Friday, February 2, 2018

Blueberry Cobbler

Truth be told, I am no fan of fruit pies. The goopy and gluey fruit sogging up the bottom crust doesn't do anything for my sweet tooth. But all that's good about the idea of a pie, the hot juicy melting fruit, tender buttery crust and fragrant aromas can be savored in a crisp or a cobbler. In addition to being so much easier than pie crust to make, the crisp or cobbler topping is, frankly, also way more delicious.

Cobbler consists of a sweet or savory filling baked with a biscuit type dough topping. Pie, cobbler, crisps, and crumbles are all in the same family of sweet desserts, often having similar fruit fillings but each with its own distinctive topping. As opposed to a crisp or a crumble, the cobbler dough is a thick dense pastry and more cake-like in nature. Regional variations exist, with some mimicking a pie crust and others more like a dumpling than a pastry.

Most popular cobblers are fruit based, peach, blueberry, blackberry, often served with a scoop of ice cream. This combination of hot and cold, crisp and soft creates a party in the mouth. Some of the savory versions include mutton or beef cobbler.

My favorite cobbler by far is the blueberry one. The best thing about this recipe is that you can enjoy it all year round using frozen blueberries. When fresh berries come in season, it becomes even more of a treat. As a general rule, use 4-6 cups of fruit, fresh or frozen. A little sugar and cornstarch added to the fruit creates a shiny luscious sauce from the fruit's juices. The biscuit topping bakes up crisp on top and fluffy underneath for an ideal contrast to the soft fruit. 

Ingredients: (6-8 servings)
Fruit filling
4 cups blueberries
¼ cup sugar
2-3 tbsp cornstarch (based on fresh or frozen berries)
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon powder (optional)
Cobbler topping
1 cup flour
¼ tsp salt
½ cup sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
3 tbsp butter
½ cup milk
    1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
    2. Prep the berries - In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients listed under fruit filling. Pour into a pie dish/baking dish. It should fill the dish halfway to three quarters leaving enough space for the cobbler topping.
    3. Prep the topping - In another mixing bowl combine flour,  salt, sugar, and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Now add milk to moisten the dough. It should be sticky and quite wet. 
    4. Spread the dough evenly on top of berry mixture with your hand and press it down lightly. Or drop spoonfuls of dough all over the fruit. 
    5. Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes until the edges are bubbling and the top is golden brown.
    6. Serve hot with a blob of vanilla ice cream or as is.  
    7. Note - If you are using frozen berries instead of fresh, place the berries on top of a paper towel till they reach room temperature. This will allow any ice crystals to melt off before baking and not wind up making the cobbler too liquidy. Add more cornstarch. 
    8. Leftovers can be stored for up to 2 days in the fridge. 

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