Peach Cobbler, Anyone?
National Peach Cobbler Day is a gift from Georgia. Affectionately known as the Peach State, they designated April 13th to the marvelous desserts as a means to sell more canned peaches. It’s been going for close to 70 years now! What a wonderful excuse to promote this dessert from the Deep South.
America’s early Dutch and English population originally created this dessert. It was adapted from a dessert known as Suet pudding. Yes, the same suet made from beef and lamb kidney fat you give to woodpeckers and chickadees… Why? Because the New World offered limited ingredients. In the 1900s, these ingredients were ‘cobbled’ together over the fire and eventually became a staple in North American households.
People typically make this deep-dish in a cast-iron skillet in the oven. Many also still prepare them over backyard grills and open fires. Fruit, fresh or preserved, is prepared with a dollop of biscuit-like topping to create a cobbler. A scoop of vanilla ice cream also often accompanies the dish. Cobblers differ from crumbles in that they are more fluffy and biscuit-like. Crisps and crumbles, inspired by the streusels native to Central Europe, are the cobbler’s more textured cousins. We add the texture to the toppings first by rubbing or pinching them between the fingers rather than dropping them in dumpling forms.
Returning to cobblers, though. While they’re normally available in single fruit varieties, you may find rare savoury options like the tomato cobbler. With cornbread or ricotta biscuits, this apparently echoes the Southern tomato pie. To add to the mix, the Brits also offer savoury versions of the cobblers with casserole fillings of delicious beef and lamb. A cobbler for dinner and a cobbler for dessert sounds good to us! Especially if there’s ice-cream in the mix.
Interestingly, during WWII the UK Minister of Food was employed to oversee the rationing of food items. They actually advocated for desserts like cobblers and crumbles as they were filling options requiring less butter than alternative pastries. There is no doubt they would have approved of National Peach Cobbler Day, we are sure.Interestingly, during WWII the UK Minister of Food was employed to oversee the rationing of food items. They actually advocated for desserts like cobblers and crumbles as they were filling options requiring less butter than alternative pastries. There is no doubt they would have approved of National Peach Cobbler Day, we are sure.
Other variations of this sweet dish include bread-pudding-like Bettys, grunts, pandowdies, and slumps, as well as buckles and sonkers. But what are you waiting for? Grab a spoon and dive headfirst into a fresh peach cobbler before they’re all gone. It is peach cobbler day after all.