A delicious butterscotch or caramel syrup coats the peaches beneath a buttery, sugary, crispy crust that starts at the bottom, then rises to the top over the fruit. This is what makes this Butterscotch OR Caramel Peach Cobbler or Butterscotch OR Caramel Peach Pandowdy (because it is pretty much closer to a pandowdy than a cobbler) so special and unique!
I just realized that I only have 4 posts in 2013, and three of them are Secret Recipe Club posts (before SRC, most of my posts were Daring Bakers/Cooks posts, so nothing new in that respect!). Welp, here’s another one, and if you like,, you’ll love this twist on peach cobbler or Peach Pandowdy!
But, like my last SRC post, dessert was front and center. I guess you could call this phase my Secret Recipe Club sweet tooth. Anna’s blog certainly didn’t disappoint when it came to desserts. I had three in mind; these luscious Lemon Coconut Bars, this decadent German Chocolate Pie, and this Raspberry Cobbler. I chose the cobbler because; 1) I haven’t had cobbler in a while and 2) I was craving peach anything after running into some nice looking peaches at the market last week. So peach cobbler it would be. Yes, peaches are not in peak season at this time, but they’re certainly great for cooking.
As usual, I made some changes. I kept Anna’s batter recipe intact, just adding an extra 1/2 cup of milk. The reason for this is because I changed the method. Years ago, before she became a mega-celeb, I saw Paula Deen make a cobbler on TFN, Forget her diabetes scandal and her excessive use of butter because if you want a good cobbler recipe; a southern woman is your man. No 5-star chef can do a cobbler like a southern gal can (OK, of course some can, but it doesn’t have that hand me down southern charm, which tastes better, in my opinion/mind). Granted, the same goes for a lot of recipes, but today, it’s cobbler;
The Best Buttersotch or Caramel Peach Cobbler or Butterscotch or Caramel Peach Pandowdy.
In my completely biased opinion, of course!
Her method goes like this, with my changes:
Brown cubed butter in a pan, then pour into baking dish, scraping all that browned butter goodness out with a rubber spatula as not to lose one bit. (my twist) since she just melts the butter in the pan in the oven.). Pour batter over melted brown butter; no stirring. Combine the peaches with the syrup, carefully. Nothing moves here! Like magic (or those magic hot fudge chocolate pudding cakes we grew up with) the batter rises to the top, morphing into a beautiful golden crust, while the gooey fruit falls to the bottom. Voila! A perfect cobbler or pandowdy every.single.time.
Now this isn’t the typical cobbler that most think of when they hear or see the word ‘cobbler’, and truth be told, it’s more like a pandowdy. A cobbler is usually topped with a rolled or dropped biscuit dough, but according to Wikipedia, it’s also been known to be topped with a batter, so a cobbler it is (today)!
That said, although you can use most fruits in this cobbler if you don’t want nor like peaches, I wouldn’t recommend simmering most berries in caramel or butterscotch syrup because the end result would be jam, but apples, pears, plums, apricots, pluots etc, get a huge hell YES!
IF you really want to make this cobbler with berries, let the syrup cool completely, then stir in the berries and spoon on top of the melted butter and batter.
So, I did just that, but instead of a plain simple syrup in Paula Dean’s recipe I stirred some cornstarch coated peaches into a butterscotch syrup of brown sugar, heavy cream, and corn syrup. I also included an option to use white sugar instead of brown sugar to make the caramel flavor more prominent over the butterscotch flavor, if desired.
Little factoid; the difference between butterscotch and caramel is the sugar. Brown sugar for butterscotch, white sugar (cooked to a caramel stage) for caramel.
The more you know..
All that being said, this is the best cobbler I’ve ever had (I know, I always say this, but I wouldn’t put a recipe up if it wasn’t amazing). If you don’t like peaches, try it with other fruit, like mentioned above, and I have to say, the caramel or butterscotch goo is outstanding! I’d make this cobbler if I were you. Oh, wait….I did.
Oh, a little update. I added toasted pecans to the peach filling a few weeks ago. It gave the cobbler a pecan pie like goo. A butterscotch or caramel peach pecan cobbler! How come I rarely see peaches paired with pecans? I mean, how can anything peach pecan not be good? Is it just me?? Cakes, pies, muffins. I think it needs to be ‘a thing’.
Finally; Here’s the best way to peel lots of peaches, quickly.
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1½ to 2 lbs fresh peaches (about 3 or 4 large peaches), peeled, pitted and sliced, to equal 3½ to 4 cups)
- ⅔ cup light or dark brown sugar. You can also use all white sugar for a more predominant caramel over butterscotch flavor, instead of brown sugar.
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup (either light or dark is fine)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 stick of butter (4oz), cubed
- 1 cup All-Purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup milk
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, combine the sliced peaches with the tablespoon of cornstarch. Set aside.
- In a light colored pan, so you can monitor the browning, slowly melt the butter cubes over low heat, and let it cook until the butter is a light golden brown, If your pan is dark, lift up some with a spoon to test the color. Pour the browned butter into an 8x8 square baking dish, making sure you use a rubber spatula to scrape every bit of it out the pan as you don't want to lose a any of this brown butter deliciousness!
- For the rest of the batter, in a bowl, mix the ½ cup sugar, flour, baking powder and salt together. Slowly pour in the milk, stirring, to prevent clumps, until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Pour batter over the melted brown butter. DO NOT STIR.
- To make the syrup, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the heavy cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, and tablespoon of butter. Place over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely melted and dissolved. Stir in the salt and vanilla extract. Remove from heat and stir in the cornstarch coated peaches. IF using white sugar, before you stir in the butter, vanilla extract, salt and peaches, raise the heat to medium after the sugar has dissolved, and continue to cook the syrup until the white sugar turns a light caramel color, and then stir in the butter , salt, and vanilla extract and conrstarch coated peaches, being careful, in both instances, not to let it splatter so you don't get burned.
- Carefully spoon the peaches in syrup over the batter. DO NOT STIR. You want three layers 1). Melted brown butter, 2) Batter 3) Peaches in syrup.
- Place in a preheated 350F degree oven and bake the cobbler or 40-50 minutes. The batter will rise to the top and it's done when it's golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream, or yogurt, or creme fraiche and/or whipped cream.
IMPORTANT - a glass or non-stick baking dish is highly recommended for this recipe as the slipperiness of either is what helps the batter rise over the fruit.
Stop by Anna’s delicious blog when you get a chance, and if you want to see what my fellow Group A SRC’ers made from their assigned blogs, click on the blue frog below!
I hope you love this peach cobbler as much as we do!