Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cherry Cobbler

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Now that cherries are at the height of their season, I have been looking for a recipe to post that was not a cherry pie.  You see, in this house that was my mother in law's territory and no matter how good a recipe for cherry pie I can come up with it will never be the same.  Maybe one of these days when my children are far away, like in Alaska, I will get the courage to make one.  In the meantime, here is an easier alternative.

A cobbler is really a biscuit top over fruit.  There is no bottom layer to worry about and very little pin action.  My cup of tea...

Serves 8


3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter

2 cups cold heavy cream, plus more for brushing

3 pounds fresh sweet cherries, pitted, or 2 1/4 pounds frozen cherries

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1 tsp. vanilla or 2 TB cranberry juice


1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar. Using large holes on a box grater, grate butter into flour mixture. With a fork, stir in cream until dough just comes together. On a floured work surface, roll out dough to a 3/4-inch thickness with a floured rolling pin. With a knife or biscuit cutter, cut out 8 to 12 rounds or squares of dough.

2.In a bowl, combine cherries, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the cornstarch, and cranberry juice. Divide mixture among four 1- to 1 1/2-cup ramekins; top each with 2 to 3 dough pieces. ( You can also place the cherries in one baking dish and with an ice cream scoop,  scoop biscuits on top, spacing them 1 1/2 to to 2 inches apart). Brush tops with cream. (I also like to sprinkle a small amount of sugar on top).

 Cook's Illustrated

Bake cobblers on a rimmed baking sheet until biscuits are golden and juices are bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Let cool 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.

Adapted from Martha Stewart


  1. Julieta, those individual cherry cobblers are a brilliant
    idea. And I love the directness and simplicity of the
    recipe. Will try it out next weekend!

  2. Lovely don't specify sweet or tart cherries. I assume you are using the tart ones as they are the best for baking in my opinion. I tried that butter grating business that Cook's Illustrated advocates and I must say I am not a fan. It was awkward and not worth the bother. I find the food processor much easier and efficient and the results just as good if not better. Is your recipe really only 4 servings? I make a biscuit using 2 Cups flour, 1/2 Cup cream and 1 stick of butter and am able to get 6 servings for strawberry shortcake.

  3. Dear Roy,

    Thank you for catching that mistake. You are so right it serves 8 people in 4 ramekins.

    I don't find the grating of the butter that big a deal, IF you decide not to use a food processor. Beats washing another bowl and its easier to mix by hand. It's really up to you.

    Although I agree with you that if you can find them sour cherries are better for cooking, this recipe calls for Bing or sweet cherries.

    Thank you again for bringing this to my attention.


    This just in on biscuit in the Times magazine. thought you'd enjoy.

  5. You are right, I did enjoy it. Thanks for sending. BTW now that I live in the South I have been using White Lily and King Arthurs flours and dont't notice any difference. But then again, I am not a baker but a cook.

  6. That was an entertaining exchange.
    I've tasted the biscuits that Roy makes and
    they are sensational. And I could swear that he
    uses Lily Flour but he won't divulge the fact!!
    He keeps us all on our culinary toes, if there is
    such a thing....

  7. Looks delicious, and a perfect use for cherries, my favorite fruit of all. Butter, sugar, flour, cherries! That's how I spell Heaven...

  8. Mr. Worthington alerted me to the biscuit conversation going on here. I wondered about the flours. I, too, use King Arthur's, since Lily does not live above the Mason-Dixon. I had read in Ad Hoc at Home about using cake flour and I intend to try that as soon as it cools down a bit. I used to use shortening, then switched to Plugra. One day while rereading James Beard's biscuit recipes, read his Mother's cream variation. I thought: why not both? So now I use whipping cream and Plugra and I'll try the cake flour thing if it ever gets below 90 degrees!
    Agree about the cherries...sounds yum!

  9. Good fresh sour cherries are hard to find in the Eastern part of the US. The best are Morellos and Montmorency. If you can get your hands on them get them! Cook's recommends jarred Morellos. You might be able to get them at trader joe's.

    As to the biscuits, here's my post using White Lily flour and buttermilk.

    Make sure you click on the link "blog" for a wonderful article on biscuits and all the different kinds of flour used etc.

  10. Toby

    I'll be happy to send you some White Lily flour so you can compete with Roy!

  11. I've used White Lily but I guess I'm not discerning enough to taste the difference. A side by side comparison should be done but I am not inclined to do that since I would have to eat the results and risk gaining 10 lbs. Here in upstate NY King Arthur is my 1st choice. Regarding sour cherries, we have an abundance in our area and they are readily available at the farmer's markets and various farms where you can pick them yourself. Another thing I always mean to do but never seem to accomplish. You have inspired me though and I can't stop thinking about your peach pie with the cream cheese crust and the thought of peach ice cream will be haunting me until I make it!

  12. Roy,

    That pie is perfection. Well worth the effort. As to peach ice cream I have a great recipe that I will try to post. Use Georgia peaches instead of California, much tastier. This year's harvest is to die for!

    I haven't seen sour cherries in the markets here. You are lucky to have them in your area.


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