One of my passions in life is baking, but once I learned I had to go gluten-free, I felt I had lost this ability. Not only was I horribly mistaken, but gluten-free baking can actually taste better than baking with wheat flour, yes, even better!
My favorite magazine for the last 15 years has been Food & Wine. Every month when I receive it in the mail, I cannot wait to open it to the index to see what recipes await. The dessert section is the first category I explore, and try. I was so disappointed when I thought I would no longer be able to create the wonderful baked goods published in this bible of mine. Then I saw this recipe, by New York's Bobby Flay, and decided I have to give it a try.
This recipe is a slightly different variation than the typical fruit cobbler, in that it uses biscuits. The recipe is very similar to the original, but with changes made to make it gluten-free and delicious. I replace the flour with Pamela's baking mix, and Bob's Red Mill corn bread mix, but any gluten-free baking mix can be used. I felt that the corn meal gave the biscuits a nice grittiness and texture. Personally, I decided to make it nut-free, and omitted the pecans.
7 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1 cup pecans (optional)
10 peaches, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract*
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract*
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
* Always confirm that the vanilla used is gluten-free, some are grain alcohol-based and are therefore not considered gluten-free.
1. Make the biscuits. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cornbread mix, granulated sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Using clean hands, two knives or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the mix until the mix is the texture of peas, or coarse sand. Gently stir in the buttermilk until the dough just comes together.
2. Using clean hands, create 5 biscuits, about 2 1/2-inches round, and 3/4-inch thick disks. Place biscuits on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush tops with the heavy cream and sprinkle with the raw sugar. Refrigerate the biscuits until chilled, about 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the over to 450'. Bake the biscuits for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden; transfer to a rack to cool. Reduce oven to 375'.
(Optional) Spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast in the over for 8 minutes, until fragrant; let cool, then coarsely chop.
4. Make the cobbler. Lightly butter a 8 1/2-by-11-inch baking dish. In a bowl toss the peaches, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and vanilla. Fold in the pecans if you wish to use them.
5. Spread the peaches in the prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Set on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, until peaches begin to release their juices. Remove the foil and bake for about 30 minutes longer, stirring once, until the peaches are bubbling. Arrange the biscuits over the fruit. Bake the cobbler for 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly. Once cooled, I choose to cut the biscuits into smaller pieces, on top of the cobbler.
6. Meanwhile, make the whipped cream. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream at medium speed until softly whipped. Spoon the cobbler into shallow bowls, top with a dollop of whip cream, and serve.
The cobbler can be baked up to 6 hours ahead. Rewarm before serving.