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Blackberry-Peach Skillet Cobbler with Buttermilk Biscuits

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Serves 6 to 8

  • by Abigail Johnson Dodge from Fine Cooking
    Issue 112

The secret to this cobbler’s bright flavor is fresh orange juice in the blackberry and peach filling and orange-scented sugar on the biscuit topping. Use a light hand when mixing the biscuit dough, or the topping will be tough.

For the topping
  • 2 Tbs. turbinado (raw) sugar
  • 2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 2-1/2 oz. (5 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
  • 1/3 cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For the filling
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • Pinch table salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 lb. ripe peaches, halved, pitted, and cut into 1-inch-thick slices
  • 2 cups blackberries

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.

Make the topping

In a small ramekin, mix the turbinado sugar and the orange zest until blended and set aside.

In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse briefly to blend, about 10 seconds. Add the butter pieces and pulse until they are the size of small peas, 8 to 10 one-second pulses.

Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in the cornmeal with a spatula. Gently stir in the buttermilk and vanilla until the dough is evenly moistened and begins to form large, soft clumps; don’t overmix or the biscuits will be tough. Refrigerate.

Make the filling
Tip:
Cast iron skillets are great, but not for this cobbler; their reactive surface can lend a metallic taste to the finished cobbler. Stick with a nonreactive skillet, such as stainless steel or enamel-lined cast iron.

Melt the butter in a 10-inch nonreactive, ovenproof skillet (8- to 10-cup capacity) over medium-low heat. Add the sugar, cornstarch, cardamom, and salt and cook, stirring, until the sugar begins to melt, about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, add the orange juice and bring to a boil.

Add the peaches and cook, stirring gently, until just barely tender, about 3 minutes. Add the blackberries and gently toss until the berries are hot, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Assemble and bake

Spread the fruit into a relatively even layer. Using a 3-tablespoon scoop or a soup spoon, drop the topping in about 8 mounds onto the filling, leaving space between them. With your fingers, distribute the orange-sugar evenly over the biscuits.

Bake until the filling is bubbling and a toothpick inserted in a biscuit comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let sit for about 5 minutes to allow the filling to settle and thicken before serving.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 330; Fat (g): 11; Fat Calories (kcal): 100; Saturated Fat (g): 7; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3; Carbohydrates (g): 56; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): .5; Sodium (mg): 290; Cholesterol (mg): 25; Fiber (g): 4;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I used this biscuit topping for a plum cobbler. It was divine!!!

I made this for dessert for close friends. Fed 5, could have feb a couple more. I put it together while the Steaks cooked and it was easy to do and did not make a mess of the kitchen. It baked while we were eating, cooled while we were picking up the dishes, and was served warm from the oven with ice cream. The cobbler looked exactly like the one in the picture and tasted amazing. I thought that the biscuit topping was a little salty, but I was outvoted by my guests. Easy, delicious, easy clean up, perfect!

Delicious - light, fresh and simple to assemble. My suggestions are as follows: don't add more orange zest (as I did) than called for, and you may need a bit more liquid for the biscuit topping than stated in the recipe. I added another 1/4 cup or so. Instead of a skillet I used a 9.5" glass pie plate plus a smaller pie plate so we had two separate cobblers.

Five-star!!! Best cobbler. Constant requests for recipe!

This is the best cobbler I've ever had. Easy to make & looks great!

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