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.

(If you'd like to comment on this post or read any existing comments just click on the purple COMMENTS below!)


Nancy Baggett said...

Your cobbler looks lovely. Your blog is lovely, too.

BTW, thanks for your kind words about my All-American Cookie Book. I have done two books since then--The All-American Dessert Book, which is in the same style, and Kneadlessly Simple, a new bread book. Both have been well-received, so you might like them, too.

Happy Baking!

Jane said...

Hi Nancy, Wow--thank you so much for visiting! I know this must sound like I'm making it up, but I was just reading your All-American Cookie book this weekend!! It's a great book with so many tempting possibilities. I'm continually pondering taking the plunge and making those chocolate sandwich cookies with the chocolate filling, dusted with cocoa powder . . . you know the ones I mean? The only thing stopping me is the fear that I'll want to eat way too many of them myself! I appreciate the info about your dessert book, and the new bread book too, as I'm finally branching out into yeast breads (overcoming my yeast-baking phobia!). I look forward to checking out both of those.

Many thanks,

Hanaâ said...

That looks delicious, Jane. Love the bright juice colors and the golden brown biscuit. Reminds me of the individual Strawberry-Rhubarb cobblers I made a couple months back. Delish!

Got any plans for all the apples we'll be getting our hands on shortly?

Nancy Baggett said...

Hello again! If I'm not mistaken you are referring to the fudgewiches--and, yes, they are very good. (One of my son's favorites.)

Kneadlessly Simple is well suited for busy people, novices and the yeast phobic--I tried to minimize all the usual handling and fussing around without compromising the taste and texture of the breads. Most readers seem to feel I have succeeded.

Jane said...

Hi Hanaa! Funny you should ask about apples . . . I do find myself coming up with a flurry of ideas for apples this fall. So many great recipe possibilities out there these days. Michigan will soon be adrift in ripe apples--a real onslaught! You know what I really want to try to replicate? The Swedish apple cake they sell in the IKEA cafeteria! Have you ever had it? It's unbelievably good. I've seen a few faux versions of it and I'm not sure which one is most authentic, but I aim to find out. What are you planning to do with apples this autumn?

:) Jane

Hi again Nancy--
Your bread book sounds just great. So much attention is being paid lately to the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, I figure there must be a swelling demand out there for non-fussy bread recipes lately. It's so discouraging to try some of the older and more cumbersome recipes that often don't work well for beginners, and it's so incredibly encouraging to try a somewhat modernized recipe that works extremely well. I baked bread again today with good results and I feel a little braver each time I do it!

Thanks again,

Hanaâ said...

I love that kind of apple cake you've mentioned. In Holland they serve a similar apple cake/pie. It's baked in a springform pan. I will post the one I've made recently (Dutch recipe). If you like it, I can send you the recipe (translated of course!) :o)

As for me, I have several apple baking ideas too (turnovers and bars, being one of them). I'm also thinking of going apple picking (would be my first time, so I'm excited about it).

If you google "appelpaj recept", you'll find lots of Swedish apple cake/pie recipes. If you find anything that looks like you want to try, let me know, and I can try and translate it for you.

Hanaâ said...

Btw, I tagged you for an A-Z tag. Go to my blog to find out :o)

Jane said...

Hi Hanaa-- I look forward to seeing your apple cake recipe post. I'll bet you have a lot of wonderful European cake recipes up your sleeve, yes? And thanks very much for the "A-Z" tag--it looks like fun.


Mini Baker said...

I just found your blog and boy am I glad I did! You have some great recipes!!
Happy Baking :)
-Mini Baker

I'll be checking back often!

Jane said...

Hi there Mini Baker! Thanks so much for stopping by. I just checked out your blog and I think it's wonderful that you already have your own baking business and you're so YOUNG! You must be one smart cookie, that's all I have to say. :)


amer said...

Thank you so much for posting this recipe. It really was everything the title said.

I think its nice recipe & yummy .I really liked it

Jane said...

Hi Amer -- I'm so pleased that you liked it! Thank you so much for letting me know that, Amer. Did you make yours in little individual dishes, or did you do one large dish? Just curious . . .

:) Jane

Sophia said...

Wow, great job here. Awesome picture too! You should really consider submitting this to Recipe4Living's Fall Cobbler Recipe Contest! It looks delicious!