Saturday, May 31, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

Two bowls of cobbler with cream and two spoons
Treats for Two

Recipe Inspired by Field of Greens

The short rhubarb season is here! When I was young, my parents cultivated a rhubarb patch. Just about anytime, I could go outside and grab a few stalks, remove the poisonous leaves, and eat the raw stems. Dunking the wet stem into a small pile of sugar before every bite made for a fresh, juicy, sweet-and-sour treat. These days it’s more popular to combine strawberries with rhubarb and bake it into a pie. Since piecrusts are not yet my forte, and the laziness of a late spring Friday is upon me, the simpler idea of making a cobbler came to mind.

Strawberries and Rhubarb topped with flour, sugar, salt, and lemon
Easy-to-Make Fruit Layer
Cobblers are a layer of fruit topped with what is essentially a sweetened baking powder biscuit. The thin dough is dropped lightly by the tablespoon over the fruit and baked for less than 45 minutes. The proportion of fruit to topping can vary to suit your whims and your fruit supply. Since there is no bottom crust, there is no risk of sogginess. So cobblers a faster and more forgiving alternative to pies.

Cobbler Topping with a bit of Fruit Peeking Out
Let Some Fruit Peek Out from Cobbler Topping
Cobblers are usually served warm with cream, whipped cream, or ice cream. Fat-free half and half, frozen yogurt, and light whipped cream from a can are figure-friendly alternatives. Leftover individual servings can be microwaved to simulate fresh-from-the-oven appeal.

Let us know in a comment if you have other favorite spring/summer cobbler recipes.

Two bowls of cobbler without cream or topping
Naked Cobbler Also Yummy
Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler
serves ~8

1¼ lb. rhubarb
1 pint strawberries, about 1 lb.
2/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp. unbleached flour
1½ tsp. lemon juice
½ - 1 tsp. lemon zest
1½ cups unbleached flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, diced and chilled
¾  cup + 2 tbsp. buttermilk
1 tbsp. raw sugar
Cream, whipped cream, or ice cream for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash rhubarb thoroughly and trim off any leaf remnants. Slice into uniform ½ inch pieces. Wash and pat strawberries dry. Remove hulls and cut in half or quarters if large. Toss the fruit with 2/3 cup sugar, 3 tbsp. flour, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Place in bottom of 9-inch baking pan or casserole dish.

To make the cobbler topping, sift 1½ cups flour, salt, baking powder, and 2 tbsp. sugar together into large bowl. Rub in the diced and chilled butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Pour in the buttermilk and mix lightly with fork, until dry ingredients are just moistened. Don’t overmix.

Drop the cobbler topping onto the fruit one tablespoon at a time, roughly covering the fruit surface and leaving some gaps that expose the fruit. Sprinkle with raw sugar.

Bake in preheated oven 35 – 40 minutes, until crust is golden and fruit is bubbling. Remove from oven and set on cooling rack for about 45 minutes before serving with cream.

Basket of Strawberries and Rhubarb
Raw Materials for Cobbler
Two Bowls of Cobbler with a Lot of Whipped Cream
With Extra Whipped Cream

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