Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cobbler Goodness Remembered

Whenever my mother and I took the long walk up Bergen Street to visit my Great Grandmother Georgianna and Papa Hoey there always seemed to be a cobbler cooling on the stove. Either she or her best friend and neighbor Ms. Rose had made it.

In the autumn and winter months the cobblers were made of apples or pears and sometimes a combination of both and they were almost always topped with a dollop of sour cream. In the spring and summer months crust covered pans of bubbling peach, strawberry, blueberries or plums were topped with vanilla ice cream instead. I can recall shoveling spoonfuls of the baked and bubbling goodness into my over eager and sometimes fruit scorched mouth. The dishes were comforting and delicious and till this day I can not enjoy one without recalling those two wonderful ladies.

Blueberry Cobbler was my favorite cobbler. It had hints of cinnamon, lemon and vanilla that gave the dish a complexity that belied the simplicity of the recipe. The following recipe is the one used in my family. Both Ms. Rose and my great gran traditionally topped their fruit compotes with spooned biscuits. The spoon mixtures, sometimes they were just a quickly prepared Bisquick biscuit mix, spread and crusted, while the toppings underside stayed moist and and sopped with "gravy". These days I prefer to roll out and position my biscuits because it's easier for me to portion control myself that way. Now I know when I have gone back for 2nds and 3rds..ok 2 and 1/2s ....  Enjoy!
In a large saucepan combine
5 Cups of Fresh Blueberries
 1/2 Cup of Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons of Water
4 Teaspoons of Cornstarch
1 Tablespoon of Fresh Lemon Juice + 1/4 Teaspon Lemon Zest
A Pinch of Kosher Salt
Whisk and continue to stir the mixture over medium to low heat until cornstarch dissolves mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until the fruit sauce thickens, about 2-4 minutes. Don't let mixture burn. Pour to cover a lightly oiled or buttered glass baking dish -

Place the dish to the side to prepare the topping
Preheat Oven to 450 degrees F.

In a medium bowl combine 1 1/2 Cup of Self Rising Flower, 1/4 Teaspoon Salt, 1 1/2 Cup Sour Cream (try plain yogurt and/or buttermilk for options!!).

Mix until dough forms, gather into a ball and turn onto a floured work surface to shape into a log. Do not overwork dough. Cut log into 6-8 rounds and arrange biscuits atop the blueberry mixture.
(You can also use canned biscuits or forgo working the dough and dollop spoon mixture atop fruit ;) ).
Sprinkle each biscuit with 1/2 Teaspoon of sugar

Place glass dish on cookie tray and back until blueberries are bubbling and biscuits are golden, about 20-25 minutes.

Cool about 20 minutes but serve warm and topped with some extra sour cream or vanilla ice cream...sigh..I can hear my Great Gran talking about Bingo night with Ms Rose....
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