A peach cobbler is an American deep-dish dessert with a thick crust and a peach filling. Most peach cobbler recipes call for a biscuit crust and a crumb or a drop-biscuit topping.
Peach cobbler was invented by early American settlers. When the immigrants arrived in America, they had brought their favorite recipes with them, like fruit pies and English steamed puddings. Early attempts to adapt the popular desserts to the primitive cooking equipment available in the new land and to make use of the local fruits led to the creation of the cobbler.
Since they didn’t have brick ovens, the colonial cooks baked the fruit cobblers in pots over an open fire. They first made a filling of fruit and placed it into the pot. Then they added a skin of dough over the filling and covered the pot with a lid. As the cobblers cooked, the filling stewed and created its own juice and sauce, while the pastry puffed up and dried.
The new cobbler recipes required only a fraction of the flour required for a loaf of bread and allowed the cooks to use the fruits that were readily available. The various cobblers could feed large numbers of people, and the dishes were both nourishing and sustaining. The early colonists loved these juicy, fruit dishes so much that they were originally served as the main course for supper and for breakfast. It was not until the late 19th century as a greater variety of foods and ingredients became available that cobblers became primarily a dessert dish.
The "World's Largest Peach Cobbler" can be seen and tasted at the annual Georgia Peach Festival. This huge dish is 11 by five feet (about three by two meters) and eight inches (about 20 centimeters) deep. The recipe requires 75 gallons (285 liters) of local peaches, 90 pounds of real butter, 32 gallons (about 122 liters) of whole milk, 150 pounds of wheat flour, and 150 pounds of sugar.
This giant peach cobbler is so enormous that it must be baked in a custom-designed brick oven and the clean floor panels of school buses are used for baking pans. The baking process takes five hours to complete and starts with dividing the ingredients into five work stations that are manned by eight people. All of the ingredients are mixed in large, clean trash cans and stirred with boat paddles. Festival goers bring their own containers and can take home as much peach cobbler as they can handle.