Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 3:41PM
Sandra in desserts, in the kitchen

Pies, cobblers, buckles, crisps, slumps, grunts, tarts, galettes...did I miss any?  Oh right--pandowdys, teacakes, crumbles, and of course bettys, fools, and trifles.  I love any playfully named fruit dessert.  And I think I've tried at least one variation of them all.

But this summer, I've been stuck on cobblers.  I'd call it a rut, but I think the term 'rut' evokes something you'd like to get out of.  And that is certainly not the case. 

A cobbler is traditionally a deep-dish fruit dessert.  Usually there is no bottom crust, not that you'll miss it if the top crust--a dense, sweet cream biscuit--is done right.  Some cobbler recipes call for you to precook the fruit, have a special ingredient on hand...or, for goodness sake, roll out the topping dough.  I've tried many recipes.  And many of them were great.  Fantastic, even.  And they are surely dog-eared for company.  But for us?  When the threat of too many dirty utensils is certain to stop me from attempting a homemade dessert at dinner time...well, you can understand my dilemma.  Because summer without endless cobbler?  I think not. 

Enter a simpler, humble version, ready to be adapted to whatever is lurking in your fridge.  It is my every day cobbler recipe, though I should probably call it my every-other-day cobbler recipe because that's roughly how often I've made it this season.  You can find fancier.  And you can even find, I daresay, tastier.  But easier and faster and still hit all the right cobbler notes?  Hmmm, again, I think not. 


Basic Cobbler Recipe **any fruit will work, though I suggest a stone fruit, like peaches, along with a handful of ripe berries, like blackberries or blueberries.  I'm a big fan of such combos (and I do mean big (or at least squishy) if you catch my eating-too-much-cobbler drift).  Oh, and see the apples above?  Sometimes those sneak in there, too.**


Fruit filling



Preheat oven to 425.  For filling, rub the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt together.  Add fruit and gently toss.  Spoon fruit, including all rendered juices, into a pie pan.  For topping, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.  Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, cut in butter until the size of large peas.  Pour in the milk/buttermilk/cream and vanilla.  Stir just until the liquid is incorporated into the dry ingredients and forms a batter (it will be lumpy).  Drop by large spoonfuls on top of fruit--no need to cover the fruit completely.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until fruit filling is bubbly and biscuits are golden.  Eat warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Repeat again and again and again...


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