24 August 2010

Cobbler: This lazy lady's pie

Organic nectarines are on sale this week and, more importantly, smell ah-maz-ing. I had to throw a dessert together in just a few minutes before heading off to work. Pie? No, I'd have to wash my board, and I loathe washing dishes. Plus, rolling would take too long. Aha! Cobbler!
Typically, I do not measure the filling for cobblers. I would guess I had about 4 cups of nectarines, cut into wedges, plus 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tsp or so of cornstarch, pinch of salt, and nutmeg galore. (I love nutmeg. It is so versatile and overlooked. Try it with stone fruits and cheese. I think I'll do a post on overlooked spices. There is more than just cinnamon!) The crust was by eye again, but about 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 4 Tbsp butter, pinch of salt, and just enough milk to bring it together. I formed the top with my hands. No rolling required! Stab, stab, stab to vent. Brush on a lil egg wash. "Honey, pull the cobbler out when the timer goes off. It'll be golden and bubbly." And I was out the door. It made a wonderful breakfast. Hey, there's fruit in it!
The great thing about cobblers, pies, crumbs, crumbles, and buckles is that the fruit is the star. Avoid too much sugar so you can taste the fruit's natural sweetness. Look for what is in season and what looks good. Smell the fruit! You can tell a lot by the scent. If you go, 'Oh my gosh. I want to eat this now. Is the stock boy looking?' then you have good fruit. The snozberries smell like snozberries! And they will taste even better than they smell.
I wanted to ask my readers how they like their cobbler. Some do a flaky crust. I like a sturdy, dumpling-like crust. And the biscuit top! I love those for berries, so all their juices get soaked up. What do you like best? Does it change depending on what's inside?

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