Peach & Cherry Cobbler

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Summer fruit.  Is there anything more delicious, particularly when it is ripe and colorful and purchased from the farmer's market or, better yet, picked from your own yard?  We have reached the height of summer here in Colorado and there are delicious, fragrant berries and stone fruit everywhere I turn... and I almost feel obliged to make delicious desserts whenever I have spare time or crave anything sweet!

Complimenting the fruit are the beautiful flowers growing all over Colorado.  We've had frightening thunderstorms every afternoon for the last two weeks.  Usually, Colorado is dry and somewhat brown in the summer, but this year is an exception -- everything is green and there are flowers everywhere.

I usually use a basic recipe from The Joy of Cooking for my cobbler topping and the fruit is always a random mix of whatever looks best, a light amount of sugar and a tablespoon or two of cornstarch.  However, I was intrigued by the Mixed Berry Cobbler recipe from the July issue of Bon Appétit, as well as the Blackberry-Peach Cobbler with Buttermilk Biscuits recipe in Fine Cooking.  Skillet cobbler, you ask?  Yes, indeed.  The approach is meant to ensure that the fruit is cooked thoroughly and evenly and it works.  However, I didn't love the recipe itself.  Be forewarned, should you try it, that the cardamom gives the fruit a unique flavor that I didn't like... it was devastating to use all this fresh fruit for something that is almost inedible.  Duly noted - I don't like cardomom!  However, the topping was delicious... crunchy on top and the cornmeal gives it extra flavor and texture.  I'll use the topping recipe again but skip the cardomom (and probably the citrus - just not my thing).

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The cobbler pictured and for which I provide the recipe does not utilize the skillet method, but I'd suggest trying it sometime.  Basically, get your fruit topping ready and cook it for a few minutes with some melted butter in the skillet.  Drop your biscuit dough on top and put the skillet directly into the oven at 375°F for 25-30 minutes.  The August issue of Bon Appétit also has a Skillet Peach Cobbler recipe that I'll undoubtedly be trying.  In the meantime, this Peach & Cherry Cobbler was a huge hit.  Not only are peaches and cherries a wonderful combination, but the topping is perfect... 

Peach & Cherry Cobbler

Adapted from the July 2011 Bon Appétit

Filling Ingredients

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Peach & Cherry Cobbler
Adapted from the July 2011 Bon Appétit
Filling Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 7 cups (1 3/4-2 pounds) mixed fresh berries and/or fruit (use no more than 1 1/2 cups strawberries; halved if large) - I used 4 cups of peaches and 3 cups of cherries

Dough Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for surface
  • 1/4 cup sugar plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½" cubes
  • 1/2 cup chilled whole milk plus more for brushing
  • Vanilla ice cream or heavy whipping cream

Preparation

  • Position a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 400°. Whisk sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Add berries to bowl and toss to coat. Transfer berry mixture to a 2-quart baking dish about 2" deep. Set aside to macerate while making dough.
  • Whisk 1 1/3 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add butter; using fingertips, rub in butter until coarse meal forms. Add 1/2 cup milk and stir just until dough forms. Gather dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Gently knead 5 or 6 times, then pat or roll dough into a 9x6" rectangle. Cut dough in half lengthwise, then crosswise 3 times, forming 8 rectangles. Arrange biscuits 1/2" apart over fruit. Brush tops lightly with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
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