Aunt Audrey’s Cobbler is the ultimate summer dessert to throw together


So listen, we all agree: the temperature outside is unacceptable. In my beloved home state of Kentucky, we’re still on a coal-fired power grid, so keeping the house in a livable zone all season long costs about the same as a Rolex d ‘opportunity.*

Leaving aside scheduling issues, personal preferences, or availability of ingredients in the age of the pandemic, my motivation to rush for dry goods when someone calls a beep and asks for a dessert-share on the day even oscillates around zero. I also have what you might call a reputation for being a lot, so I can’t just go to the BBQ with a fudge half gallon of Kirkland Signature Vanilla Ice Cream. It is there, my friends, that I play the cobbler of Aunt Audrey.

Related: Zhoosh your summer ice cream game like a pastry chef

Aunt Audrey was my mother’s mother’s father’s sister, and she was just attractive, a totally self-sufficient broad, though she would probably have preferred “lady” or maybe even “gentlewoman.” In the late ’90s, she came home from a doctor’s appointment, realized she’d locked herself in, and — instead of calling her neighbor for a spare key — rolled up her elbow in his sling, broke a basement window and slid his nonagenarian body through. That, my friends, is moxie.

This positive attitude extended a lot to his housekeeping philosophy and is nowhere better exemplified than in his cobbler’s recipe. I have the notecard (yellowed, stained with juice) somewhere, but I also memorized it because it is 1. Malleable and 2. Simple. The beauty of Aunt Audrey’s Cobbler is that you almost always have everything on hand. It can be made gluten-free or vegan without a second thought. Seasonal products? Great. Only have canned peaches on hand? No problem. Trying to use something just before it goes bad? You are in the right place. Trying to show off the spices you brought home from studying abroad in Krakow? Mix it directly. Want to put it on the grill because the mere idea of ​​turning on the oven makes your head spin? It’s a bit more advanced, but yes, totally doable. ** It’s hot. It’s quite cold. Portioning it requires no foresight. It’s great all year round, but it really is the perfect summer dessert.

The proportions are indeed the only thing that matters here. In the recipe below, I’ll walk you through Audrey’s canonical version which only has peaches and some very basic pantry staples, but understand this: the only limits are your imagination and food tolerance. failure, which in this case is just a mediocre cobbler. .

The basis for this is a 1:1:1 ratio of ingredients. You can swap the flour for a whole-wheat flour or a gluten-free option (brown rice flour, for example, makes it crispier, and if gluten isn’t the issue, it’s cool to mix it in for some crispness reasons). The milk is wide open! If you’re using dairy, I always go for whole, but again: it’s fine to use soy, 2%, whatever. All sugars are equally valid in Aunt Audrey’s eyes, although I would caution against brown sugar or a liquid sugar like molasses for any of these, just because it gets sticky. It’s fine to swap a bit, however, no question. I’m a big fan of butter, but you can try any vegan option you like, or mix it up if you’re short on it (I made coconut oil and half a stick of butter in a pinch recently and DAMN).

Seasoning and filling are also free for everyone. Any fruit will work, and I love taking the opportunity to clean out the crisper. A mix of stone fruits and berries is wonderful, if you need more guidance than “just do it”. Swap the vanilla for a pinch of rum, rye, or bourbon. Try almond extract instead. Grate some fresh nutmeg or ginger on top. Mix a pinch of cinnamon with the salt. The sky does not even begin to describe the limit. You really can’t mess it up.

*A banged up, not a good looking, and from an estate sale where you kinda roll the dice, not an authorized dealer, but STILL it’s just highway robbery plus, you know, a climate and public health crisis

**Follow the recipe below, but you’ll have to do it by feel. I know not everyone feels comfortable doing this, but if you’re good at grilling and willing to keep a watchful eye, it works great!


8 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup flour

1 cup of sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5-6 ripe peaches, chopped (that’s about three cups of fruit)


  1. Get out a ten inch cast iron skillet. Add the butter directly to it.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350. As soon as you have turned on the oven, put the pan with the butter in it. This browns the butter, which makes you look extremely chic.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt until well incorporated. Gradually add the milk, then add the vanilla. You want the mixture to be smooth, but you don’t have to be obsessed. At this point, the oven is probably preheated. Take the pan out and tilt it so that the now browned butter reaches every crevice, then pour in the batter. Use a knife or spatula to make it a bit even, but don’t feel the need to obsess over a perfectly smooth, perfectly flat surface. The liquid butter will probably push out the sides; do not include it. He will take care of himself. This is part of the cobbler’s magic.
  4. Spread the fruit evenly and return to the oven.
  5. This bakes for about 30-45 minutes, depending on your oven and any adjustments you’ve made to the recipe. It will be sparkling and golden. Let it sit for fifteen minutes before serving, although it is piping hot at room temperature or chilled in the refrigerator. Top with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

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