An easy way to use up fruit without bothering to make a pie crust is to make a cobbler. A cobbler is a baked fruit dish of fruit topped with a sweetened biscuit topping. Actually, I think a cobbler could be savory as well, if you dropped pieces of buttermilk biscuit on top of a meat or vegetable base before baking it.
The name comes from the “cobbled” look that results from dropping pieces of dough onto the dish rather than rolling out a crust. It’s a traditional American dessert and I would venture to say that it can be found in all parts of the country, as it can be made with just about any type of fruit. Berries, apples and stone fruits make the best, in my opinion. I think it’s great to serve for company because it looks as good as it tastes and it’s very easy. The filling can be prepared ahead of time, it has a fairly long bake and it can sit around for an hour before serving it, so it requires little attention.
This delicious Blueberry and Nectarine Cobbler is perfect for summer and uses two of my favorite fruits. Many people reach for peaches before nectarines, but nectarines are very sweet and even better in desserts like this one. The two fruits give the filling a beautiful color and a rich, fruity flavor. The buttery topping has a hint of lemon in it, which is a nice contrast to the sweet fruit. The dough should be broken up into small pieces and scattered on top of the filling to ensure that you get the traditional cobbler look. The topping bakes up to be nice and crisp after baking, but softens to a more tender texture on the second day that I also enjoy – enough to always save at least one serving for breakfast. I usually serve this cobbler plain, but it is also great served with a bit of vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.
Blueberry and Nectarine Cobbler
1 pint blueberries (2 cups)
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
zest of one lemon
2-3 tbsp butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375F.
Wash and peel nectarines. Slice each into 8-10 slices, as desired. Wash blueberries. Place fruit into a medium bowl and add 2 tbsp flour, 2 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine then pour fruit into an 8×8 inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest and the baking powder and soda. Using your fingers, rub in butter until mixture resembles very coarse meal. Stir in buttermilk. You should have a wet dough.
Drop the dough in golf ball sized pieces evenly over the dough. It will spread a bit as it bakes, so don’t try to cover the whole surface. The pieces of dough do not have to be evenly sized, either.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until juices are bubbly and topping is a nice brown color. Let stand for at least 30 minutes before serving to give the juices a chance to thicken and reabsorb.