Monday, July 21, 2008

Cobblers I have known (and loved)

Northerners seem to have a different view of cobbler from those of us residing in the south. And I say that as a Yankee transplant. The only cobbler I knew growing up in New England was my mom’s cherry cobbler which was canned cherries (or maybe that canned cherry pie filling) and bisquick-type biscuits on the top. Which tasted good, and will forever remind me of my childhood. Other cobblers from up north seem to all have that biscuit thing (sometimes very dry) on top.

When I moved south, however, I discovered the glorious wonders of fresh fruit cobbler. Southern cobbler as I know it integrates fruit with a batter (rather than a dough) – in fact it is usually made by melting the butter in the bottom of a casserole dish, then pouring in a liquid batter (flour, sugar, baking powder and milk), then sprinkling the fruit on top. As it cooks, the fruit sinks through the batter, which thickens and develops a wonderful crispy golden skin on the top and a tender, sweet inside.

Peach/blueberry and peach/blackberry cobbler are a summer staple at our house. There is nothing better than local Georgia peaches (or South Carolina peaches in a pinch!) in a piping hot cobbler. The recipe I use is derived from one in Jane Brody's Good Food Book (now out of print):

Blueberry Cobbler

2 T butter
2/3 cup flour (you can use 1/3 cup of whole wheat flour)
½ cup sugar (or less)
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2/3 cup skim milk
2 cups blueberries (or other mixed fruit - my favorite is blackberry/peach - you can increase the fruit to 2 1/2 cups)

baking dish (can use a 9" square dish, but I've also used a deep casserole and increased the cooking time)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Put butter in bottom of baking dish, and place in hot oven until melted.

3. Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

4. Add milk to dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.

5. Pour in batter into hot buttered dish and sprinkle blueberries on top.

6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until lightly browned.

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