This better-for-you peach cobbler uses fresh fruit and less sugar

Eric and Shanna Jones
Healthier Southern Cooking
Healthier peach pie.

About the recipe 

Reprinted with permission from Healthier Southern Cooking by Eric and Shanna Jones, Page Street Publishing, co. 2022.

You can’t have a list of Southern desserts and not include peach cobbler. It’s just not right. But instead of using canned fruit drowned in syrup, go with fresh or frozen peaches this time around! This healthier-for-you version uses maple syrup, cuts down on the sugar and incorporates must-have flavors like vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg to create a healthy and delicious fruit-filled treat that will satisfy any dessert craving.

Makes: 4 servings


For the crust

1 1⁄4 cups (156 g) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

1⁄2 cup (114 g) cold unsalted butter

6 tablespoons (90 ml) cold water

1 large egg, beaten

Pinch ground cinnamon

For the filling

5 cups (770 g) thickly sliced fresh or thawed frozen peaches

1⁄2 cup (120 ml) pure maple syrup

1⁄4 cup (55 g) light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄2 teaspoon bottled lemon juice

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon water

To make the crust:

Combine the flour, granulated sugar and Himalayan pink salt in a medium bowl. Cut the cold butter into small pieces. Add the butter to the flour mixture and, using a pastry cutter, incorporate the butter into the flour until crumbs appear. Slowly add the cold water to the flour and mix it into the flour using your hands or a spatula until the dough starts to form a ball. Dust a work surface with additional flour.

Transfer the dough ball to the prepared work surface and knead it 4 to 5 times, until it is smooth and elastic. Tightly cover the dough with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 2 (6 1/2-inch) cast-iron skillets.

To make the filling:

Combine the peaches, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, vanilla and nutmeg in a large bowl. Stir the ingredients together well. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water to create a slurry. Add the slurry to the peaches. Mix everything together well and set the bowl of filling aside.

Pour the peach mixture into the prepared cast-iron skillets. Set the skillets aside. Dust a work surface with additional flour. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it and place it on the prepared work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is 1⁄4-inch thick. Cut the dough into 2-inch (5-cm)-wide strips.

Arrange the dough strips in a lattice pattern on top of the peach filling. Brush the dough with the beaten egg, and then sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon. Bake the cobblers for 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Allow the cobblers to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving them.