Peach cobbler is synonymous with summer in my book and is something my mother, Addie Mae Smith, always made us boys for a treat. I really don’t recommend baking this unless the peaches are ripe and local and so juicy that they are a little tricky to slice. Buy a few extra from the farmer’s market so you can eat them while waiting for the cobbler to bake.
For the peaches:
6 large ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into ½-inch-wide wedges
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
For the topping:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2¼ teaspoons baking powder
2½ tablespoons sugar
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up and chilled
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
½ cup buttermilk, as needed
For the garnish:
Vanilla ice cream (optional)
To prepare the peaches: Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Toss the peaches with the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and ginger in a large bowl. Transfer to an 8-inch baking dish.
To prepare the topping: Combine the flour, baking powder, 1½ tablespoons of the sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the cold butter and shortening and cut in with a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture looks like coarse bread crumbs. Stir in enough buttermilk to make a soft dough.
Using floured hands, pat out the dough into an 8-inch square on a floured work surface. Using a knife, cut into ¾-inch-wide ribbons. Crisscross the dough on the filling in a lattice pattern. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar over the dough. Bake until the cobbler crust is golden brown and the filling juices are bubbling, about 45 minutes.
To serve: Spoon some of the warm cobbler into each plate and top with vanilla ice cream, if desired. Serves 6.