I was given 5 pounds of beautiful fresh peaches, my absolute favourite fruit. Of course, not even I could eat that many peaches without feeling any ill effects! I sacrificed some of them to make this lovely dessert...simple, baked peaches accompanied by a spiced brown sugar and pecan pinwheel biscuit.
The biscuit dough uses whipping cream, and I had exactly enough for this recipe. Perfect, as it was due to expire in 2 days.
The dough takes a bit of time to make, but the soft biscuit and sweet filling are well worth it...besides, the peaches are quick and easy to make. It's a good trade off.
Start the biscuits first, as they need to chill before being baked.
In a small bowl, mix together:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Set aside until needed.
Measure out 1/2 cup of chopped pecans, and set aside. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and keep warm until needed. Measure and cut a 9" X 15" piece of parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 ounces cold butter
Using the paddle, mix the dry ingredients and butter on a low speed, until it is the texture of breadcrumbs.
2/3 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
Mix on a low speed just until a rough dough forms. Add more cream if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Remove the dough from the mixing bowl onto a lightly floured counter. Gently press the dough together to form a ball.
Place the ball of biscuit dough on the piece of parchment paper that you cut earlier.
This will enable you to roll the dough out to the desired size, as well as helping with the rolling up step.
Using the parchment paper as your guide, roll the dough out to a rectangle that is approximately 9" X 15".
Brush the surface of the dough with the butter that you melted.
Sprinkle the brown sugar spice blend evenly over the dough. Scatter the chopped pecans over this.
Turn the dough so that the long side is facing towards you. Using the paper to help, roll the dough and the filling up, jelly roll style.
Wrap the parchment paper around the roll of biscuit dough, carefully place onto a baking sheet and refrigerate while you prepare the peaches for baking.
Heat the oven to 350F.
Peel and slice:
3 1/2 lbs fresh peaches
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Gently mix until the peaches are coated with the sugar, flour and vanilla.
Place the peaches into an ovenproof dish and into the oven to bake.
Bake until the peaches are tender, and the juices are bubbling. This should take 45 minutes to an hour.
Turn the oven up to 375F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove the parchment paper from the roll of biscuit dough, and place the dough onto a cutting board.
Cut the roll of dough into 1" slices, and place them cut side down onto the baking sheet.
Bake until the biscuits are light in colour, with the brown sugar spice filling bubbling, about 25 -30 minutes.
Serve the warm peaches with one or two of the biscuits; the biscuits can be used to soak up all of the sweet peach juices. If you wish, a scoop of ice cream of a dollop of whipped cream can be added.
- This dessert is my take on peach cobbler. I am not a big fan of traditional cobbler, as I find that too often the bottom of the biscuits are soggy. Baking them separately from the filling is my answer to this.
- If you wish to turn this into a traditional cobbler, add more flour to the peaches before baking them, which will give you a thicker filling. Slice the biscuit dough and place it on top of the peaches, and then bake everything together, until the biscuits are puffed and golden, and the peaches are bubbling and thickened.
- The spices in the pinwheel filling can be adapted...try spices such as aniseed, nutmeg, star anise.
- Citrus zest can be added to the biscuit dough, or to the brown sugar filling.
- Milk can be used if you have no whipping cream; the cream gives a richer biscuit.
- Nuts are optional in the filling; I like the crunchy texture they add to the dessert. Any nuts can be used. As an alternative, use dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries or cherries to add a chewy element.
- These biscuits are a quick and easy alternative to making yeast dough cinnamon buns.
- The rolled biscuit dough can be made a day or two ahead of time, and kept well wrapped in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen, well wrapped, until needed. Defrost the dough in the fridge before slicing and baking.
- The peach filling can be adapted to suit available fruit...some suggestions are plums, berries, rhubarb, apples, pears, cherries or any combination of fruits.
- Flavour the filling with spices, zest or extract appropriate to the fruit you are using. Try cherries with orange zest, cinnamon and almond extract; mixed berries with lemon zest and vanilla; plums with grated fresh ginger and vanilla; rhubarb and strawberries with cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest and vanilla.
- Cornstarch can be used instead of flour as a thickener, but avoid using it with more acidic fruit such as cherries or rhubarb. If you choose to use cornstarch instead of flour, use half the amount that the recipe calls for, in this recipe you would use 1 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch instead of 1 tablespoon of flour.
- If you use frozen fruit instead of fresh, the amount of flour needs to be increased. Double the amount of flour, and do not thaw the fruit before using it. Keep in mind that it will take longer to bake, as it needs to defrost before it will start to heat up and thicken. Freezing seasonal fruit, already cut up and ready to go, makes it quick and easy to put together a dessert like this.
- The fruit filling can also be used as the base for a crumble, a pie filling (you might want to increase the flour a bit) or a warm topping for ice cream.