I was rushing to get out of town and was working on cleaning out the fridge. Getting rid of the perishable stuff was easy, if disheartening, but the more I dug, the more intrigued I became. Where’d all this stuff come from? I am a collector of stuff – umpteen condiments, bottles of wine, cheese, fat. Yeah, fat. I was sort of dazzled with my inventory of fats. Get this. I currently posses: unsalted regular butter, a pound of Plugra butter, salted Irish butter, a tub of “summer” butter from the farmers market, a 3lb tub of organic lard, a shortening stick tucked in the door, and the piece de resistance, a small tub of duck fat. Wow. I’m kind of impressed with myself. Why the hell do I have four kinds of butter? Between that and the 9 opened jars of jams and pickles (all my own), I am a complete nutbag. But there, way in the back, tucked behind the lard, were two pints of blueberries and raspberries. They looked a little neglected but not quite trash worthy. Yet. Usually, if I remember they’re there, I’ll throw them in the freezer. Not this time. I needed to deal with them pronto. Ahhhh … perfect subjects for my great cobbler experiment.
So this will be #4 in my series of tests and I think the berries will be most lovely in a batter type of cobber. Now THIS is what I think of when I think cobbler. Berries nestled in a buttery golden cake. No biscuits, no crusts, no dumpings, no things smooshed down. A sweet juicy buttery mess with a scoop of ice cream on top. This is heaven.
It’s pretty easy too. Here’s the topline: plot in all in the dish. Melted butter goes right in the baking dish, a few quick stirs to whip up a batter then that goes on top of the butter, then dump the berries on top, sprinkle with sugar and bake until it’s bubbly and golden and the smells permeate your house to the point of driving you and the dog crazy. I think it’s best enjoyed eaten right out of the pan but perhaps some of you are too fancy for that. I happened to have some of that peach frozen custard left so I plopped that on top and did a little jig of happy delight, it was that tasty. The contrast of the hot and the cold; the tart and the cream. Yeowzaa. Man, I love fruit desserts. You can keep the chocolate.
In terms of ease, this is the one so far that has been the easiest. No worrying about a flaky crust or fluffy biscuit necessary. No stressing over rolling dough or placing it just so. You just plop it all in the pan and it comes out magically perfect. It’s kind of interesting how the berries start on top but reverse places in the oven. I bet kids would get a kick out of this. You have to love recipes like this – fun and easy. And the fruit can be varied to anything you have on hand – berries, apples, pears, stone fruits. It’s all good.
I jotted this recipe down a while ago and I’ll be damned if I can find it again so my apologies if I lifted it from someone. I did tweak it but credit to someone is deserved. This is also the recipe I googled that trying day back in May when I finally decided to teach Willie a cobbler. This version vs. the double crust is what started the whole damn controversy. So Willie, I dedicate this one to you. This Yankee cobbler. THIS is a cobbler. I still think your version is a pie. And I don’t even care.
STRESS BAKING THEAPY FACTOR: UUMMM UUMMM GOOD. Cleaning out the fridge is a stressful dreaded task. No matter how hard I try to keep up with everything, I always forget something which then goes bad. I feel like such a failure. When once beautiful berries turn up, a little neglected, I cringe. The need to rectify this as fast as possible is overwhelming. This is the kind of recipe that turns the situation completely around and makes me happy. People love it and no one has to know the fruit was once a little wrinkley or bruised or not picture perfect. Just cover it with a delicious golden batter and a good shot of sugar and everything is alright. Then here’s what you do … take a spoon, break through the crunchy sugary crust, down through the soft cakey layer right down to the juicy berries. Yeah, that’s right. Eat it right out of the pan and you will smile. I promise.
The Great Cobbler Experiment Tally: slow but steady progress and I still don’t know which I like best. They’re all really good, just different. Suppose it depends on what you’re looking for. More research is most definitely needed.
#1 Sour Cherry Cobbler – rolled biscuit crust
#2 Peach & Blackberry Cobbler – cornmeal drop biscuits
#3 Peach Pandowdy – pastry crust smooshed down (you gotta read it to get that)
…. now #4 Blueberry-Raspberry Cobbler – batter method
BLUEBERRY RASPBERRY COBBLER
Serves 8-10; basically a lot. Great way to use up a bumper crops of fruit – use anything you want or have on hand. It will all turn out great.
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
zest of 1 orange
3 pints berries – blueberries, raspberries or a mix of whatever
¼ cup sugar
serve warm, right out of the pan, with vanilla ice cream
- Preheat oven to 350°F and place a rack in the lowest position.
- Melt the butter and pour into a 9”x13” or other 3-quart baking dish. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and sugar until well combined.
- Add the milk, vanilla and orange zest and whisk batter until just combined. Please do not overmix.
- Pour batter into the baking dish on top of the melted butter; do not stir.
- Pour berries on top of batter; do not stir.
- Sprinkle ¼ cup of sugar over the mixture; do not stir.
- Bake cobbler in the lowest rack of the oven 50-60 minutes, or until cake portion is golden and the berries get all juicy underneath. Keep in mind, the center will take longer to bake so hang in there.
- Serve warm, right out of the pan, ice cream. But it’s good at room temperature too.