Nothing makes your house smell better than peaches or nectarines cobblering in the oven. I just discovered that, Fellow FoodBeest.
On your behalf, of course, – and in honor of summer produce – I tried my hand at a peach cobbler.
But the peaches I found were hard enough to play hockey with. The nectarines were better and I didn’t want to wait for the ripening. They’re pretty much interchangeable at our house.
I wanted to grill the fruit to bring out its sugars and its flavor and to lend just a touch of smoke. I used a gas grill, not charcoal this time. Grilling the fruit was a great choice. The nectarines came off the grill tempting, wet and oozing with summer, the sugar of the fruit dark and caramelized. If you can’t grill the fruit, you can’t grill it and your cobbler will still be good. Just not the same.
This is one of those recipes where balance is key. This dish could be cloying.
Instead of the usual cinnamon to flavor it, I used basil to give just a hint of a grassy undertone, which for me is the essence of summer. Green basil would also work, as would sage. The salt and the lemon juice and zest counter the sweetness while the almonds added textural crunch.
What You Need to Make Grilled Nectarine Cobbler
1/2 C sugar
1/2 t finely chopped purple basil
1/2 t salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
5-6 large nectarines (or peaches), preferably peeled
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 T slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces or grated
1/2 cup buttermilk
How to Make Grilled Nectarine Cobbler
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
For the filling:
Peel the nectarines (or peaches) by dipping them in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove from the boiling water, slit the skin and it will slip right off – like a glove that is big enough for O.J. Simpson.
Cut the nectarines in half and remove the pit. Place them flat-side down over a grill (gas grill, charcoal grill or grill pan on your stove) until they get dark grill marks. They will be very juicy. Cut them up into bite size pieces (about six pieces per half).
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, basil, salt, and cornstarch. Add the nectarines and mix, coating the fruit evenly with the sugar mixture. Toss with the slivered almonds, lemon juice and zest, if desired.
Put the fruit filling in a cast iron skillet and place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. In the meantime, make the biscuit dough.
For the Biscuit Dough
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a food processor, a pastry cutter, or your fingertips incorporate the chilled butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is the texture of coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and stir just until moistened.
Carefully remove the skillet from the oven, and drop 6 to 8 (1/2 cup) portions of biscuit dough on top of the cooked fruit, spacing the mounds about a 1/2-inch apart.
Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F and bake until the biscuits are golden brown on top and the fruit is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.