Friday, January 21, 2011
I’ve really been missing spring fruit lately so when I saw some beautiful and very inexpensive blackberries at the market, I scooped them up. They were not locally grown but I just couldn’t help myself. They’re imported from Mexico and they are deliciously sweet and juicy.
In order to best enjoy their bright fresh flavor, I decided to keep their preparation simple by making a very basic cobbler. Cobblers come from a terrific family of rustic baked fruit desserts such as Crisps, Grunts, Bettys, Pandowdy, Slumps and Buckles. They are very quick and easy to create with the simple combination of a few basic ingredients. In this preparation, the berries are enhanced with some sugar, orange zest and the perfectly delicious pairing of cinnamon. The cobbler topping is light and just the right sort of texture to top off the lusciously baked fruit. The whole dessert comes together in just a few minutes and provides a great treat to hold us over until we arrive at the beautiful bounty of spring.
- If you don’t have berries in your midst now, try this with pears or apples. Switch out the orange zest for lemon, use your favorite spices and you probably don’t need any flour. Toss in some dried cranberries or a couple of finely chopped medjool dates.
- Always taste your fruit first and if it isn’t particularly sweet, adjust the sugar.
- I made individual servings but you can also use a baking dish large enough to hold the berries for one large cobbler.
- For another great winter dessert, try the super delicious Winter Fruit Crisp.
1 C flour
2 T sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
generous 1/4 t salt
2 1/2 oz (5 T) cold butter
1/2 C buttermilk
1 t vanilla
5 C blackberries
1/3 - 1/2 C sugar, to taste
1 T flour
1/2 t cinnamon
zest of 1 orange
1 T melted butter for brushing the top
1 T turbinado or granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
For the filling, toss the berries with the sugar, flour, cinnamon and orange zest to evenly coat all the fruit. Set aside.
For the cobbler topping, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.
Slice cold butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture, tossing to coat each piece. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, blend the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Combine the buttermilk and vanilla and add to the flour and butter mixture. Stir with a fork until just combined without any dry patches. Do not overmix. The dough should look lumpy and crumbly.
Toss the fruit and distribute into 6 ramekins or one baking dish. Distribute the dough evenly on top of the berries. Brush top of the dough with melted butter and sprinkle generously with sugar.
Bake until filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.