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Individual Vanilla Bean Apricot Cobblers

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Individual Vanilla Bean Apricot Cobblers
Stone fruits are always an excellent choice for making cobblers, crisps and other fruit desserts. Peaches and nectarines are the stars of the stone fruit world when it comes to desserts, but plums and apricots can be amazing in baked goods, as well. Fresh, ripe apricots have a floral, honeyed flavor that is unique and delicious – and that becomes intensified when the fruits spend a little bit of time in the oven. These Individual Vanilla Bean Apricot Cobblers are just one of many wonderful ways to showcase in-season apricots, and the easy recipe is a great starting place for you to build up an apricot recipe repertoire.

This recipe makes four single-serving apricot cobblers, each baked in individual ramekins. Each one starts with a lightly sweetened mixture of ripe apricots, sugar, honey and vanilla. The apricot is intensely floral when roasted and it highlights the floral, aromatic elements of the vanilla bean, which is why I opted to use a whole vanilla bean in this recipe instead of relying on extract alone. If you don’t have whole vanilla beans, you can substitute high quality vanilla extract and still get delicious results. You may need to adjust the quantity of honey in the filling depending on how ripe your apricots are. If they are on the tart side, you will want to add in an extra tablespoon or so of honey when you prepare your fruit.

The cobbler topping is a soft, biscuit-like dough made with buttermilk and lightly sweetened with sugar. The topping is quite sticky, so it should be dolloped into place with a spoon or spatula to give the cobblers a “cobbled together” appearance. I also added vanilla bean to the topping mixture, however you can also substitute vanilla extract if that is what you have on hand. Just before baking, I brushed a bit of melted butter onto the cobblers and sprinkled them with sugar.

The apricots will release quite a bit of juice as they bake, so I recommend putting the ramekins onto a baking sheet or a piece of aluminum foil before baking. When they come out of the oven, the apricots will be incredibly tender, while the cobbler topping will be soft and buttery underneath and have a crisp, sugary crust. You’ll be able to smell the aromatic vanilla even before you dig in and, of course, you’ll taste it in every bite. The desserts should be served when the are still warm, either on their own or with a side of vanilla bean ice cream. If you are serving a crowd, the recipe can be doubled to make eight individual cobblers.


Individual Vanilla Bean Apricot Cobblers

Individual Vanilla Bean Apricot Cobblers
1-lb ripe apricots
1/3 cup sugar
2-3 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 vanilla bean
(or 2 tsp vanilla extract)

Topping
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 vanilla bean
(or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
1 tbsp butter, melted
coarse sugar

Preheat oven to 375F.
Prepare the filling: Cut apricots in half and remove the pits. Cut each half into thirds. Skins do not need to be removed. In a medium bowl, combine apricots with sugar, honey and salt. Add additional honey if necessary (if your apricots are on the tart side). Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add seeds to apricot mixture.
Prepare the topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and the seeds from 1/2 of a vanilla bean with a whisk, then pour into the flour mixture and stir until batter is completely combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Divide apricots into four 6-oz ramekins. Divide topping onto the ramekins, dolloping it into place with a spoon or small spatula. Using a pastry brush, gently brush melted butter on top of the cobbler topping and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cobblers are golden brown. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

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3 Comments
  • Medeja
    May 26, 2015

    It is actually a very good idea to make single servings! Looks yummy!

  • Joanie B
    May 27, 2015

    No apricots to be found here in central NC yet, so I made these with peaches last night. Used my lil heart-shaped Le Creuset pots. Called the neighbors to come for late dessert. Soooo tasty! The cobbler part was perfect! Thanks, Nicole!

  • Nicole
    May 27, 2015

    Joanie B – I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed them! Peaches sound like a wonderful option – and I bet a combination of peaches and apricots would be lovely, too.

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