When I was a kid growing up in Georgia, summertime meant endless adventures with my cousins at the beach, shelling peas and shucking corn on the porch, and hopefully at least one big bowl of my Granny’s famous peach cobbler. We were very fortunate to live only a half-mile or so from one of the oldest peach orchards in the state, Gardner’s Peaches. The family had been running this small seasonal farm stand for many generations and all of us in the know would wait till the big yellow heirloom Elberta peaches were ripe before we would pick as many as we could carry and bring them home to Granny.
My granny, Geneva Gillespie, grew up in the depression deep in the Appalachian Mountains and was never one to waste a thing. Her cobbler topping was very much a product of that mindset because rather than throw away a stale loaf of bread, she transformed it into my favorite part of the cobbler. The beauty of using bread rather than a biscuit or batter topping is that you get the best of both worlds. You get a nice crispy crust, while also having little sponges that help soak up some of the juices from the baked peaches. When done right, this cobbler is a study in what makes seasonal Southern cooking so special.
- 5 large peaches, pitted, peeled, and cut into 2-inch pieces
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ⅛ tsp. almond extract
- ½ loaf of brioche or farmhouse style white bread, diced into 2-inch pieces
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- ½ cup melted butter
- 2 tbsp. whole milk
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 1 egg
- Coarse sea salt, such as Maldon
Also works with
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combine peaches with brown sugar and almond extract in a small mixing bowl. Allow this to sit for approximately 5 minutes for juices to collect. Spoon this mixture into the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish, leaving behind the collected juices and set aside.
- Using the same mixing bowl as the peaches. Combine the reserved juices, melted butter, egg, cinnamon, vanilla extract, milk, and flour. Whisk this mixture together to create a batter.
- Toss bread cubes into the batter and stir to coat evenly.
- Spoon the bread cubes and batter over the top of the peaches in the pan in an even layer. You should have approximately the same volume of peaches on the bottom as you have bread on top. Lightly sprinkle sea salt over the top of the bread mixture.
- Wrap the pan in aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes before removing the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving. Serve either alone or with vanilla ice cream.