More often than not I stick to the traditional way of making peach cobbler, however on occasion I will really throw a curve ball into the recipe. There are a whole host of off the beaten path ingredients that you can add to a traditional peach cobbler dish, and many of them are surprisingly fitting. Probably the most common way to add a little extra life to a peach cobbler, is to add nuts into the recipe, such as walnuts, pecans, peanuts, almonds, or even toasted sesame seeds. Another great way to get creative with the recipe, is by creating a multi fruit cobbler dessert that uses peaches as the fruit base, but incorporates other accent fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, bananas, or even mango. The last ingredient set that you can explore with cobbler are alcohols, such as bourbon, whiskey, spiced rum, and even vodka, so be sure and give that a try as well.
On the subject of nuts, there are many different varieties that will fit nicely either inside a cobbler filling, baked into the crust, or sprinkled over the cobbler as a crunchy topping. Over the years I have used crushed peanuts, almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, pecans, brazilnut, filberts, macadamia nuts, and pistachios. The trick to successfully incorporating nuts into a cobbler recipe, is in the proportion you use. For a cobbler that will serve ten people, I will generally use an eighth to a quarter cup of crushed nuts, however anything beyond that usually seems like overkill. I mostly use unsalted nuts, as I usually add salt to the cobbler separately, however I will on occasion use salted nuts, and then just deduct the salt serving from the crust or filling. So go nuts with your cobbler literally, as there are many tasty avenues to explore.
With regard to fruits, there are many varieties that will work well with traditional peach cobbler. In the past I have used bananas, mangos, blackberries, cherries, crushed pineapple, strawberries, figs, apples, apricots, nectarines, and many others. In fact many of these recipe varieties can be found throughout our website. As with nuts, the trick to working in accent fruit into a peach cobbler dish is in controlling the proportions. I will generally create a cobbler that is two thirds peaches, and one third accent fruit, otherwise if you go too far then it's no longer a peach cobbler, but a fruit cobbler with peach accents. Most fruits will fit with the recipe in both flavor and texture, so don't be afraid to go all out in what you try. Both canned and fresh fruits work well, and I generally alternate between the two depending on the fruit season.
The last tangent I want to explore is using alcohol within a peach cobbler dessert. There are many alcohols that will work great as an accent flavor either within your cobbler filling or crust. I have had great experiences with spiced rum, whiskey, bourbon, sherry, egg liqueur, Irish cream, brandy, scotch, and many others. Generally speaking, one to three heaping tablespoons of the alcohol is about all you will need, and even that small of an amount will deliver a rich and powerful flavor. I usually work the alcohol into the peach cobbler filling by letting the fruit simmer in it for ten minutes in a saucepan, however I will occasionally work it into a crust batter. Sweet liqueurs are great for adding to your crust, such as Irish cream liqueur, egg liqueur, coffee liqueur, or even chocolate liqueur. So do be sure to explore this tangent as well, as it's well worth it.