I loved absolutely everything about my visit with Laura and Ed in Springfield–getting a glimpse of their everyday, reuniting with their sweet pup Tenley, tasting some fave local tastes (a super slim burger, a Route 66 diner club sandwich, a perfect chocolate+vanilla swirl cone that I got all over myself, and a peach bruschetta I’m still thinking about especially stand out), finally seeing their gorgeous house, eating dessert twice before dinner, tagging along for La’s weekly trip to the farmers market, talking and talking and talking, watching the carefully DVR-ed premier of Bachelor in Paradise, and laughing til I cried at least once a day. But one of the very best parts of the visit was cooking together. And if I do say so myself, we put together one heck of a dinner. Laura boiled perfect little fingerling potatoes with thyme and butter, Ed grilled deelish steaks, and Laura and I tried a really knock your socks off new to us salad (that she’ll blog about soon!) and put our own blackberry spin on my very favorite peach cobbler.
Our trip to the farmers market was one of the things I was most looking forward to in the weeks between planning my visit and getting to Springfield. Hearing Laura talk about her Saturday morning routine (and seeing her gorgeous instas) has given me such a sense of what a lovely anchor these trips give to her weeks, and I was really happy to have the chance to go along for the ride. We browsed all the beautiful fruits and veggies and grabbed ingredients for dinner, picked out Laura’s weekly flowers, had high octane cold brew and ridiculously tasty breakfast tacos (with chorizo! and fresh pico de gallo! and french fries?!), and stocked up on pastries for the next morning. We had done our dinner menu strategizing ahead of time and decided on a peachy dessert, but made the GTD–game time decision, as Laura taught me years ago–to make the most of the brief blackberry season and add them to our plan.
Once we had our peaches and blackberries to work with, Laura and Ed and I spent a not insignificant amount of time debating cobbler or crisp. We searched all of our fave recipe sites for every possible iteration of “peaches+blackberry,” settled on cobbler, and then dove into another search of cobbler styles. My lifetime fave cobbler is the one my mom made every summer, and that I looked forward to all year, from The Joy of Cooking. When I mentioned that to Laura she hopped right up and disappeared into the office she shares with Ed, returning with “his” copy of the book (still marked with tabs from the first dinner he ever made for her!). We found the recipe I was *pretty sure* my mom used, and decided to go for it. And oh my gracious were we glad we did. The original recipe calls for raspberries–part of how I was sure it was the one my mom used, because I remember her talking about leaving the berries out and going for pure peach–which made for a perfectly easy blackberry switch.
While the summer fruit is clearly the star of this dessert, the topping itself is so flipping good. A lot of cobblers have a much more traditional biscuit or dumpling topping, but this is almost cakey. While we were eating it Ed said to Laura, “you like this so much because it tastes like a pancake.” And it kind of does! A really really really great pancake. Not too sweet, with just a touch of salt and a tang from the buttermilk, the topping gets golden brown and soaks up the fruit juice beautifully. We served ours with vanilla bean ice cream, which I think is the exactly right choice. I’ve loved the peach only version of this cobbler for years, and it was so sweet to recreate it with my bestest in her gorgeous kitchen, and to enjoy it together. It’s my idea of the perfect summer dessert, and the perfect excuse for a weekend trip to the farmers market.
peach and blackberry (or just peach!) cobbler
adapted slightly from The Joy of Cooking
for the filling:
6 medium, ripe peaches (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 lbs)
2 cups blackberries
1/4 cup sugar
for the topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup buttermilk
Pre-heat oven to 350.
Rinse peaches and blackberries and pat dry (the blackberries stain counters and dishcloths easily, so we’d suggest using paper towels!). You can peel the peaches or leave the skins on, but I think the skins add a nice color and texture and prefer to leave them on. Cut the peaches in half, remove the pits, and cut each half into five-ish wedges. Spread the peaches evenly in a baking dish that has about a 2-quart capacity and is at least 2-inches deep–there’s definitely some flexibility here, so just use your favorite–and pour the blackberries on top. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over the fruit, and toss together gently to combine.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl beat the butter and sugar together til light and fluffy. Beat in the egg til smooth. Add half the dry ingredients and beat on low speed til just incorporated. Beat in the buttermilk. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat just til the batter is smooth. You could use a stand mixer, but Laura and I found a handheld beater to be best for such relatively small amounts.
Using two spoons, drop spoonfuls of the batter onto the fruit to cover it, leaving a 1/2 inch border all around the edge–the topping will expand during cooking.
Bake until the top is golden brown and the fruit is fork-tender, 40-45 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Top with vanilla bean ice cream, and enjoy!
ps leftover cobbler is one of the best breakfasts of all time–whether you add ice cream at breakfast time is entirely up to you.