Well, that was a doozy.
Seriously. I’ve been cooking and baking for about 40 years and I think I’m pretty good in the kitchen. Not to brag (or humblebrag, even) but I don’t suffer too many missteps. I’ve got the eye (and the nose and the hands) of someone who’s spent a lot of time in front of a stove. I know my ingredients and my tools and can work my way through almost any recipe with the best of them.
But every once in a while I make a real dog. And boy, did I do that in spades on Saturday.
I guess the parade of wintry, comforting type foods I’ve been cooking and baking since October is starting to get to me because I’ve been craving fruit. Not citrus, not the so-called “nectarines” in the market now, either.
And definitely not a smoothie.
I had two bags of frozen fruit in my freezer, so my first thought was, “Hmm. I think I can make some pie filling with frozen fruit. Pie sounds good. With ice cream.” So I found a couple of recipes that used frozen fruit and I even bought pie crusts since I can’t make a pie crust. Short crust pastry and I haven’t been on speaking terms since 1987.
And then we came home from shopping and I had a pot of cauliflower bisque I wanted to make for dinner and a pie, even with store-bought crust, seemed like too much work. So I pulled out “Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates” and ta-da! My favorite fruit cobbler recipe! And I could use frozen fruit! And it was easy! And I pulled it out of the oven and it was gorgeous!
And it was, hands-down, the sourest thing I’ve ever eaten. As in, “scrunch-up-your-eyes-and-your-nose-and-pucker-up-sweetheart” sour.
Other things may have puckered up, too. I didn’t dare look.
So, here’s the recipe for the best fruit cobbler ever, but you have to promise me that you’ll never, ever use frozen fruit for this.
- 8 cups of fresh fruit (stone fruits should be pitted and sliced and peaches peeled)
- ¾ cup of sugar
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice (I’ve used orange in a pinch)
- 2 – 3 Tbsp white flour (depends on how juicy your fruit is)
- 1 cup unbleached white flour (I’m thinking whole wheat pastry would work, too)
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into small squares
- ⅓ cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C/Gas Mark 6
- Combine all of the filling ingredients in a 7”x11” or 9” square baking dish. Mix well, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Run a whisk through it to remove any lumps (you can sift it, of course).
- With a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it’s the size of small peas. It’s easier to do this with your fingers.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Quickly stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix briefly to make a soft dough.
- When the fruit is baked, drop the dough in eight, evenly spaced spoonfuls on top.
- Bake, uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. A toothpick inserted into the center of a biscuit will test clean when it’s done.
- Serve warm or at room temp. It’s even good cold for breakfast the next day, even though the topping might be a bit soggy.
This is really, really good with ice cream. Or custard. Or pouring cream.