Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Mixed Berry Cobbler

No lunch today (I had mine at a work-lunch thing), but a really great recipe if you have fresh berries around that you need to use up. And, as I am a single person, my recipe only requires you to have a cup of berries around, not a quart or something. A cobbler of this size will give you six lunch-sized squares (see that later in the week) or three generous dessert servings.

Also, a word on cobbler:

There are two schools of thought about cobbler. One is that cobbler is essentially some kind of syrupy fruit underneath a biscuit. I have done that kind. (See my recipes for cranberry cobbler and raspberry cobbler.) The other kind is the kind I grew up with, which is a mysterious chemistry experiment in which one starts with the fruit on top and it sinks to the bottom of the crust as it bakes. This makes a much moister cobbler, if not as uniform on top. This is the cobbler of the Southwest, the cobbler of Texans and Oklahomans. Because sometimes I just need my own food, not this northeastern substitute.

This recipe is adapted from one I didn't have the ingredients to make in America's Test Kitchen Cooking for Two 2012. And I like mine better anyway!

Mixed Berry Cobbler
Serves: Roughly 4-6

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided (see instructions below)
1/3 cup sugar, divided (see instructions below)
1/2 teaspoon lemon peel (I used this, but you could also zest a lemon)
1 cup mixed berries (I used 2/3 blueberries and 1/3 strawberries cut to the size of the blueberries--if you use strawberries, make sure to chop them)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put 1 tablespoon of butter in a 4 x 6 baking dish and melt in the oven. (Don't leave it in there too long, though. Just melt it.) Meanwhile, in a small bowl in the microwave, melt the other two tablespoons of butter and set aside to cool.

Mix sugar and lemon peel in a small bowl. If using lemon zest, mash it up a little with the back of the spoon.

In another bowl, mash the berries and 1 teaspoon of the sugar mixture with a potato masher until you've managed to chase down all the blueberries and whack each one at least once. (In other words, mash coarsely, as we're not looking for berry puree.) Set aside.

Mix the remaining sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl or measuring cup with a spout. Whisk in the milk and the butter you melted in the microwave.

If the baking dish has cooled from the oven, stick it in to heat up a bit and get the butter in it hot again, then pull out and set on a wire rack. Pour batter into hot butter in the dish.

Spoon the mashed berry mixture evenly over the batter. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and lemon peel mixture. Bake until golden brown and the edges are crisp and pulling from the sides slightly, about 35 to 40 minutes. Set on wire rack to cool.

If serving warm, allow cobbler to cool about 15 minutes. (It really is best warm with a glass of cold milk but you can be totally happy eating it at room temperature.)

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