Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cobble this together

Sorry I've been absent.  As I mentioned before, life intruded in a major way recently.  In spite of that, I've still been cooking and baking.  I just haven't had time to blog about it.

But now I'm back and I am here to give you two ridiculously easy "cobbler" recipes.  These are about as no-brainer as you can get, but either one will never fail to elicit smiles and requests for seconds.  Trust me on this!

Okay, so it's summer and in my book, that means desserts laden with fresh, seasonal fruit.  Since I live in Georgia, peaches are high on my hit parade.  So are blueberries and I love the combination of both.  In a perfect pastry world, I would make a crust from scratch, roll it out, sprinkle it with a little sugar and cinnamon and place it over a casserole of cut-up, lightly sugared fruit of choice then bake until golden.

Oh, but I can be SO lazy sometimes!  That means screw the pastry-making and instead default to my mom's "cobbler."  I hesitate to give you this recipe because it is so very elementary and basic, but it fits the bill when you have a plethora of frest fruit around which you have totally ignored and it is on the verge of attracting those dreaded fruit flies.  Here is the perfect solution:


2 ½ cups fruit of choice (think sliced peaches, berries, sliced apples, or any other combo)
2/3 cup granulated sugar (or less, depending upon the sweetness of your fruit) plus ¾ cup
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Toss fruit with the 2/3 cup sugar and salt. Set aside.

Place butter in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Transfer to the preheated oven and let butter melt (about 5 minutes).

Meanwhile, combine the ¾ cup sugar, flour and baking powder in a bowl. Whisk to blend, then whisk in milk and vanilla to make a thin batter.

Remove pan from oven and pour batter over melted butter. Do not stir. Pour prepared fruit over batter. Again, do not stir.

Bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until puffed and golden and just set in center. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or a drizzle of heavy cream, if desired.

Serves 8

This is ideally served warm, but I have been known to eat it straight from the fridge with no complaints.  It's good for breakfast, too!

Of course, when you just can't face any more fruit desserts, it's time to cut to the chase and overdose on chocolate.  Not exactly the quintessential summer dessert, but there are times when you just gotta do what you gotta do.  I made this the other day for a group of friends and it was a huge hit.  Hello, everytime I make this it's a huge hit.  Make it yourself and you'll understand why.

"ANTI-SUMMER" BROWNIE COBBLER  (adapted from Martha Stewart)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 oz. semi-sweet or bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate chips
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs (I used extra-large)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

Butter a 10-inch baking dish. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt butter and chocolate chips. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar then eggs, one at a time. Whisk in vanilla, flour and salt.

Turn into prepared pan and bake for 45 -50 minutes or until just puffed in center. Serve with vanilla ice cream (or salted caramel ice cream or coffee ice cream, if you are like me) or softly whipped cream.

Serves 6 - 8

*  If you noticed that the pictures of the brownie cobbler don't match the quantity called for in the directions, it's because I doubled the recipe when I made and photographed it. 

*  Admittedly, these are not sophisticated recipes.  I should probably be embarassed to share them but I will sacrifice my food integrity so I can pass them on to you.  Just don't tell anyone how easy they are after you've made them (and are basking in the accolades) and don't you dare tell anyone that you got them from me!

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