10.07.2013

Blackberry Peach Cobbler


I love this recipe.  I love this time of year too!  Nothing better than the peaches.  Well actually the peaches were perfect a few weeks ago, and the snow and cold have quickly put an end to that.   My mom has three of the most glorious peach trees on the planet.  They produce the biggest, most lovely peaches every Sept.  I bottle peaches, turn them into jam, dehydrate them into fruit leather, and eat them plain in a bowl of mild until I can't look at another peach.  I'm usually pretty ready for peaches to be done with by the time my last bucket is wittled down.  Cobbler is one of my favorite things to make with peaches, or blackberries, or apples.  I love the color combination of peaches and blackberries:)

This recipe comes from a Julia Child cookbook I aquired quite a few years ago.  I've improvised a bit mostly by making it into a large cobbler, and adding different fruit, but for the most part the recipe is  perfect!  I think the part I love about the cobber is the corn meal in the dough.  It just gives it such a great texture and crunch.  This recipe is great with fresh fruit or frozen works just as well.  I've been known to make the blackberry variation in the dead of winter with a bunch of frozen berries.  It works perfect!


Johnnycake Cobblers
recipe adapted from the cookbook Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan
Serves 6-8

The Fruit

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2- 1 cup sugar depending on sweetness of fruit
6 cups sliced fruit (I've used just blackberries, or a combo of peaches and blackberries.  Plums are awesome too.)

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sugar, stirring to dissolve, then toss in the fruit. Stir the fruit around to coat each piece and then cook, stirring now and then, until the fruit is soft and gives up some of its liquid. Increase the heat to high and cook f or a few minutes more, to boil down the juices a bit. Spoon the fruit into 4 to 6 individual soufflĂ© molds, ramekins, or ovenproof bowls (they should hold 6 – 8 ounces) and set aside while you make the cobbler biscuit.

*(It's at this point I just pour the fruit into a 9x13 inch casserole dish.  I make 1 big cobbler instead of the mini ones.)

The Biscuit

1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup stone-ground white cornmeal (you can use yellow)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon minced ginger
½ stick (2 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
1¼ to 1½ cups heavy cream or milk
a few T. of sugar to sprinkle on top of the uncooked biscuit.  I like the sparkly look:)

Heavy cream or ice cream, for serving (optional)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F.

Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the ginger (if using), in a large bowl.  Mix the ingredients.

Add the pieces of cold butter. I use a pastry blender and cut the butter into the flower mixture.  Grating cold butter with a large hole cheese grater is a great idea too.  You want the butter to be crumbly, and about the size of peas when you're done cutting it into the flour mixture.

Make a well in the center of the ingredients and pour in 1¼ cups heavy cream, stirring with a fork to draw in the dry ingredients from the sides of the bowl and form a dough. If the mixture is too dry and does not hold together, add more cream, as much as ¼ cup more. You want a soft, moist dough that forms curds as you stir it.

Spoon the dough onto the top of the fruit, dividing it evenly among the cobbler pans. (Or in my case on top of the large cobbler.) Don’t worry if the fruit isn’t completely covered or if it’s covered unevenly – this is a homey dessert and part of its charm is its rough, craggy top. If the fruit bubbles up and over the top, so much the better.

Place the cobbler on a foil- or parchment-lined jelly-roll pan and bake for approx. 30-45 minute for a large cobbler, or 15 minutes for individual ones, or until the tops are nicely browned. (The golden biscuit is the key; you don’t have to worry about the fruit, as it was cooked before it went into the oven.) Transfer the cobblers to a rack and let them cool for 5 to 10 minutes – they’re best served warm. If you must make them ahead of time, keep them at room temperature – do not reheat.

If you’re serving the cobblers with a pitcher of heavy cream, encourage people to crack the tops and create a little opening for the cream to be poured in; ice cream can be scooped right onto the cobbler tops, cracked or not.




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