There are some foods that just taste like they were made for summer.
When I think of stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots), I think of summer. When I eat stone fruit, it’s usually summer. A large part of this is because stone fruit season is during the summer months. But I also think it just comes down to the flavors.
They’re sharp and bright and fresh. They’re sweet, juicy and refreshing–all of the tastes that you want on hot summer days.
I can never let the summer pass without making SOME kind of fruit dessert, specifically a stone fruit one. I just can’t do it.
Fortunately, I do make a pretty mean peach cobbler. However, if I had to give ONE downside to it, I would say that cobbler’s don’t exactly ‘travel’ well. Divvying it up after that first day can also be a little bit tricky.
Today’s recipe is a twist on the original and solves both of those pesky cobbler complications without being any more difficult to make than the original.
Most peach cobblers are made with a fruit filling on the bottom, and a puffy, biscuit-like crust that gets plopped on top, then baked for about an hour. The main difference here, is that there’s crust on the top and bottom, and the texture is slightly different.
If I had to liken it to anything, I’d say the crust is like a cross between shortbread and pie crust and it comes together very easily. The easiest way will be if you have a box grater to cut the butter into the flour, but if you don’t it’s not a big deal. Just cut it into small cubes and smash it up with a fork or pastry blender. Unlike some cobblers whose crusts can get drowned in filling, this crust holds up very well for all of the juicy peach filling that gets poured on top.
I think what I love most about this dish is that all of the proportions are just right. There’s just the right amount of peach filling to crust. Neither one overwhelms the other. The flavors of the peaches are sublime and they bake to a perfect, juicy gooey consistency. This is a PERFECT dish for traveling to summer barbecues, cookouts, potlucks or the beach. Once you give it enough time to cool, the bars cut very easily, and they’re simple to place into individualized portions.
Best of all, even if you’re a beginner baker, you can pull this off. So get to it. Summer will be over before we know it.
Peach Cobbler Bars
Recipe Adapted from Taste of the South
- 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 8 cups peeled, pitted, and diced fresh peaches, nectarines, plums, or apricots (any stone fruit you want to use will work) (about 8 peaches)
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold butter, (whole, or cubed)
- 1 large egg
- 1⁄2 cup sour cream
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- About 1/4 cup-1/3 cup milk, if needed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 13 x 9 baking dish with aluminum foil and spray it GENEROUSLY with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the brown sugar with the cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Stir in the peaches, orange zest and orange juice until the peaches are evenly coated. Set aside.
In another large bowl combine the whisk together the other 1 cup of brown sugar with the flour, oats, baking powder and salt. If you have a box grater, use it to grate the butter into the dry ingredients. If you do not, then cut the butter into cubes and use a fork or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until they are crumbly and resemble bread crumbs in texture.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, and vanilla. Make a well into the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet, using a large fork to stir together just until combined. If after stirring, it is still too dry and crumbly, you may add the milk, a little bit at a time until it does hold together into a craggy mass. (It doesn’t have to be perfect or super wet).
Press 3/4s of the flour mixture into the bottom of the lined baking dish. You can use your fingers, the bottom of a measuring cup or a spatula you’ve sprayed with cooking spray. (Don’t worry about making it perfect, just try to aim for as even a layer as you can so you get an even bottom crust.)
Pour the reserved peach filling on top of the bottom crust and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining flour-butter mixture, trying to get an even layer out of it, breaking it apart with your fingers if need be (It’s going to spread out and fill out while baking, so again, don’t stress about making it perfect).
Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven until browned, set and bubbling, about 50-60 minutes. (You may have to cover the top with foil if it browns too quickly for the middle to set up.)
Allow to cool for about 30-40 minutes before cutting into bars.
Sharing at Fiesta Friday #286, co-hosted this week by Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.