The cobblers that we tasted that day ranged from classic to straight up funky: Peach cobbler with a cheddar cheese crust, a cobbler made with pickled peaches, and even a habanero peach cobbler kept things interesting. But only one entry could take first, and it just so happens, my favorite of the day reigned supreme. Drum roll, please?
Third place went to the “Summer Heat Wave,” a caramel habanero peach cobbler cinnamon biscuit crust by Penny Anderson.
Coming in second were Ashley Thaxton and Jonathan Miller of Woodfire Grill.
And finally, the winner of the 2012 Peach Jam Cobbler Contest was Lisa Hanson of the Mercantile, who won the competition with her Brown Butter Bourbon Peach Cobbler with Smoked Almond Bacon Brittle. “This was my first ever cobbler," says Hanson. "Plenty of crisps, buckles and pies but never an actual cobbler. And kudos to the enduring power of bacon. It really does seem to have a magical power and I thank the pig for my win." Hanson's award-winning cobbler can be ordered during peach season at The Mercantile with 24 hour notice, just call 404-378-0096 to place your order. Or if you want to try your hand at cobblering at home, check out Hanson's recipe, along the the recipes for the second and third place cobblers after the jump.
Winning Cobbler by Lisa Hanson of the Mercantile: “Brown Butter Bourbon Peach Cobbler with Smoked Almond Bacon Brittle”
Hands-on time: 15 minutes Total Time: 1 hour
For the cobbler:
* 1 stick unsalted butter
* 2 tablespoons bourbon
* 1 cup all purpose flour
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 2 tablespoons baking powder
* 1/4 cup milk
* 4 cups peeled and sliced peaches, I used Pearson's Berta heirlooms
* 1/4 cup brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350
If you are going to cook the cobbler in a cast iron skillet (8-10inch) use the skillet for browning the butter. If you are using an 8 inch baking dish, put the baking dish in the oven while you pre-heat.
In a small saucepan (or the baking skillet), melt butter over medium heat and allow it to brown to a nutty color, approximately 5 minutes. Swirl in the bourbon.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and milk.
Crumble the mixture over the bourbon butter in the baking dish. Arrange the peach slices on top and sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top.
Bake for 45 minutes and serve warm with ice cream and, to be decadent, smoked almond bacon brittle.
Bacon Almond Brittle
Makes 2 1/2 pounds
Hands on time: 15 minutes Total time: 15 minutes
* 1/4 pound bacon, cut into bite sized pieces and cooked until crispy
* 2 cups smoked almonds, chopped
* 1 1/4 cups sugar
* 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
* 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
* 2 sticks butter, cubed
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
Prepare a baking sheet with greased parchment or a silicone baking mat.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water for 4 minutes or until the mixture is "syrupy." Slowly whisk in the cubed butter until the mixture emulsifies and turns golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in bacon, almonds, baking powder and salt. Quickly pour the brittle onto the prepared baking sheet and spread. When cool, break into bite-sized pieces. Extra brittle can be stored in an air-tight container for 1 week.
Adapted from I Love Bacon! by Jayne Rockwell.
Generous scoop of cobbler, your favorite ice cream, and a wedge of brittle. Happy Summer everyone!
Second Place Cobbler by Ashley Thaxton and Jonathan Miller of Woodfire Grill
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups fresh peaches
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Place the melted butter into a 2 quart baking dish. Mix together the 1 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and flour together then add milk. Whisk until smooth.
Combine the peaches, water and remaining sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil then simmer for 5-7 minutes until peaches are soft.
Spoon batter into the already buttered baking dish. DO NOT STIR! Spoon peaches onto the batter again DO NOT STIR! You can add some of the peach juice if you'd like.
Bake at 350 20-30 minutes or until the batter is firm to the touch and golden brown.
Third Place Cobbler: “Summer Heat Wave” A Caramel Habanero Peach Cobbler with a Cinnamon Biscuit Crust by Penny Anderson
* 16 medium-size peaches (ripe but not squishy)
* 1 large red habanero pepper
* 1 stick unsalted butter
* 1 cup light brown sugar
* ½ cup milk, heated
* Pinch salt
* 1 ½ tsp cornstarch
* 1/8 tsp almond extract
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* Pinch fresh-ground nutmeg
1. Peel and slice peaches into 1” wedges, set aside.
2. Put on gloves to de-seed and de-rib the habanero. Cut into very small strips, and then cut the strips into a very fine dice. Set aside.
3. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and stir in the brown sugar, 1 tsp of the diced habanero and the hot milk.
4. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture stops foaming and all the bubbles are smaller in size and uniform, stir frequently.
5. Add a little more than half of the peach slices, the remainder of the diced pepper and a pinch of salt. Stir and cover for 5 minutes.
6. Remove the lid, stir and cook over medium to medium-low heat for 30-35 minutes, until most of the liquid evaporates and the mixture is golden brown. Stir occasionally to prevent burning — stirring more as it thickens.
7. Once it is the consistency of thick jam, remove from heat.
8. Dissolve the cornstarch into a tablespoon of cold water, stir into mixture along with the nutmeg and the almond and vanilla extracts.
9. Combine the fresh peach slices into the hot mixture and pour into a 2 quart casserole dish.
* 1 ½ to 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 tsp baking powder
* ½ tsp baking soda
* ¼ tsp salt
* ½ cup + 1 tbsp sugar
½ stick butter, melted
* ¾ cup milk
* 1 tbsp white vinegar
* 1 tsp cinnamon
1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Stir the vinegar into the milk and set aside.
3. Mix 1 tablespoon of sugar with the teaspoon of cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, mix together 1 ½ cups flour and the baking powder, baking soda, salt and remaining sugar.
5. Pour in the melted butter and the milk/vinegar mixture.
6. Stir until a dough forms. It should hold together easily but still be just a little sticky. If it’s too loose, add flour a tablespoon at a time until it is firm enough to knead but still sticky enough to leave a small amount on your finger when you touch it. .
7. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for 1 minute.
8. Roll the dough to a 1” thickness.
9. Cut circles into the dough using a 2” biscuit cutter.
10. Dredge the biscuits in the cinnamon sugar.
11. Place the dough pieces on top of the cobbler, spacing them about ½ inch apart so they have room to expand.
Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cobbler is bubbling at the edges.
Allow to cool at least 1 hour — preferably 2.
Contact Penny Anderson: firstname.lastname@example.org
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