Saturday, July 2, 2011

Blueberry and Peach Sour Cream Cobbler

So, I had heretofore never made a cobbler. I now regret this fact, especially after tasting this cobbler.

I’d always associated cobbler with that particularly gloppy looking buffet dessert that is often found at restaurants I not very affectionately refer to as “troughs.” You know, that kind of “restaurant” that serves canned and re-warmed frozen food in chaffing dishes on a long bar covered with a Plexiglas sneeze shield. The kind of restaurant your uncle always seems to suggest on occasions when you’re obliged to dine with extended family. (Or maybe you don’t have one of those uncles. Lucky you.)

Even the homemade cobblers I’ve had never looked or tasted any better than the aforementioned trough glop. Canned peaches or cherries in a lurid colored, thick, congealed sauce with frozen pie crust slapped on top, even if assembled in someone’s home kitchen, doesn’t rate much better in my book.

Whenever I ran across cobbler recipes, even in well trusted cookbooks, I just never had any inclination to make one. Nigel Slater changed my mind when he, an Englishman, took on a quintessentially American dessert in The Kitchen Diaries, his yearlong journal wherein he chronicled what he ate with accompanying recipes. During the height of the summer fruit season, instead of a British crumble, which would have been the obvious choice, he chose to make an American cobbler. I extrapolated from this decision that there must be something special about his cobbler.

My hunch was correct. This is, indeed, a fantastic cobbler. The peaches and blueberries wonderfully complement one another and the hint of honey added plays up the ripe fruit flavors. Most importantly, it’s not the least bit gloppy as the recipe calls for very little flour and the crust, made with sour cream, is light as air.

If you’re still looking for a dessert recipe for the Independence Day holiday, may I highly suggest this Englishman’s take on an American classic?

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Peach and Blueberry Sour Cream Cobbler
adapted from The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater

This cobbler couldn’t be easier to make. Seriously. This is one of those keeper recipes for times when you need to throw something together at the last minute. Or, if you’re an inveterate planner and are never faced with last minute situations, this recipe can be prepped ahead of time. Store the washed and sliced fruit in the baking dish in the refrigerator - just add the lemon juice, honey, and flour when you’re ready to assemble the cobbler. The dry ingredients for the crust can be measured out ahead of time and set aside in the bowl but reserve cutting in the butter and mixing in the sour cream until right before popping in the oven. Easy- peasy, summer breezy.

Note: I subbed honey for the suggested superfine sugar in the fruit filling. Central Texas produces amazing wildflower honey, and since I was using Texas Hill Country peaches and blueberries, it seemed like the perfect accompaniment. I also subbed unrefined cane sugar for superfine sugar in the crust. Any type of sugar would work for either use- granulated, superfine, or otherwise.

fruit filling:
3 medium or 4 small ripe peaches, sliced
3 1/2 cup blueberries
juice of 1 lemon
1 - 2 tablespoons honey, add according to sweetness of fruit
1 heaping tablespoon all purpose flour

crust:
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 heaping tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoon cold butter, cubed
4 ounces sour cream

1 tablespoon sugar for sprinkling over crust

1. Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit with a rack centered in the middle.
2. Add fruit, lemon juice, flour, and honey to a 2 quart sized baking dish or pie dish and stir until fruit is evenly coated with flour.
3. Make the cobbler crust by adding the chopped butter and all dry ingredients to a medium sized bowl. Use a pastry blender or two knives to cut in the butter until the mixture has a fine, even consistency, similar to fresh breadcrumbs. (You can use a blender for this step but I think it’s just as easy and less mess to cut in the butter.) Mix in the sour cream and stir to incorporate into a dough.
4. Break off tablespoon sized pieces of dough and flatten slightly with your hands. Lay the flattened pieces over the top of the fruit in the baking dish. When finished forming the crust, sprinkle sugar lightly over the top.
5. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes. The cobbler is done when the crust is a light golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.

17 comments:

  1. Your cobbler looks delish! I've got to make this when peaches and local blueberries come into season. Happy Long Weekend!!!

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  2. Bonjour Shelley, boy am I glad I've found this site(thru Hilah cooking blog, actually). This dessert looks fabulous and I can't wait to try many of your other mouth-watering recipes. Being a native French-speaking myself. Your pics have a very professional look to them, in short they're great.
    Marco

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  3. This cobbler looks delicious, and I love the idea of combining blueberries and peaches (which just came into season here). I've never made a cobbler myself because I've always had a similar reaction as you, but I may just have to try one now.

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  4. yum yum and yummmm!!!!!! looks amazing... ı will try to make it asap! big hug from istanbul...

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  5. how perfect for a 4th of July bbq.

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  6. This looks and sounds so delicious, Shelley! I make peach cobbler (from fresh peaches) often every summer from a recipe that my mom always used, but I have never ever made it any other way. The addition of blueberries and sour cream sound wonderful. I can't wait to make this. I hope you had a great 4th!

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  7. Appreciate the happy holiday wishes all!

    @Marco- thanks for your kind words and for stopping by!

    @Esra- Big hug to you, too! Miss you!

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  8. I think what makes your cobbler especially good, aside form the fruit, is the way you handle the crust. It is quite lovely and doesn't look home-spun at all.

    I have been to some of those chafing-dish establishments, too, esp in Virginia as a teen. They can be gross though this one time at a Shoney's for breakfast in Charlottesville, it was sublime.

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  9. I was sold just by looking at the photo. I've been looking at so many cobbler recipes and haven't been able to pick one out that I would think is the ultimate best. I love that this one calls for sour cream. I feel that most recipes I have come across with sour cream in them are pretty fantastic. I wish I could have a big bowl of this for breakfast tomorrow morning!

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  10. Okay 1) I loooove Nigel Slater (The Kitchen Diaries is my favorite book), and 2) drool. :)

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  11. The very fact that this recipe has sour cream makes it one of my favs..great great flavors- I m trying it this weekend ..yum!

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  12. I've never had a cobbler made with sour cream before. I'll have to try it! The blueberry peach combination sounds wonderful, and the sugar sprinkled on top of the topping is the perfect touch! :)

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  13. That's a beauty, and the sour cream dough sounds delish! I've had crisps and cobblers on my mind lately. I'm going to have to make one this weekend.

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  14. Shelley, your description of "those" restaurants and the so called home made cobblers cracked me up! Very true though. But your cobbler looks fantastic, and I can only imagine how tasty it is. Peaches and blueberries make such a nice combination. The sugar sprinkled crust is calling my name! :-)

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  15. Shelley, am swooning over your cobbler! Wow! Have not made one before either....yours gives me inspiration. It is fantastic looking. Love the sour cream in the crust. Hope you had a great 4th andare surviving the summer heat! :)

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  16. I've never made a cobler either, but I have to say, this looks so good, comfort food at its finest! Beautiful job daaaaaahling!
    *kisses* HH

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  17. I never had or liked cobbler before I married into a Southern family! Now I love it.
    But never tried combining those two fruits! I might surprise them in the next get-together :)

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