Tried-and-True Cobbler

June 27th, 2012 · 34 Comments · Baking and Sweets, Quick

I knew it was a good sign when my mother-in-law, Emily, started rattling off the ingredients for her go-to berry cobbler over the phone, then interrupted herself to say, This index card is so stained and old, who knows where on earth I got it from? Those of you who have read my book know about Emily’s Index Card Cache (a.k.a The Recipe Starter Kit) we inherited from her a few months after we were married. And those of you who have made her Meatloaf know that those index cards rarely disappoint. This cobbler — a flexible, non-fussy, absolutely-screams-summer kind of dessert — follows suit. My favorite thing about the recipe (besides the crunchy crumbling topping that somehow weaves all the way into the filling)  is that it doesn’t involve getting butter to the right temperature, then smushing it into the sugar and flour, which I always find to be a somewhat perilous (and messy) proposition. You simply drizzle the melted butter on top at the end, which means the whole thing comes together fast and with minimal fuss.

My other favorite thing about it? The original recipe called for that butter to be margarine.

Summer Cobbler
I assembled this particular cobbler (made with peaches and blueberries) in about 10 minutes, shoved it into the oven, drove across town for a playdate pick-up, and was back in time to pull out the bubbly goodness just about a half hour later.

3-5 cups fruit (Any combo: peeled, sliced peaches or nectarines, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries; for this one I used 8 medium peaches, peeled and sliced, and 1 1/2 pints blueberries) enough to mostly fill a 13-by-nine inch baking dish.
juice from half a lemon
1 cup flour, whisked
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 beaten egg
5 tablespoons butter, melted

Place fruit in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle on lemon juice and toss. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add egg, tossing with fork until mixture is crumbly. (It should not be mushy.) Sprinkle flour-egg mixture over fruit then drizzle as evenly as possible with melted butter.

Bake at 375°F for 35-40 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Emily’s Index Cards. See page 15 of Dinner: A Love Story.


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Five Reasons to Make a Berry Galette

July 8th, 2011 · 18 Comments · Baking and Sweets

1 It’s summer. 2 It’s summer. 3 It’s summer. 4 It’s summer. 5 It’s summer.

Enjoy the weekend.

Summer Blueberry Galette
If you have extra crust and extra berries, add them to a ramekin to make a mini pie. Warning: If you have more than one child, this may result in an epic eye-scratching battle. Best to avoid altogether or make enough minis to go around.

Preheat oven to 425°F. If you have the time or the inclination to make a pate brisee, by all means go for it. If not, place one piece of a 9-inch storebought frozen pie crust (such as Trader Joe’s or Pilsbury) on a cookie sheet and allow to thaw. In a mixing bowl, gently toss about 2 cups of fresh blueberries with 1/4 cup sugar, a light dusting of corn starch (about 2 teaspoons), a pinch of cinnamon, and the juice of half a lemon. Scoop into the center of your dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Working in a circle, fold the crust in overlapping pieces over the berries as shown. (Once you get going the overlapping of the dough should feel natural but if not, no worries, there is no real art to this — in fact, sometimes, the more artless the better.) Using a pastry brush (or one of your kid’s clean paintbrushes) brush the crust with a beaten egg. (This is an excellent task for kids.) Bake for 20-25 minutes until the crust is golden and the blueberries are bubbling. If the crust is looking too brown before the blueberries bubble, cover the galette with foil and continue baking. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.

PS: I’m so making this berry dessert next.

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S’more Pie

May 26th, 2010 · 9 Comments · Baking and Sweets, Grilling

Let me just say that I was not proud of my google history last Thursday — how exactly does one justify spending a solid 30 minutes on keyword searches like these:

homemade marshmallow fluff
marshamallow fluff from marshmallows
marshamallow fluff recipe
marshamallow fluff recipe using marshmallows
how to make marshmallow fluff without corn syrup

You get the picture. But I had a vision — and you’re looking at it right there in that picture. I was determined to find some sort of marshmallowy whip to finish off a chocolate pudding pie recipe that I could then call Smore Pie. And amazingly, all-powerful Google gave me nothing.

After picking up a strong what-am-I-doing-with-my-life vibe coming from her mother, Phoebe said to me: “Why don’t we just roast the marshmallows and put them on top?” With that one question she saved me an hour…and whatever dignity I had left. (more…)

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