I blame my cobbler obsession on my parents (hi, Mom and Dad!) – maybe it’s genetic, or maybe I just love it so much because they made it all the time when I was a kid. Either way, I’ve carried on the tradition.
Whether it’s a problem or not, I’ve been making a lot of cobbler this summer – at least three times so far. Three times that I can specifically remember: strawberry, raspberry/blackberry, and this weekend’s cherry/blueberry. There are sure to be more to come. Peach season is just starting here, and peaches make amazing cobbler.
There’s a lot to love about cobbler, and many reasons why it’s my go-to dessert when I want to bake something with fruit. Almost any fruit works in a cobbler, with few changes to the recipe, making it an easy way to use up whatever’s on hand. Berries and stone-fruit are the classics. (If you’re using a solid, dense fruit, like peaches, you probably want to pre-cook them for a few minutes with the rest of the filling ingredients. For more delicate fruit, like berries, you can just toss them in.) It’s far less fussy than a pie, and keeps better if you have leftovers (though it’s best eaten warm from the oven). It bakes in about 20 minutes, faster than any cake. It’s dead easy to throw together, and uses ingredients you probably have on hand. Beyond that, it’s delicious: warm biscuits, gooey fruit, what’s not to love?
These are the fruits from today’s cobbler: blueberries and cherries, with the cherries halved and pitted (which made this one more labor-intensive than usual). I stirred the fruits together with brown sugar, some flour, and for a special touch, one scraped vanilla bean. I thought vanilla would complement the cherries well, and I’ve been looking for excuses to break into my vanilla bean stash. I can now happily recommend adding vanilla bean to just about any cobbler or fruity pie. The flavor is remarkably richer than just using vanilla extract.
This recipe is the one my parents always use, adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. It’s easy and reliable. You can improvise with the fruits and spices, using whatever you have on hand.
- 4 cups of fruit (your choice)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup sugar (can be reduced if you prefer a less sweet version)
- Seasonings of your choice: cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, lemon juice
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup butter (or oil, but butter is better)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 egg
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- If the fruit is large, chop it into pieces. Combine all the ingredients for the filling and pour into an 8-inch baking dish.
- Combine the dry ingredients of the topping, and stir well. Cut in the butter until you have pea-sized pieces or smaller. Then add the milk and egg, and stir just until the mixture comes together. As with pie crust or biscuits, you don’t want to over-work the dough – though it will be wetter than pie crust.
- Plop the dough by spoonfuls into the baking dish, on top of the fruit. Make sure you get good coverage, though it’s fine if some of the fruit peeks through. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.
- Serve warm. It’s delicious on its own, but heavenly with a scoop of ice cream or real whipped cream. Refrigerate any leftovers, and warm them in the microwave before eating.