Friday, June 19, 2015

Nectarine & Ginger Cobbler

Although we normally associate ginger with the dark cakes of the winter months and holidays, ginger also plays well with spring and summer fruit, especially peaches, nectarines and plums. 

I like Red Lion nectarines and use them here for a simple but delicious cobbler, a must have for this moment in our splendorous fruit season.  The recipe is a very straightforward one but I add some fresh grated ginger to the peaches for a nice note of spice that complements and brightens the fruit.

It’s times like this that I always revert to these kinds of cherished spoon desserts that never fail to impress.  You must indulge at least once, sometime soon.  No muss, no fuss; simple and just plain good.

Bench notes:
- I made individual servings but you can also use an 8” baking dish and make one cobbler.
- Taste your nectarines for sweetness and add sugar to taste.  Mine were pretty sweet so I kept the sugar to a minimum. 
- You can substitute peaches for nectarines.
- You can substitute heavy cream or sour cream for the buttermilk.
- I use an ice cream scoop to portion the dough, then spread it out evenly to cover the fruit.

Nectarine & Ginger Cobbler
Serves 6

8 nectarines (about 2 3/4 - 3 lbs)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz) – 1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz) sugar, to taste
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger         
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup (5 oz) flour
3 tablespoons (39 grams) sugar                                                
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
generous 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 oz (5 tablespoons) cold butter
1/2 cup (4 oz) buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 oz (1 tablespoon) melted butter for brushing the tops
1 tablespoon turbinado (raw) or granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Place six 4” x 2” ramekins on a baking sheet.

For the filling, cut the nectarines in half and remove the pit.  Cut into 1/2” slices and place in a bowl.  Toss with the lemon juice and the sugar to evenly coat all the fruit.  Add the finely grated ginger and cinnamon and toss gently to distribute evenly.  Set aside. 

For the cobbler topping, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground ginger and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.

Cut the 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.  Stir with a fork until just combined without any dry patches. Do not overmix.  It will not look like a finished dough but a wet, lumpy and clumpy mass.

Toss the fruit and distribute into 6 ramekins.  Portion the dough evenly on top of the nectarines, covering the fruit completely.  Brush the 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 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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