Sunday, July 25, 2010

A two-cobbler weekend

We are very lucky to have some fantastic friends and neighbors, and we love the opportunity to spend time with them. This weekend, we were excited to be invited to the housewarming party of some wonderful people who we met when they were our neighbors, and who we now count as our friends. The event was pot luck, and, me being me, I decided to bring a dessert. With all the delicious summer produce available, it did not take me long to decide that a cobbler sounded like a great idea.

The recipe that I use for fruit cobblers is not your traditional sugared-fruit-covered-with-drops-of-biscuit-dough cobbler recipe. It is a recipe that, when I first saw it, I had to try it to believe it.

The recipe starts with melting half a stick of butter in the baking dish. Seriously, just put half a stick of butter into the pan, set the oven to preheat, and put the pan in the oven to melt the butter while you prepare the next step. Keep an eye out, of course, to make sure the butter doesn't burn, but it usually takes just about the amount of time to prepare the batter as it does to melt the butter, so that is a pretty easy step one.

The batter is a simple combination of flour, sugar, baking powder and milk. No eggs, nothing fancy - just those four ingredients. Once the batter is mixed and the butter melted, simply pour the batter into the pan, right over the butter. That's right, just pour it right on top. And don't mix anything.

Then take about two cups of whatever fruit you are using. We used a combination of peaches, strawberries and blueberries, all fresh. Sprinkle the fruit right on top of the butter and batter. And again - don't mix anything. If you are anything like me, you are probably thinking something along the lines of "how in the world is that going to work?" or "that looks nothing like a cobbler!" or maybe some combination of the two... At least, those were my two main thoughts when I first tried the recipe...

But, amazingly enough, what comes out of the oven is a golden, semi-cobbler-looking fruit-filled cake that is moist, delicious and super versatile. You can use any fruit you like, or if you are in a hurry, you can even use canned or frozen fruit. You can adjust the batter recipe to your liking - I sometimes add in a teaspoon of vanilla extract or substitute brown sugar for some of the white sugar called for. Super easy, super adaptable, super delicious. What more could you ask for? And it made a lovely addition to the dessert table at the party.

Now you may be wondering why I called it a two cobbler weekend. Or maybe not, what do I know. But in case you are...

Little miss and I were in invited for a play date tomorrow morning at a friend's house. Never one to want to arrive somewhere empty handed, I offered to make a snack for the kids to enjoy (and the moms, too!). With a still plentiful supply of blueberries and strawberries (no more peaches... oh well!), little miss and I decided to pull together another cobbler this evening to bring with us in the morning.

So after dinner (and a thorough hand washing), little miss mixed:

And she stirred:

And she sprinkled fruit:

(the pan had cooled from melting the butter, I promise!)

And she put together a beautiful strawberry-blueberry cobbler to share with her friends tomorrow.

If you are interested in trying this, and it is so easy and delicious, I think every one should, the recipe can be found below, here, or though a simple google search for either "easy fruit cobbler" or "berry cobbler" will yield you a number of almost identical recipes. Which further tells you it is worth a try!

Easy Fruit Cobbler
(from AllRecipes)

1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 cups cut up fruit (peaches, berries - whatever you've got!)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and melt 1/4 cup butter in a 9" x 9" baking pan (just be sure the butter doesn't burn). Blend together flour, baking powder, sugar and milk. Pour batter into pan over the butter (but do not mix it together). Sprinkle the fruit on top of the batter. Again, do not stir. Bake for 1 hour, until golden brown.

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