4 cups peeled* and sliced fresh peaches – about 8 or 9 peaches, depending on size
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon flour
* Wash your peaches, then score the underside with an “x” using a sharp knife – don’t cut too deeply. Blanch the peaches in boiling water for about 60 seconds and then dip in an ice bath. You should then be able to remove the skins, peeling back from the points of the “x”. If blanching a large number of peaches, I recommend doing so in batches. I find that some of my peaches require a little more than 60 seconds in the boiling water to loosen the skins – you can gauge depending on ripeness. Start with 1 or 2 peaches, and then do the batch.
For the crust:
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon brown sugar, for topping
whipped cream or ice cream for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Combine all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar) for cobbler crust in a bowl, and set aside. Generously grease a 1 1/2-quart shallow baking dish. Place the sliced peaches in the dish and sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and flour. Mix gently with your hands (okay, you could use a spoon), and spread evenly in the baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes. While the peaches are cooking, cut the butter into the awaiting dry crust ingredients with a pastry cutter or your fingers, to make the texture like coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk and stir to form a soft dough. Remove the peach mixture from oven and drop rounded spoonfuls of dough on top. Then sprinkle the top of your cobbler with the remaining tablespoon of brown sugar, and return to oven. Bake until the fruit is bubbly and crust topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.