David Roberts’ gingered peach cobbler with Mom’s streusel topping


Chef David Roberts, chef-owner of Community Q BBQ
Backstory Long before Roberts learned how to toy with foie gras under Guenter Seeger, another mentor showed him moves in the kitchen: his mom, Jean Roberts. Today, some of her best creations—like her creamy macaroni and cheese—are signatures at Community Q. Around summertime, peach cobbler was the family favorite. Roberts and his siblings would harvest the fruit from U-Pick Farms. His mom would can most of the peaches and stock them on the shelves of his dad’s workshop, alongside jars of her quince jelly and blackberry preserves. Others got baked into a cobbler.

As a tribute to his mom, who passed away in April at age eighty-seven, Roberts re-created the cobbler, working in a few of his own tricks. He incorporates the butter into the dry ingredients quickly and evenly by freezing it first, then grating it with a box grater. For a spicy twist, he tosses the peaches with freshly minced ginger simmered in simple syrup. He serves the dessert warm from the oven with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Gingered peach cobbler with Mom’s streusel topping

12 medium peaches (about 8 to 10 cups sliced)
4 tablespoons water
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
½ cup (1 stick) butter, frozen
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Vanilla ice cream

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel and slice the peaches, and place in a 2 ½-quart baking dish. In a small saucepan, combine the water, 2 tablespoons sugar, ginger, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5–10 minutes until syrupy. Toss the mixture with the peaches. For the topping, grate the frozen butter into a bowl with remaining 1 cup of sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. Rub the ingredients together with your fingers until it’s the texture of coarse meal. Spread the mixture over the peaches. Bake 45–50 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbly around the edges. Serve warm with ice cream.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.

This article originally appeared in our August 2014 issue.