Friday Food: Fruit Cobblers

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One of my favorite things about summer is the wonderful fresh fruit that's available. Peaches, plums, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon...I gorge myself all summer and weep when the season is over. One of my favorite things ways to eat fruit (besides fresh) is to bake it into a cobbler.

There's nothing like a warm fruit cobbler with some vanilla ice cream on top to end your day. Cobblers are a great dish to take to picnics and barbecues too - easy to make and a definite crowd-pleaser. Here are a couple very quick and tasty recipes to make for your next party. Neither are what would be considered traditional cobblers, but I don't think you'll have any complaints. You can also make these with frozen fruit to bring a little taste of summer into the winter months.

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This first recipe whips up in 5 minutes, and except for the fruit, most of the ingredients are ones I always have on hand. It's great for a last-minute dessert.


Easy Batter Berry Cobbler
(adapted from AllRecipes.com)

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Ingredients

3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 c. milk

2 Tbsp butter, melted

2 c. whole blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or a combination (or a 12-oz

package of frozen berries)

1 Tbsp sugar (optional, see note*)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, both sugars, baking powder, salt & cinnamon.

3. Whisk in milk and melted butter to form a smooth batter.

4. Pour batter in to an ungreased 8-inch square or 9-inch round pan, and scatter fruit over the top.
[*If your fruit is not particularly sweet, you can sprinkle the additional 1 Tbsp of sugar on top, but I personally found it unnecessary as the batter itself is fairly sweet.]

5. Bake approximately 45-55 minutes, or until batter browns and fruit bubbles. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

 Fruit Crisp
(adapted from The Best Recipe by Cook's Illustrated Magazine)

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Ingredients
6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar, divided
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
3/4 c. coarsely chopped nuts
2 - 2 1/2 lbs peaches, nectarines or plums*
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest

Directions
1. In a food processor, pulse flour, 1/4 c. sugar, brown sugar, spices, and salt. Add butter and pulse in short bursts until mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Alternately, if you don't have a food processor, you can cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or two butter knives.
2. Add nuts and pulse several more times until mixture looks like clumpy wet sand. It's ok if there are still a few large chunks of butter. Refrigerate topping while you prepare the fruit.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. Peel, pit and cut fruit into small wedges. You should have about 4-5 cups. Toss with remaining1/4 c. sugar, lemon juice and zest. *If using plums, add 1 Tbsp corn starch to keep mixture from being too runny.
5. Place fruit mixture in an 8-inch square or 9-inch round pan and crumble chilled topping mixture evenly over the fruit.
6. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until fruit is bubbling and topping is deep golden brown. Serve warm, with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Michelle is an avid baker and stay-at-home mom to a vivacious 3-year-old who always keeps her on her toes. Besides cooking & baking, she also loves to sew, knit & crochet. Check out some of her other cooking and crafting endeavors at www.craftyasiangirl.blogspot.com and www.cook-a-book.blogspot.com.


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