I’m holding on to summer just a bit longer. As the days seem to be shortening a bit, as I start to see everyone on Facebook talking about their kids getting ready for school, and as I see the Asian pears and Gravenstein apples pop up at my local market I still refuse to believe that summer is ending. Perhaps it’s my love of Summer fruit but pies, buckles and crisps all seem to be better when there’s a plum, peach or berry in them. And nothing seems easier to make with summer fruit than a cobbler. Maybe that’s why I’m, still thinking about that Apricot & Berry Cobbler I whipped up for AJ’s family back in July.
Cobblers, to me, mean comfort food. Simple to make (no fussy pie dough which seems to scare a lot of people) and made with ingredients you can usually find in most cupboards; something that was important as I was baking in AJ’s parent’s house and not my own home. I know I get a little fancy fancy here on the blog because I have access to all those crazy flours and ingredients (Mesquite flour! Coconut Palm Sugar! Arrowroot Starch!). But this summer trip had me I realize not everyone is as big a baking nerd as I am.
Being on the road all this summer reminded me of all this. The few times I was able to bake on our road trip meant making food in other people’s kitchen. Kitchens not stocked with my ridiculous ingredients. That meant I was making food with what was available. Of course, a cobbler doesn’t require much. And it’s pretty much appreciated by all who can eat it.
If you haven’t guessed, I’ve still not completely accepting the fact that I’m not on the road traveling around the US. Summer may be over, but I’m already plotting where I’m going to go next, and how I’m going to get there. In the meanwhile, as I figure that all out, I’ll also think about the Apricot & Berry Cobbler, and wonder if I have time to make it one more time before the summer really ends.
Apricot & Berry Cobbler
By Irvin Lin
Cobblers combine two of my favorites things in the world, fruit and biscuits. A simple, easy-to-make, comfort dessert, they can be thrown together in a super short amount of time. It’s an easy recipe to fiddle with as well – don’t have apricots, try plums, peaches of nectarines; don’t like blueberries use raspberries or strawberries instead. You can even use frozen fruit if you don’t have access to fresh fruit. Double the recipe if you are serving a large party, or split it in half you need less (though you might have to adjust the bake time more or less depending on which direction you go) Of course I like eating the leftovers for breakfast. I figure it’s sort of like a reverse biscuit and jam, filled with fruit so it can’t be all bad for you can it?
2 pounds (910 g or about 14 medium) apricots, pitted and sliced
1 pint (12 oz or 340 g) fresh blueberries
1 pint (12 oz or 340 g) fresh blackberries
1/2 cup (100 g) white granulated sugar
1/2 cup (70 g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
2 tablespoons (30 g) melted butter
Cobbler biscuit dough
1 1/2 cups (210 g) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (90 g) cornmeal
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
6 tablespoon (85 g) unsalted butter, cold
1 cup (8 fl oz or 230 g) Greek style yogurt
1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray (or grease it with a little bit of softened butter).
2. Place the fruit, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and extracts in a large bowl and toss to coat and mix. Pour into the prepared baking pan and drizzle the melted butter over the fruit. Put in the oven for 30 minutes.
3. As the cobbler filling is baking, make the biscuit topping by placing the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into small 1/2 inch chunks and sprinkle over the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, smash and toss the butter pieces into the dry ingredients, until they are reduced to small bits, about the size of peas. Place the bowl in the fridge.
4. Once the cobbler fruit filling is nearly done baking for the 30 minutes, pull the cobbler biscuit bowl out of the fridge and add the yogurt. Toss until the dough starts to clump together. Remove the hot baking pan from the oven and, using a large spoon, drop biscuit sized portions of dough over the hot filling, leaving some space between biscuits, until the top is covered with dough. Brush the heavy cream (or half and half) over the dough and then sprinkle over the dough with sugar and the cinnamon. Place back in the oven and bake for an additional 40 minutes, or until the edges of the cobbler biscuits start to turn golden brown.
Makes 1 cobbler, serves 12 people