Summer Fruit Cobbler
Just in time for Labor Day, a perfect classic fruit cobbler recipe!
Somehow this summer has completely blown past me. How did I displace the entire month of August?! For that matter, what about July and June? I guess this is just what happens when you launch your own business and handle every aspect of it yourself. It’s been a fun summer though, full of beautiful flowers and new friendships with the lovely folks that buy them. And since I now spend two days a week selling my blooms at farmers markets, I’ve been getting quite the assortment of fresh seasonal fruit from other farmers to bring home. These guys have the best peaches. And these guys have the most amazing Asian pears. And these guys have to-die-for black berries.
I’m still growing nearly all my own vegetables, but fruit, particularly anything growing on trees, is tough to manage in pots on the deck so I depend on getting to know a few key fruit growers to be sure I stay fully stocked with nature’s candy. There have been two notable growing- fruit-in-a-pot successes this season though. There were a half dozen of the most darling and delicious miniature melons. Little Gem is an heirloom variety that was quite happy to climb up the lattice around our deck and dangle delicate melons from the vines without fear of them falling from their own weight. The taste was sweet and superb.
The other success story was the blueberries. Last year I put a blueberry bush (‘Bluegold’) in a very large pot on the deck and crossed my fingers that it would make it through the winter in one piece. Not only did it survive, it thrived! I picked gobs of perfect blue orbs off it over the course of late June and July. I had to protect the bush from marauding birds and squirrels by fitting it with a custom-made “shower cap” (row cover fleece with an elastic band sown around the bottom so I could put the fleece over the bush and secure it with the elastic around the pot).
The berries went into my breakfast yogurt and pancakes mostly. But I did save a pint of them specially to make a wonderful summer fruit cobbler. This is just the perfect thing for a relaxing backyard get-together…perhaps you’re having one of those real soon for Labor Day. It should be mandatory to serve it with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream, but I won’t go so far as to dictate your entire dessert menu. Peaches are at their peak still, but local blue berries might be hard to find. The recipe is really just a blueprint for a cobbler that will showcase any combination of fruits. Just stroll through your local farmers market and pick out what looks the most tempting and juiciest. You really can’t go wrong.
Height of Summer Fruit Cobbler
A Straight from the Farm Original
2 T. cornstarch
1/4 C. cold water
1 C. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1 vanilla bean, scraped
a pinch of ground ginger (optional)
1 C. fresh blackberries, rinsed and drained
1 C. diced fresh peaches (about 3 peaches)
1 C. fresh blueberries
1 C. diced fresh plum (about 4 plums)
1 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 C. white sugar, divided
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
6 T. cold butter
1/4 C. boiling water
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and sit a baking dish (9×9 or 6 small ramekins) on top.
In a mixing bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in cold water. Whisk in 1 cup sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg, vanilla bean, and ground ginger. Add the fruit and toss to coat evenly. Transfer to heavy pot over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring regularly.
While the fruit cooks, make the topping. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Cut or rub in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in about a 1/4 cup boiling water just until mixture is evenly moist.
When the fruit is boiling steadily, take it off the stovetop and immediately (and carefully) transfer it to the baking dish on the tray. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto the top of the fruit. Place cobble in the preheated oven and bake 25-30 minutes or until dough is golden brown.
While the cobbler is still warm, sprinkle the top with a little extra sugar to give it some crunch. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or just a drizzle of heavy cream.