Lazy Man’s Cobbler

This old-time recipe is sometimes called “creeping crust” cobbler. Regardless, it’s been a favorite dessert for generations and is easy enough for kids to make.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sliced peaches, blackberries, pitted cherries, apricots, etc.
1/2 cup sugar

METHOD:

Melt butter in 10-inch round deep baking dish.

In a bowl, mix flour, sugar and baking powder. Add milk and mix to combine. Spoon batter over melted butter in baking dish. (Do not mix.)

In a large saucepan, heat the peaches (or other fruit) with sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.

Pour hot fruit mixture over batter. Bake at 350° about 30 minutes until crust is golden brown. Crust will rise to the top around the edges.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

Rhubarb Crumble

You know that expression, “Easy as pie”? Well, this is even easier. No kidding. This recipe comes by way of my friend Jeff Emery, who not only makes great wine but also this killer dessert. He gave me the recipe over the phone, and as so many recipes are given, it was just a list of ingredients, not much in the way of amounts, loose instructions for the method, and the addendum of, “You get extra points for serving it with vanilla ice cream and rhubarb bitters.” I agree. We like the crumble topping, and the filling is almost just there to sauce it, but you can add more rhubarb to the dish if you wish. By the way, when I say it’s easy? His nine year old daughter was making this on her own (with adult supervision) while he gave me the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

1-2 lbs. rhubarb, or enough to fill the bottom of a 7 x 11 OR 9 x 9 inch Pyrex baking dish half way, sliced 1/4 inch thick*
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into pea sized bits and frozen

*You can fill it more or less as you choose, or supplement with sliced strawberries

METHOD:

Heat the oven to 350°F. Place the rack in the center of the oven.

Place the sliced rhubarb into the baking pan. (See Chef Notes below.)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar with your fingers or a spatula. When thoroughly mixed, cut the butter into the sugar-flour mixture using a pastry blender or two knives until a mealy texture is reached. Do not work the crumble so much that the butter starts to melt.

Spread the topping over the rhubarb. Place the dish in the oven and bake for around 45 minutes or until the top is golden and the insides are bubbling and gooey.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool a few minutes. Serve warm or cooled.

Chef’s Notes and Tips:

This crumble would also be good with the addition of cinnamon and/or vanilla. I could also see a little cardamom in here as well. I might toss the rhubarb with rhubarb bitters, vanilla extract, or even a little orange bitters. I’d would also be inclined to try cinnamon ice cream with the crumble.

As to the volume of rhubarb — use enough to fill the baking pan 1/2 to 3/4 full. This amount varies in weight depending on the size of the stalks and how wide they are, because once cut this will affect how slices fit in the pan. The wider the bulkier, so you will just have to try this recipe to get a feeling for how much your tastes demand.

The rhubarb bitters mentioned is a bitters used in cocktail mixing by Fee Brothers. A little bit goes a long way to adding interest to various beverages and dishes, including plain ol’ bubbly water.

An interesting note; I was told growing up that Dr. Pepper was made from prunes, but upon tasting rhubarb bitters, I have reached the conclusion that it is made from rhubarb. Which makes sense if you look at the history of sodas as “medicine.”

YIELD: Serves 6

SOURCE: Chef Andrew E Cohen, via Jeff Emery, propriétaire and wine maker Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

This homey, family style cobbler would be right at home at the next familiy reunion or potluck. Leftover scraps of pie dough are baked in the filling like dumplings. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. fresh strawberries, halved
1 lb. fresh rhubarb (or frozen), cut into cubes
2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter + plus 2 tablespoons more
Double pie crust
Milk or cream
Sugar for dusting

 

METHOD:

Combine strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch, salt, nutmeg and butter in large saucepan and cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Set aside and allow to cool.

Prepare your favorite double pie crust and roll out dough to fit over deep baking dish. Pour fruit filling into baking dish, layering with leftover scraps of dough, if desired. Dot with butter. Place crust on top of filling and crimp edges to seal. Brush crust with milk or cream and dust with a little sugar, if desired.

Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes, and then reduce temperature to 350°F and bake for 30 – 35 minutes longer, or until crust is golden brown.

Apple Crisp

If you’re a baby boomer, chances you took home economics in junior high school. This classic apple crisp recipe is from my home ec class and has since became a family favorite. Over the years, I have changed it slightly, probably to the dismay of my home economics teacher, Miss Weiss, who painstakingly taught us how to use a paring knife to peel fruits and vegetables. I no longer peel the apples since I like the added fiber, not to mention it’s a time saver. Peel the apples if you wish — it’s a simple dessert to assemble and the epitome of comfort food on a cold, rainy evening.

Heat oven to 350°F.

Spread evenly in 8 inch square pan:
4 cups sliced apples, peeled or unpeeled, cores removed

Sprinkle with:
1/4 cup water or apple juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Work together until crumbly, using pastry blender:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup softened butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Spread crumb mixture evenly over apples. Bake uncovered, at 350°F about 50-55 minutes, or until topping is crispy and golden brown. Serve warm.

YIELD: Makes 6-8 servings.

Blackberry Cobbler

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
6 cups blackberries rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter
1 cup whipping cream

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, tapioca, blackberries and lemon juice and peel. Mix gently to coat. Pour into a shallow 3-4 quart baking dish.

In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, remaining sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender, until mixture is crumbly. Add whipping cream to dry ingredients mixture and mix lightly until dough forms. Pat 1/4 cup portions into flat disks 1/2 inch thick and arrange evenly over fruit.

Bake in a 350˚ oven until topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling 40-45  minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

SERVINGS: 6

SOURCE: Submitted by Geri and Sam Prevedelli-Lathrop of Prevedelli Farm