In 2009, the early years of the Austin food blogging community, I met Ryan Adams and Paul Czarkowski, two tech guys by day and food bloggers by night.
They bonded over a love of sous vide and nose-to-tail chef Fergus Henderson, and though they know far more about poaching eggs in a vacuum seal and how to cook offal, they let me tag along and ask lots of questions at the feasts they would host.
Seven years later, both Adams and Czarkowski have transitioned out of traditional food blogging, but that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped cooking. Czarkowski posts lots of great cooking pictures in our #Austin360Cooks social media project, including a recent brisket that was nearly too big for his Big Green Egg, and cheese and Vegemite rolls from his native Australia.
Last week, Czarkowski (@paulczar on Instagram) posted a few photos of a bacon peach cobbler that caught my eye. I’ve been looking for peach cake recipes for the next installment in our Year of Baking project, and his cobbler looked a lot like some dump cake recipes I’ve found. I asked him where the recipe came from, and he sent a link to a 2009 blog post that Adams wrote not long after his grandmother died.
Ruby Lee Adams lived in Dallas and loved to cook. “She was an important influence on my life and my cooking,” Adams wrote, reflecting on her life as he shared her tried-and-true recipe for cobbler. “I suppose it’s easier now that some time has passed, and writing about some of her beloved recipes helps as well. I have fond memories of watching cobblers bake in my grandmother’s oven, enjoying the kitchen magic when the batter would rise and encompass the fruit. This might be my favorite recipe of all time.”
Ruby Lee Adams used to make it with blackberries, cherries and peaches, or pretty much any frozen fruit she might find at the store. But bacon? That was Czarkowski’s twist. He baked a few sheets of bacon and then crumbled some of the pieces in with the batter. What would Grandma Adams think of this 21st century adaptation of her dish?
“She’d find it hysterical,” Adams says.
1 stick butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup sugar to toss with fruit
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 cups any fruit, fresh or defrosted
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter and pour into an 8-inch-by-8-inch baking dish. Set dish aside.
Combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar and baking powder. Add the milk and mix until everything is blended together evenly. If you find that you need more milk to achieve a decent batter-like consistency, just add a little at a time.
Pour the batter into the baking dish over the butter. Do not mix the batter and the butter. Combine the two cups of fruit with the 1/2 cup of sugar and pour that into the baking dish on top of the butter and batter, but do not stir. Place the baking dish in the oven for 45 to 55 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
— Adapted from a recipe by Ruby Lee Adams