Monday, September 7, 2009

Saying Goodbye to Summer . . . with Fresh Fruit Cobbler . . .

Add ImageI bought a pint of fresh blueberries yesterday and the vendor who handed it to me, at the farmer's market, remarked matter of factly, "Last week for blueberries!" Guess there's no denying it now--summer is closing up shop. But that's okay with me since each season brings its own gifts, and its own fruits.

Cobbler's nice at this transitional point in the summer because it's so forgiving. You can use just about any variety of stone fruit and berries that you want, and none of them have to look perfect or be completely unblemished. I tucked peaches, raspberries, and blueberries in these, using some cute ramekins to make individual servings. I like this recipe for a few reasons, but mostly because the topping isn't just plopped on the fruit by the spoonful. It's firm enough to make a soft but solid dough that can be pressed with your hands or rolled out, and then cut with a cookie cutter. I used a basic flower shape, and made sure the cutter I chose was slightly smaller in circumference than the circumference of the ramekin, since the dough puffs up and out a bit in the oven.

Summer's End Fruit Cobbler

(For a printable version of this recipe click here!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and butter five one-cup ramekins (could instead use a single casserole dish that holds at least 1 and 1/2 quarts, or probably any 9" by 9" pan).

For the filling:

3/4 cup blueberries
2 cups raspberries
1 and 1/2 cups peach chunks (about 3 peaches, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces)
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the topping:

1 and 1/3 cups All Purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sour cream
2 - 4 Tbsp. heavy cream (or just use milk or half & half)
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

To make the filling:

Mix all the fruit in a large bowl with the lemon juice.

In a separate small bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch together using a fork.

Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the fruit and stir to coat all the pieces and berries well.

Portion the coated fruit evenly into your buttered ramekins or baking dish. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp. of melted butter.

To make the dough for the topping:

Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, mix together the sour cream and 2 Tbsp. of melted butter.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the sour cream mixture. Mix well to form the dough.

If the dough seems too sticky and wet, add a little more flour, about a tablespoon or two; if too dry, add in the heavy cream or milk (reserving a tablespoon or so of cream/milk as you'll need it later), bit by bit, until the dough holds together well.

Dump the dough out onto a floured surface. Flour your hands and gather the dough into a ball. Press the dough into a flat disk about half an inch thick. (Or, if you prefer, use a floured rolling pin.)

If you like, use a shaped cutter to make the tops for your ramekins, or just use a round biscuit cutter or a glass turned upside down.

If the dough is very soft, use a spatula to transfer the pieces to the top of the fruit.

Brush the cream onto the top of the dough pieces, and sprinkle granulated sugar on top of that.

Put the ramekins on a cookie sheet that's been covered with parchment or foil ( do the same if you're just using a single baking dish) to catch spills. Check on the cobblers about 20 minutes into baking. Cover lightly with foil if they're browning too fast.

Remove from the oven when the tops are golden brown and the filling is quite bubbly, perhaps 25 minutes to 30 minutes. Cool briefly on the cookie sheet.

Great served warm, or cold, with a little sweetened or unsweetened whipped cream, or with vanilla ice cream. And not too shabby served plain either!

Recipe full disclosure! This recipe is based on one that comes originally from Family Circle magazine, though in what issue it may have appeared I do not know. I found it via this link at I altered some of the ingredient proportions, rewrote the instructions, added blueberries to mine, and made them in individual servings versus in one big dish.

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