Saturday, May 1, 2010
Cobbler: You pick the fruit
hen I realized I'd never truly posted this recipe before (just hinted at it here and here, and linked to it here and there), I was a bit aghast. Well, maybe aghast is a bit strong, but still. What's linking when compared to an actual post?! For this wondrous recipe, it seems a bit short shrift, to be honest.
I have made many cobblers in my life, but once I discovered THIS recipe, I haven't looked elsewhere. In fact, I have used the practice of boiling water added to a butter/flour/sugar mixture in other baking recipes to good effect as well. I had never tried this method before, always defaulting to a general "biscuit"-style topping with buttermilk, milk, sour cream or yogurt as the wet ingredient. Well, no more!
This recipe has worked exceptionally well with every fruit I've tried, from cherries to berries to peaches, apricots and rhubarb. The original recipe from epicurious calls for peaches... I am very much looking forward to peach season (and frozen could probably work fine...), but in the meantime, I made it for our family visit a few weekends ago, with mixed berries.
6 large peaches, cut into thin wedges (or 6 cups of cut up fruit, pick your favorite)
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. cornstarch (originally called for 1 tsp. I beg to differ.)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Toss the fruit with sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch in a 2-qt. nonreactive baking dish and bake in middle of oven 10 minutes. (I usually let it go a bit longer than 10 minutes... maybe 15, until there's a little bubbling action going on.)
While fruit is baking, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in boiling water until just combined.
Remove fruit from oven and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Bake in middle of oven until topping is golden, about 25 minutes. (Topping will spread as it bakes.)
I remember the first time I made this, my skepticism meter was quite high--the dough was sloppier than I expected, and I thought it would all be a pile of goo. To my delight, it was anything but goo, it was a really lovely, soft biscuit-y topping, and the fruit thickened up (with my little extra cornstarch!) nicely as well. With a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, this one is a keeper!