OK, I give! Consider my arm twisted.

With all of the great blog posts on strawberry-rhubarb cobbler lately, there was no way I was going to be able to hold off making my own much longer; I gave in over the weekend and assembled one with some purchases from our very first local farmers’ market of the season. (For Gil’s pictures of Rufus’s day at the market, click here.)

Cobblers haven’t been featured here at all, due to a tragic tale of love and loss. When I was a teenager and thought in my teenagerly way that things last forever, I made a peach-strawberry cobbler of such great beauty that my grandmother raved about it. So what did I do? Continue to make cobblers with the rest of the summer’s bounty, thereby committing the recipe to memory? Share the recipe with someone who would’ve written it down for safe-keeping? No, I planned to make it again someday, but promptly lost the recipe (in my teenagerly way). While mourning that loss over the years, I fell hard for apple crisp and gave my heart to any number of bread puddings, which (mostly) pushed all thoughts of other fruit desserts out of my mind. Oh sure, the faint whiff of a peach could send me back, wishing I’d been more careful, pining ever so slightly for that magical soft-yet-crunchy biscuity topping. But mostly, I was happy to have the other options.

But as luck would have it, cobbler recipes are all pretty simple and similar, so I decided to take the plunge this weekend. The base is a mixture of fruit, sugar, and some kind of thickener, depending on the juiciness of the fruit.

Crispy, tart rhubarb

Juicy, sweet strawberries

Instead of using citrus zest in the fruit, I added balsamic vinegar to bring out the flavor of the strawberries and add a little complexity to the dessert.

Macerate, macerate, macerate

I made a couple of individual desserts, too. Cute, and the small portions kept us from devouring the whole dessert in one sitting.

The real difference between cobbler recipes seems to be in the topping. Both of the ones I referenced this weekend praised their cobbler toppings as crispy and just sweet enough, so I knew I was on the right path to finding my lost love.

At least this time, I’ve saved the recipe. And you’re welcome to it.

recipe after the jump

Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler adapted from The Houndstooth Gourmet and Simply Recipes

Depending on the juiciness of the fruit you use, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch may be too much or not enough. The strawberries I used were quite plump, so the liquid was a little thin after baking. It was delicious, just not terribly thick.

fruit base
4 1/2 cups rhubarb stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces (Discard any leaves from stalks and trim any stringy layers from thick stalks)
2 cups strawberries, stemmed and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

cobbler crust
2 Tbsp white sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten

In a large bowl, mix rhubarb and strawberries with sugar. Macerate 10 minutes, then mix well with balsamic vinegar and cornstarch, and let sit for an additional 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of sugar, the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter in with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the egg and add enough milk until mixture is just moistened. This might be less than the 1/4 cup called for, so don’t add it all at once.

Pour fruit into a 2-quart casserole dish. Drop the batter on the fruit. Bake in a 350°F oven for 35 minutes until cobbler crust is golden brown.

Note for next time: Try slivered almonds in the topping and sprinkle with demerara sugar just before baking.

2 Replies to “UNCLE!”

  1. perfectly wonderfuly fabulous looking!

    cobbler’s big here but it’s usually just kinda a big glop of not so fresh fruit with a mediocre topping so i tend to stay away.

    i should make these…

  2. Looks fabulous.
    We have a friend that gets hysterical if someone says there is going to be a fruit crisp or cobbler for dessert. He invariably shows up with a jar of chocolate sauce.
    Look at what he’s missing!

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