For those of you with busy schedules but still want to host dinner guests with at least a 3 course homemade meal, I have some good news for you. In my experience, cobbler desserts give you the best return on time investment. This is especially the case during the summer when you can use the freshest fruit for the filling when it’s in season. Cobblers are so easy to assemble: you simply choose your fruits to combine for the filling, then sprinkle on your topping! There is no pie crust to roll out, no dough to knead, and hence less utensils to clean. And best of all, you can get very creative with the cobbler’s crumbly topping.
I waited patiently all summer for the peaches to come in gigantic proportions. When they appeared at my local farmer’s market, they were the size of red delicious apples, and perfectly round with their signature elongated indentation on one side. Their fruity fragrance is so inviting. If you intend to eat them fresh, it is best to let them ripen for a couple days to get that optimal sweetness and softness. But for the purposes of baking this cobbler, it’s not necessary to ripen them although you may if you desire.
The interesting twist in this cobbler recipe is my choice to use pretzels as the base for the crumbly topping. I was worried at first that the pretzels would become too soft for my liking. All my worries vanished when I served it warm to my guests and we sunk our teeth into it. The pretzels were an amazing match to the peach filling, and it stayed crumbly with a little crunch. I recommend that you use a rolling pin to crush the pretzels instead of a mortar and pestle so as to avoid turning the pretzels into crumbs instead of coarse pieces. Also avoid using a food processor; fingers with a little patience work best to combine the butter.
We didn’t finish the entire cobbler on the same day so I packed it in a glass container overnight in the fridge. The next day, I just warmed it up uncovered in the conventional oven, and it tasted even better while the pretzel topping was still crunchy! It was one of those eureka moments.
I realize I posted a cobbler recipe twice in a row. Please forgive me.
3/4 cup coarsely crushed pretzels (salted or unsalted)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup butter
5 medium fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced (I used a mix of white and yellow peaches)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 350F. To make the topping, in a medium bowl stir together crushed pretzels, brown sugar and flour. Using your fingers, work in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine peaches, granulated sugar, lemon juice, tapioca, cinnamon, ginger and salt and toss so that they are well mixed.
Place half of the peach mixture in a 2-quart glass baking dish. Add half of the blueberries over the peaches in the dish. Place the remaining peach mixture on top, followed by the rest of the blueberries. Cover dish tightly with foil.
Place the covered dish into the oven for 30 minutes. Uncover the dish and sprinkle topping evenly over peach mixture. Bake uncovered for another 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture is bubbling and the topping has turned a light brown color.
Remove pan from the oven. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. If desired, serve with ice cream.