Deconstructed peach cobbler


Instead of trying to find healthy (yet still convincing) substitutes for the butter or sugar in his peach cobbler, David Cohen, corporate executive chef for Morrison Community Living in Atlanta, tried a completely different approach. “I was looking for an innovative way to serve healthier desserts,” he says. “Not to replace the comfort classics, but to offer something different that our senior resident population may not have tried.” By retooling the elements of the classic dish—sweet, softened peaches and a crisp, buttery topping—to make Grilled Peaches With Cinnamon Sour Cream and Shortbread Cookie, he found he could slash the calories and fat without sacrificing flavor. 

  1. Cohen grills peach halves instead of baking them with added flour or cornstarch. The method still brings out the peaches’ natural juices, though he admits it’s slightly more labor intensive. “You have to watch the peaches on the grill, whereas the cobbler is placed in the oven, and you’re done,” he says.  
  2. Grilling peach halves makes them sweet and caramelized without the need for added sugar. Instead, Cohen tops the grilled peaches with a dollop of cinnamon sour cream; the tanginess helps highlight their natural sweetness. “[The flavor is] well received by everyone,” Cohen says. “It keeps the menus fresh and takes advantage of seasonal produce.”
  3. Cohen pairs the peaches with a small, housemade shortbread cookie, which offers up the same rich, buttery crunch as a cobbler topping—but for a fraction of the dietary damage. While a serving of Cohen’s traditional peach cobbler packs nearly 400 calories, his grilled peach dish clocks in at just 247 calories. 


Traditional recipe Shared Revamp
Oven baking Peaches Grilling
Refined sugar   Cinnamon sour cream
Buttery cobbler topping   Shortbread accompaniment


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