National Peach Cobbler Day celebrates the delicious baked dessert that is easy to make, tasty to eat, and can be served hot or cold. It’s believed that cobblers were developed by west-bound settlers crossing the American plains in the mid to late 1800’s. Sliced or whole fruit was placed in a baking pan, topped with biscuit dough, and baked in simple ovens until the top was golden brown. Peach and apple cobblers were the most popular. There are several theories regarding why the dish is named “cobbler.” Some say that original recipes called for the biscuit dough to be separated into individual portions before being placed on the fruit. After baking, the surface of the dish resembled a cobblestone street. It is also believed that because a wide variety of fruits could be baked in a similar fashion, variations were “cobbled” together. Pans used for cobblers are traditionally square or oblong and two to four inches deep, but can also be round.
Crisps and crumbles are sometimes mistaken for cobblers, but they are not the same. Cobblers are topped with biscuit dough that rises an inch or more when baked. Crisps are topped by a thin crust of rolled oats. The oats are usually combined with butter, sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes nuts to create a “streusel” topping. A variation on a crisp is a crumble, which uses a streusel topping without oats.
Enjoy some peach cobbler today!