ll have to give it a shot. The topping I make for cobbler uses milk, I wonder if cream would be better. Is there a difference, other than flavor of course :), to using milk versus cream?

  6. Lynn

    This looks so good! And I have a bunch of peaches just waiting to be used in something. Thanks for the ideas.

  7. Darby "The Dessert Diva"

    I have made a similar dessert using many different types of fruits (peaches, apricots, apples, pears, mangos…). I think of it more as a “Dump it all in” dessert then a formal cobbler.

    Ingredients

    2 cups sugar
    2 cups flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup vegetable oil or applesauce equalivalent
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
    3 apples cored, pealed and sliced (or substitute your favorite fruit here)

    1 cup powdered sugar
    2 tablespoons lemon juice

    Dump first 8 ingredients into a large bowl and mix together. Add nuts. Fold fruit. Pour into a greased and floured 13 x 9 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. When cake has cooled combine remaining ingredients and spoon over cake. Serve with fresh made pound cake, vanilla ice cream or french toast. Yummy!!~

  8. Heather B

    Wow, that looks fantastic, Elise.

    Is the tapioca obvious in this dish? I used tapioca in another dish
    recently and I didn’t like the texture it added. Is the tapioca fairly
    subtle in this cobbler?

    Hi Heather, I didn’t find it obvious. But if it is a concern, you might try cutting it in half to 1/4 cup and adding a Tbsp of corn starch. ~Elise

  9. Valerie

    I think I would enjoy any kind of peach cobbler and this recipe looks very good. . . However, I’ve got to go with Kinsey on 8/18/08 on this one – that’s the same simple (and perfect) recipe that my MawMaw from Alabama has always used. Everyone in our family LOVES it – it is an absolute must for every get together that we have!

  10. Liz

    My favorite peach streusel crisp is from the Penzeys Spices catalog – the recipe is also available online. It is super easy and very yummy! It is also good added to some oatmeal for breakfast. :)

    9 good sized ripe peaches
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 tsp china cinnamon
    1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
    2 TB flour (my peaches were super juicy so I had to add a bit more)

    Topping:
    1 stick cold buuter
    1 cup flour
    2/3 cup sugar
    1 tsp china cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the bottom only of an 8×8 pan or medium casserole dish. Peel and pit the peaches, slice and place in a large bowl. Top with sugar, flour, cinnamon and vanilla, toss to coat. Set aside while preparing topping. Make the steusel by cutting the cold butter into a bowl, adding flour, sugar and cinnamon, and rubbing it through your fingers until the streusel is a course, sandy/pebbly texture. Put the seasoned peaches into the pan, top generously with the streusel, and bake at 350F, about 30 minutes, until the steusel is golden brown and the peach juice is starting to bubble up through the topping.

    This is by far my favorite new summer recipe!

  11. ana luz

    Can I use instant mashed potato to replace the tapioca? Thank you! I can’t wait to try it but in Argentina we don’t have tapioca.

    I would use potato starch, corn starch, or wheat flour if I were to substitute. Instant mashed potatoes will be like mixing mashed potatoes with peaches; doesn’t sound that great to me. (But if you try it, please let us know how it turns out.) ~Elise

  12. Catherine Morell

    I am not usually a “baker” per se but I had guests coming and I knew they loved deserts. So I tried this, and for a non-baker it came out pretty well. However, it seemed that it was a bit gooey in texture…I don’t know if this was due to the fact that it needed less tapioca? Otherwise a great summer, peach season desert!

  13. Jenny

    I’ve used non-fat yogurt as a substitute for milk or cream and been
    really pleased with the result. I also found cooking the peaches alone for about 10 minutes before adding the cobbler topping ensures they get cooked thoroughly.

  14. peteformation

    Very cute and tasty dessert!

  15. Violet

    Arrowroot is another good thickener to use with fruit. It is pretty expensive if buy the jars in the spice section of the grocery store, but Penzey’s sells bigger bags of it. Also, their Ceylon Cinnamon is always great with fruit. I’m waiting for the Idaho peaches–should appear any time now.

  16. Rosie

    My farmers market basket overflows with peaches so thanks for the great recipe. Question-how do I keep the topping on the cobbler (or any fruit crisp for that matter) crunchy after taking the first servings and then covering it with plastic wrap. It seems that once I do that, the next day the topping is a soggy mess. Any hints (besides eating it all at once)? Thank you.

  17. Karl

    Just an idea for those concerned about the texture of the tapioca… toss the tapioca in your spice/coffee grinder for a few seconds. This would give you tapioca powder (fairly easy to find here in the SW) which is a great thickener, without the tiny pearls. After all, tapioca started out as a “flour” before they made it into little balls.

  18. Nicole

    Ah, this actually looks like cobbler! I made some peach cobbler last week, it turned out looking (and tasting) like yellow cake slapped on top of some peaches *sad face* . I’ll have to try this next time!

  19. Shyla

    Ok, peach season has passed. Has anyone tried this with frozen fruit? I love your recipes Elise! I wanted to make cobbler for our community group tomorrow night and thought to check what you’ve done first. Thanks for all the beautiful recipes and photos!

  20. Thao Phan

    Oh smelled so yummy! I also used the filling to make two pies. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into them today during lunch. Love your site!

  21. ello

    I made this for my family today and I “accidently” have already tried it…HEAVEN. I like mine a little juicy so I added 1/2 cherry cider and it is very complimentary. Thanks elise. I love your site.

  22. Emily Swift

    I have small pearl tapioca on hand would that be ok instead of instant tapioca?

    No. Instant tapioca is a baking ingredient that is specifically used for thickening in pie and cobbler dishes such as this. Small pearl tapioca would not work. ~Elise

  23. ileen in houston

    I made this for the family dinner last night. I should have added more sugar into the peaches. The tapioca made an interesting texture. Next time I might try the greek yogurt suggestion instead of milk ( we don’t do whipping cream). Everyone went back for seconds, thanks Elise.

  24. Lisa

    Can you put pearl tapioca in the coffee grinder first and then use the powder in the recipe,or does it have to be instant only?

    Great question, I have no idea. ~Elise

  25. Lisa

    I see that one recipe of Peach cobbler calls for 4lbs of peaches. How many have you used to equal that amount? 12?

    It all depends on the size of the peaches. 12 sounds about right. The good news is that this recipe is pretty flexible on the filling. ~Elise

  26. Jake dufinetz

    In the oven now!

  27. Virginia

    Is this freezable? And would you freeze it before or after cooking?

    The crust is a quick-bread crust (as opposed to a yeast bread crust) so I’m guessing you shouldn’t freeze it before cooking. You could easily freeze the peach mixture though, before or after cooking. But honestly, I don’t know. I haven’t tried freezing this dessert, either before or after cooking. If you do, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

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