Dessert was never a nightly occurrence growing up, but something I looked forward to every summer was my mom’s peach cobbler. Or really, Betty’s peach cobbler.
My mom’s world famous (to me, at least) peach cobbler was out of a 1970s burnt orange Betty Crocker cookbook. While the “New and Revised Edition” circa 1982 still has a complete section on molded salads (aka Jell-o with vegetables suspended in it) it’s surprisingly informative. Betty includes a full 2-page spread on soft and hard cheeses, including photos, origins, descriptions and suggestions for use. There is a diagram highlighting the different cuts of beef along with photos of each cut. There is even a full page dedicated to different types of frosting tips and how to use them, including how to make a beautiful frosting rose. Betty doesn’t mess around.
This book is so precious to me that my mom and I sought out an identical used version at our local Goodwill. It now sits proudly amongst my other cookbooks, and I still return to it every time I get the urge to make peach cobbler.
So of course, in my quest to come up with my own version, I had to look to Betty for inspiration. Unlike her, I nix the sugar entirely and substitute a few tablespoons of honey in the peaches instead. Depending on how ripe your peaches are you may not need any sweetener at all. Then, the spiciness of the fresh ginger balances everything out without being overpowering.
When it comes to the topping, I drew inspiration from both Betty and my Finnish great-grandmother, Isomummi. The biscuit topping combines all of the flavors of Isomummi’s pepparkakor, Scandinavian gingerbread cookies, like ginger, cardamom, cloves and orange zest. I think the orange zest is really the secret ingredient though. Don’t tell.
This dessert is not overly sweet, which is how I like it. If you prefer a sweeter dessert you can add a little sugar to the biscuits, or I think a better option would be to add a little coarse sugar on top.
Ginger Peach Cobbler
Fresh ginger gives these mini peach cobblers a spicy kick while a gingerbread biscuit topping brings all the warmth, making this a dessert you’ll want to bake over and over again.
- 6 large ripe peaches sliced into ½ in thick wedges
- 2 tsp fresh ginger grated
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- 3 tsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 c flour I used gluten-free, all-purpose flour (King Arthur brand)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp dried ground ginger
- Pinch of cloves
- Pinch of ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp orange zest
- 2 tbsp cold butter cut into cubes
- ½ c milk
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp molasses
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the lemon juice and cornstarch in a small dish until all of the corn starch has dissolved. Then, add the peaches, cornstarch slurry, ginger and cinnamon to a small pot over medium heat. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce peaches to a simmer and cook for a few minutes before removing from the heat.
Put the peaches into 6-8 individual ramekins depending on the size, or one large casserole dish. Be sure to leave enough room for the topping. Set aside and make the topping.
For the topping, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, spices and orange zest. Add the butter and blend together with your hands, a fork or a pastry blender until the mixture becomes a sandy texture. There should still be pea-sized chunks of butter throughout the dough.
Next, add the milk, honey and molasses to the dough and stir until combined.
Top the cobbler with dollops of dough. Don’t worry about spreading the dough out or trying to cover the entire thing. The dough will rise in the oven and form little biscuits all across the top.
Place the cobbler(s) in the middle rack of your oven for 15-20 min if you’re doing mini ramekins, or 25-30 min if you’re doing a casserole dish. Bake until the biscuit topping has risen and turned a light golden brown.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes (if you can wait that long). Serve with vanilla ice cream or my Cardamom Whipped Cream, if desired.