Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sparkling Peach Cobbler . . . with Prosecco, Ginger, and Honey

Okay, so you're probably thinking, "Ugh . . . yet another seasonal cobbler recipe. How original."

Am I right?

That's fine, I'm not offended. I've been around the baking-blog block a few times and I know the score. That said, however, I simply must impress upon you that there are peach cobbler recipes, and then there peach cobbler recipes. 

What do I mean? Well, let me ask you this: What do you get when you combine juicy ripe peaches, a buttery dough enhanced with a smidgen of candied ginger, and bubbly Prosecco, in a filling that's been augmented with a bit of citrus zest, fresh grated nutmeg, and honey? I'll tell you what you don't get. You don't get your grandma's dense, sugary, soggy-biscuit laden cobbler.

It really is, as they say, all in the flavor. Sparkling peach cobbler boasts flavors that are complex and  a little daring. They defy expectation, but do so delightfully. The cobbler has a bit of a bite, which is an element of surprise. I didn't necessarily expect my family to fully appreciate and enjoy such a nontraditional twist on a beloved and old fashioned dessert, but--lo and behold--they all did. This cobbler doesn't just defy taste expectations, it exceeds them.

Thank heaven that nice cold bottle of Prosecco in the fridge, procured a few weeks ago expressly for this recipe, was finally put to proper use. But, besides using the Prosecco, this cobbler served another purpose for me as well. Because my oven died immediately after I was finished producing the layers for the "Where the Wild Things Are" cake (and after 16 years of heavy use!) in my last post, I had to procure a new one and fast.

Happily, a glistening, stainless-steel, gas range was installed in our kitchen a few days ago, so the cobbler functioned as a suitable test case. That shiny piece of machinery took the cobbler on its maiden voyage into Fahrenheit Land and returned it to shore all golden brown and twinkling--a safe and successful voyage, one might say. There it is, pictured below. (Hear my sigh of baking contentment  . . . ?)

About this recipe . . .

I adapted this from a recipe for nectarine cobbler found in Sherry Yard's magnificent book, Desserts by the Yard. I adjusted the formula slightly by using Prosecco as an alternative to the pricier Champagne; by including a wee bit of chopped candied ginger in the pastry (Sherry advises leaving it out for this cobbler, but I thought it was a great touch used in moderation); by omitting the orange zest from the filling (I don't typically buy oranges this time of year, so I just used lemon zest); and by using about thirty percent more fruit than called for--mostly peaches instead of nectarines.

This is so good. You're gonna love it.

Sparkling Peach Cobbler

(For a printable version of this recipe, click here!)

For the dough (make this first):

1 and 1/2 cups All-Purpose flour, plus 6 Tbsp. for dusting
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
4 oz. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2'' chunks and frozen for 15 minutes
1 egg, large
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp. crystallized (candied) ginger, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten with 1 yolk, for the egg wash

In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the 1 and 1/2 cups flour, the sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Using the paddle attachment, add in the frozen butter chunks and mix for 1 to 2 minutes on low speed, until the butter is broken into large lumps that you can see. Stop the mixer. With your thumb and index finger, flatten any round lumps.

Beat again for 30 seconds. (The butter pieces should look like "flattened walnut pieces," per Sherry Yard's advice.)

In another bowl, whisk together the heavy cream and the egg.

Pour this into the dry ingredients, along with the chopped candied ginger. Turn the mixer on for several more seconds, just to combine.

Place a generous sheet of parchment paper on your work surface and dust it with a couple tablespoons of flour. Plop the dough onto it.

The dough should be tacky and crumbly when you dump it from the bowl (mine was much more sticky than tacky, so I was liberal with the flour once I got it onto the work surface). Now you'll begin a very simple version of the "3-fold" process. Don't panic.

To form the dough into a square that's 1" thick all over, use the edges of the parchment, bringing them up and over to press the dough into this shape. Peel the parchment back.

Dust the top of the dough with another tablespoon of flour, and flip it over. Gently press it into an even rectangle that's 6" x 8". It should be 1" thick all over.

Using the side of your hand, positioned parallel to the bottom edge of dough, make a crease through the middle. Just make an impression--you don't need to push down too much.

Using the paper to lift the dough, fold it over right at the crease. Peel back the paper again, and dust the top with 1 tablespoon of flour.

Press the dough out again, just like before, and turn it in front of you 90 degrees. Make a crease again, just like before, and fold and turn the dough again. Lightly dust the top with 1 tablespoon of flour. Crease, fold, and turn one final time.

At this point, the dough will be a relatively uniform block. Dust it with 1 more tablespoon of flour, and roll it out gently (with a rolling pin) into a rectangle that's 6" x 8" and that's 1" thick all over.

Wrap the dough in plastic and place it in the freezer for 30 minutes (At this point, I slid my dough, still on the parchment, onto the back of a little sheet pan, then covered it with plastic, and sort of folded the extra parchment up over it; I didn't want to have to overhandle it at this point. I slid the pan with the dough on it into the freezer.)

While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling.

For the filling:

1/4 cup All-Purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar, or more depending upon the tartness of your fruit
1/4 tsp. nutmeg, freshly grated
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
1 and 1/2 cups Prosecco (Note: if you prefer your cobbler with less liquid overall, I suggest you reduce this amount by one third; my cobbler had quite a lot of liquid.)
1/4 to 1/2 cup honey (take into account how much sugar you've used and how sweet your fruit is; adjust accordingly in deciding how much honey to use)
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
8 large ripe peaches (or nectarines, or a combo), pitted, unpeeled (yes, unpeeled--unless you hate the peel), and sliced into eighths
1 egg, beaten with 1 egg yolk, to use for the egg wash
About 1/4 cup granulated sugar to use for dusting

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Prepare one large baking dish (12" x 12", or 9" x 13") or two smaller dishes (I used one 8" x 8" glass dish and one ceramic quiche dish). Butter the baking dish and dust it with 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. 

Combine by hand, in a large bowl, the flour, sugar, nutmeg, and lemon zest. 

Whisk in the Prosecco. Heat the honey just until warm and easily pourable; stir it into the mixture. 

Stir in the lemon juice. Add in all of the peaches and toss everything together until the fruit is well coated. Scrape all of this into your prepared pan(s). 

Take the dough from the freezer and, using a very sharp knife, cut it into diamond shapes. 

Arrange the diamond pieces over the filling. Brush the dough with egg wash, then sprinkle generously with sugar. 

Immediately put the pan(s) in the preheated oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the dough is a nice golden brown. (Expect juicy dripping during baking and use foil or a baking sheet beneath the dishes to prevent a mess in your oven; I did this when it was almost too late!)

This stuff's utterly delicious on its own, but also heavenly with a little unsweetened whipped cream on top.

(If you'd like to comment on this post, or to read any existing comments, please click on the purple COMMENTS below!)


Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Love the idea of adding prosecco! I just made a peach cobbler with a hint of ginger, too. But honestly yours sounds better haha.

Jane said...

Thanks Xiaolu! Until I saw that recipe of Sherry Yard's, I never would have thought to add Prosecco to cobbler, but it's so perfect. The ginger works really nicely in it too.
:) Jane

Kerry said...

I love that this isn't just another cobbler recipe. I wish I'd seen this before I made a simple, boring old cobbler last week. The filling sounds so delicious & adding Prosecco is genius! I would've much rather eaten this.

Jane said...

Hi Kerry--

I know just what you mean! I think I'm never going to approach cobbler the same old way ever again. And, I find myself wondering how else I might incorporate sparkling wine in other desserts . . .

Thanks very much,
Jane :)

Irene said...

This is wonderful!!! I'm saving this for when I can drink again... ;)

Jane said...

Oh my gosh, Irene--are you saying what I think you're saying? Is there an Irene Jr. on the way??
:) Jane

Stella said...

Jane, I really admire and appreciate your step by step photo instructions-they're nice! This looks wonderful too. I've been thinking about a peach or nectarine cobbler, so maybe I'll use your recipe as a base recipe. I'm on a sugar free diet (smile), so I'll have to modify. This will be a very suitable start though, since you say it is so good!
p.s. I love the way you cut your dough and laid it on top-looks so pretty like that...

Allison said...

Prosecco makes anything better, in my humble opinion. And I am very jealous of your shiny new stove/oven.

Jane said...

Hi Stella,
I admire your commitment to a sugar-free diet! I read your recent post all about the effects of sugar on our systems and you really explained things succinctly. Let's just say it gave me food for thought (pun only partially intended). You are a great resource for all your readers, Stel, both in terms of your recipes and your sage advice.
:) Jane

Hello Allison,
I'm with you regarding the Prosecco! Isn't it wonderful? The bubbles get me every time.
Thanks very much for visiting,
Jane :)

Susi said...

Jane, I love cobbler but have never had a cobbler like yours. I think you have a spectacular recipe there. It is beautiful, I would have never thought to combine prosecco along with ginger and honey but it sounds mouthwatering delicious!!! I'm having some very dear friends visit in the near future and I think I will be making this for dessert. Thank you so much for sharing this and for always making my day :o)

ajcabuang04 said...

This looks great!! There's so many posts about peaches lately! I want a pice of that cobbler now! :D

kitchen flavours said...

Wow, this looks great! Thanks for your step-by-step tutorial, it is very helpful. Congratulations on your new oven stove!

Katie said...

Looks gorgeous! Love the topping

faithy, the baker said...

Now i have to google and found out what is Prosecco.. Can you believe it if i tell you that i haven't eaten a cobbler before? I always wonder what it was. Great to see how it looks on your post and it certainly looks heavenly!

And congrats on your new stove! Let us know how you like it!

The Scootabaker said...

oh my god I want your oven. *weeping

Sweet And Crumby said...

This cobbler looks absolutely perfect...just like your last cake! I have never seen the top of a cobbler look quite like that I have to say I think you are on to something!

The Urban Baker said...

yum! i need to make this. this is my kind of dessert!

Jessica said...

Looks quite good. I love the new flavor combinations you've come up with. Who would have thought of adding Prosecco to a cobbler? Beautiful!


Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Love the confidence!! This cobbler sure sounds amazing! Congratulations on the new range, it looks awesome. If only I had one too :(

One question - what purpose does the puff pastry like folding serve??

Jane said...

Hi Avanika,
Good question! My interpretation of Sherry Yard's description of that part of the recipe is that the folding is supposed to make the pastry less biscuity, more delicate, and sort of layered. It was a nice tender topping for the cobbler, but I am not sure if I really detected any layers in it. My hubby loved the topping and thought it was much better than typical cobbler topping. Anyway, I felt it was an interesting alternative to the usual stuff we slap onto cobbler here in the USA--not all of which is very good!
Thanks very much, Avanika. :)

Sophia said...

Wow, great job here. Awesome picture too! You should really consider submitting this to Recipe4Living's Fall Cobbler Recipe Contest! It looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

I tried this recipe and it was FANTASTIC! Thank you very so much

Tish S. said...

Just wanted to let you know that I made this recipe last night for a dinner party (only change - I did a mix of peaches and blueberries) and my husband said it was the best dessert I have ever made. (That's in thirty years of marriage.) And the guests raved.

Thank you!

Rachel Page said...

I have been using this recipe and find that it is great with every type of fruit imaginable.