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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fruit Cobbler

Today is my Mother's birthday. We are having her for dinner and dessert all of which are her choice.Her menu - Spring Rolls, Steamed Rice, Stir fried Long Beans (well she just said a veggie,that was Chance's idea) and for her treat Strawberry & Rhubarb Cobbler.
My Mom is not a pie person but loves both Strawberries and Rhubarb either together or apart.So her solution to this love is Cobbler.
This time of year there's lots of lovely fresh fruits to use when making Cobbler.And come winter if fresh fruit is not around one can use drained canned fruit.There are a couple kinds of Cobblers.One type makes a slightly sweetened Biscuit top. I am speaking American English here,Biscuit, as in Biscuits and Gravy.The type I make has a cake top.I like them both because they are different from each other.
I am passing on my recipe for Cobbler.I make Cobblers year round with whatever fruit I can come across.I have used White Spelt flour before to lower the gluten.In the fall when there are plenty of apples and pears I make the cobbler and add to the fruit some raisins or other dried fruit.

Cobbler: First preheat your oven to 350 F but if using a glass pan turn it down to 325 F.(This always true when baking in glass pans.)
You will want about 3-4 cups of fruit of your choice. I never measure the fruit.I get out my 9x13 inch baking pan and slice right into it.You will want the fruit to come up about 3/4 of the way to the top of your pan.When your pan is full of fruit you will pour around a cup of sugar and cinnamon to taste over the fruit.Stir to coat the fruit,you want the fruit well coated add more or less sugar if need be.Now dot the top of the fruit with bits of butter.The butter,sugar and juices from the fruit make what my Mom calls the liquor or just the gooey goodness. When using berries only you will want to also mix in 4 Tablespoons of flour to thicken the juices a bit.
Now for the topping:
2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Sugar
3teaspoons Baking Powder
dash of Salt About a 1/4 teaspoon
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla I have used Almond before with good results.
1 Cup Milk or Water
Mix the dry things together and give them a stir.I like to make sure I have no lumps of things like the baking powder or baking soda. Now add the eggs, oil and vanilla.

Now I have said this before but will say it again,you can use milk or water when baking,there is no taste difference just a nutrition difference.Some days milk is low or costly so never feel like you need to not bake because of this.

Measure out one cup of milk or water.You may not need all of it; I start by using 3/4's of the cup. Mix your batter,what you are looking for is a slightly thick pancake type batter that pours easily.Once there are no lumps you are ready to pour the batter over the fruit.Going back and forth slowly pour your batter over the top of the fruit.The batter will fill in the cracks and mostly cover the fruit.Do not worry about some fruit showing through the batter,while baking the topping will puff up and cover it up. Put it in the oven and bake.Depending on which kind of fruit you are using the time will be varied. Somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour.It is done when the top is golden and when you stick a knife tip or tooth pick into the batter it comes out clean. Serve the Cobbler with Ice Cream or Whipped Cream for an extra nice treat.

Yesterday while out running errands I noticed some Blackberries growing wild along the road, not uncommon here.And it reminded me to go check on my local blackberry spot soon.I pick our blackberries at a local park.Since these black jewels grow wild all over here it's easy to find some to pick for the low low cost of FREE.I am encouraging everyone to go scope out their own spot to pick.Take a walk through your neighborhood and see what you can find. Empty lots, School Yards and Parks are all spots I check.Try and find some growing away from traffic.Although the gas companies no longer put lead in car fuel it still seems a bit yucky to me and questionable.My Ball Blue Canning book reads 9 cups of crushed berries for 3 pints of jam.Pick some free berries and then all you will need is 6 cups of sugar and your jars.Voila Blackberry Jam for the winter. I LOVE Blackberry pie so I will be picking enough for jam and a couple of pies. Yum!
If anyone is interested in the making of Spring Rolls A la Rois send me a comment and I will gladly share that with you too.
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