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Cobblers – The Refreshing, Delicious, and Easy Dessert Option for the Holidays

cobblerThere is a lot of cooking to be done during the holidays, and it is a relief to find good dessert recipes that don’t entail a lot of time and effort. Cobblers are just the solution for busy cooks – and they can be dressed up to look fancy enough to grace any holiday spread.

How Cobblers Got to the Dining Table

In What’s Cooking America’s History and Legends, Linda Stradley says “Early settlers of America were very good at improvising. When they first arrived, they bought their favorite recipes with them, such as English steamed puddings). Not finding their favorite ingredients, they used whatever was available. That’s how all these traditional American dishes came about with such unusual names. Early colonists were so fond of these juicy dishes that they often served them as the main course, for breakfast, or even as a first course. It was not until the late 19th century that they became primarily desserts…”

The cobbler is one of the results of the resourcefulness of the colonists when they settled in the New World. Stradley describes the cobbler as an “American deep-dish fruit dessert or pie with a thick crust (usually a biscuit crust) and a fruit filling (such as peaches, apples, berries). Some versions are enclosed in the crust, while others have a drop-biscuit or crumb topping.”

The Easiest of Desserts

If you have never tried a home baked cobbler (especially one topped by your favorite ice cream), you are missing a truly simple yet totally satisfying gastronomic experience. Here’s a simple recipe for you to follow, and the nicest thing about is it that it allows you to adjust a lot of the ingredients according to your taste, time, and level of expertise.

Breezy Berry Cobbler

Based on Stradley’s recipe for blueberry cobbler, for six generous servings, you will need eight cups of blackberries. Blueberries, raspberries, cherries or peaches will do just as well – depending on your fruit preference. You will also need a cup and a half of sugar, half a cup of all purpose flour, two tablespoons of lemon juice, and two tablespoons of liqueur.

Mix all ingredients and bake, uncovered, in a large pan or skillet for 15 to 20 minutes. When the fruit mixture is hot and bubbly, cover it with large tablespoonfuls of the topping.

While the fruit filling is baking, work on the topping. You will need two cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour, four teaspoons baking powder, three tablespoons golden brown granulated sugar, the zest from one lemon, half a cup of chilled butter (cut into quarter inch bits), 2/3 cup milk, and one slightly beaten egg.

The basic procedure for creating the cobbler topping begins with cutting the butter into the flour until you have pea-sized particles. Next, you add the milk and the slightly beaten egg. After that, stir everything just until all the ingredients are blended.

Serving Suggestions

You can serve this cobbler family style and just slice it into generous wedges topped with ice cream. You can also up the ante by preparing your cobbler in individual ramekins tops with ice cream and a dash of liqueur. There are other creative ways to present give this simple dessert a fine dining look to it – without you slaving in the kitchen for hours.

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