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What is Peach Cobbler?

A. B. Kelsey
A. B. Kelsey

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.

Doughnut peaches, which can be used to make peach cobbler.
Doughnut peaches, which can be used to make peach cobbler.

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.

Peach cobbler is a classic American dessert.
Peach cobbler is a classic American dessert.

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.

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Discussion Comments


@Acracadabra - Reading your comment sent me off on an Internet adventure looking for a quick and easy canned peach cobbler recipe. Being on a budget, with both time and money, I hadn't thought about subbing canned fruit. I found the recipe you mentioned and I have one browning in the oven right now. Thanks again.


Peaches are my favorite fruit and I will always go for a dessert made from this fruit above all others. What I love about recipes for peach cobbler is the variety.

I've never had a disappointing dish but some stand out as extra special, including southern peach cobbler, which is the ultimate in soul food for me as it take me back to childhood. I also like it made with spices, or with macaroons!

If I'm feeling blue or homesick I whip up a super easy peach cobbler with canned peaches. I like that it only has six ingredients and I just have to make the batter and arrange the fruit on top.


This is an entertaining and informative article on peach cobbler pie. It came up in conversation the other day and my friend and I disagreed about the origins. It turns out I was right, so thanks Wisegeek. The loser has to make a fresh peach cobbler. I can't wait!

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    • Peaches.
      By: Anna Kucherova
    • Doughnut peaches, which can be used to make peach cobbler.
      By: robert lerich
      Doughnut peaches, which can be used to make peach cobbler.
    • Peach cobbler is a classic American dessert.
      By: msheldrake
      Peach cobbler is a classic American dessert.