Archive for: cobbler
There are many bland cakes, cookies and muffins out there that look picture perfect. And it is always disappointing when that flawless look doesn’t have the flavor to back up that first impression. Then there are other dishes that don’t look too appealing, but deliver a lot of flavor and you go back for more regardless of what it looks like. These Very Cherry Almond Muffins are on the less attractive side of the muffins that I’ve made recently, but their flavor more than makes up for their looks because they are simply delicious – especially if you are a cherry fan.
The muffins taste like a cherry and almond cobbler, and they are absolutely packed with cherries. They are moist, tender and have significantly more cherry flavor than most of the cherry muffins I’ve had. This is because I reduced some cherry juice and incorporated it into the muffin batter. This syrupy juice is a dose of concentrated cherry flavor – unfortunately, although it is very flavorful, it gave the muffins a slightly purple tint because that juice was an intense red color. Eating a purple muffin – especially when I knew that the color came from natural juices and had a ton of flavor – didn’t bother me one bit. It did, however, produce a few quizzical looks from people I served the muffins to, even though any reservations they had disappeared after that first bite.
I used almond meal and almond extract to get the almond flavor into the muffins. If you have some chopped almonds, you could easily sprinkle them on top for a little extra texture, although I sprinkled mine with some sugar for a sweet, slightly crunchy topping.
I used jarred cherries packed in juice for this recipe and reduced some of that juice for the cherry syrup. Frozen cherries will work just as well as mix-ins, although you might not get any cherry juice if you opt for frozen berries. You can either buy your juice separately, or opt for a non-purple muffin and use only buttermilk instead of the cherry reduction in the recipe. Alternatively, you could add a little red food coloring to make the cherries even more purple/pink and really make them look like they’ve been infused with cherries!
It’s easy to get excited about making fruit desserts when you are looking at a beautiful display of fresh, in-season fruit at your local grocery store or farmers’ market. Peaches have a lovely floral aroma and ripe plums smell as sweet as honey. Fortunately, there is no need to resist the temptation to stock up on fruit because there are all kinds of amazing dishes that you can bake with them. Pies and tarts are just a couple of options, but a classic cobbler is always an easy way to enjoy fruit in a dessert and this Plum and Peach Cobbler is a perfect example.
I used a mixture of fresh peaches and fresh plums in this cobbler. The flavors of the two stone fruits blend together beautifully, for a sweet and richly flavored filling. They also look absolutely beautiful together, with the bright yellow color of the peaches contrasting well with the darker red color in the plums. Most of the color in the plums comes from the skin of the fruit, so I recommend not peeling your plums before you use them. Plum skins are also quite delicate, so they don’t take away from the fruit itself when you’re eating the cobbler. The peaches, on the other hand, should be peeled before you add them to the filling.
When picking out fruit for the cobbler, choose fruits that are ripe but still slightly firm. Firmer plums and peaches will be easier to work with than very soft fruits, and they’ll hold their shape during baking without breaking down. Cut them into approximately equal slices – which means that plums should be quartered, while peaches can be cut into 6-8 slices, depending on the size of the fruit. I used about equal parts of plums and peaches, but you can always slant your cobbler filling towards one or the other, depending on how much fruit you have in your kitchen, or incorporate other fruits like nectarines or apricots.
There are all kinds of desserts out there that can feature fresh berries, from pies to cobblers, and one type that you should add to your repertoire (if you haven’t already done so) is a buckle. A buckle is a fruit-laden cake that gets its name from the fact that there is so much fruit that a cake might seem to “buckle” under the weight of it all. You can make a buckle with almost any kind of fruit, but the cake base is particularly good for soaking up the juices from ripe berries. My kitchen has been overflowing with berries lately, and a bunch of particularly juicy blackberries inspired this Blackberry Buckle.
The butter is cut into the flour mixture before the wet ingredients are added. This step ensures that you will have a very tender cake, but it serves another purpose as some of the flour-sugar-butter mixture is set aside to serve as a crumb topping for the cake. This adds a slightly sweet, crisp topping to the dessert and makes it even more addictive. The batter can easily be made by hand, but using a food processor to mix everything will make the process even faster.
The cake of the buckle has a nice butter and vanilla flavor to it and is an excellent background for the juicy blackberries. I used a whole pound of fruit in this dessert, and you can see from each slice that you get a lot of berries per serving! Fresh fruit is ideal for this dish, but frozen fruit can be substituted if that is what you have on hand. If using frozen, do not defrost the fruit before incorporating it into the batter and keep in mind that your buckle might need an extra few minutes in the oven while baking.
Rhubarb is a wonderful springtime fruit to work with, both because of its beautiful pink color and the bright, tangy flavor that it brings to a recipe. Rhubarb is often paired with sweeter fruits, such as strawberries, to balance out its very sharp flavor. Strawberries are a very common pairing, but raspberries also make a fantastic pairing with rhubarb and I used them in this Rhubarb and Raspberry Cobbler.
This cobbler has a mixture of raspberries and rhubarb in the filling. The filling of the finished cobbler has a lovely sweet-tart flavor and a bright red color from the berries. The rhubarb lends an almost lemony flavor to the filling, while the raspberries seem intensely sweet and jammy by comparison. Cobblers can have a variety of different toppings, and this one has a cake-like topping that seems to sop up some of the juice from the filling. A sprinkling of sugar on top gives it a nice crunch (be sure to use a toothpick when checking this cobbler for doneness), and otherwise it is soft and tender, with a hint of vanilla and ginger in it.
Fresh, in-season rhubarb is the best choice for this recipe. Look for rhubarb that is brightly colored and crisp, with unblemished stalks. While rhubarb can actually come in a variety of colors, from pale green to dark red, the redder stalks give a much prettier look to this dish if you have the option of choosing them. The raspberries can be fresh or frozen, and frozen berries do not need to be defrosted before using. Frozen rhubarb tends to come in very large chunks and takes a long time to cook, which is why it is not my idea choice for this cobbler. IF you do opt for both frozen berries and rhubarb, the baking time of this recipe would be extended by about 5-10 minutes to ensure that the topping cooks all the way through (be sure to check with a toothpick before taking it out of the oven).
A slice of fresh cherry pie that is freshly baked is just about irresistible – especially when you were the one baking it and your kitchen still smells like home-baked pie. Cherry cobbler and cherry crisp are right up there, too, when it comes to tempting cherry desserts. They’re easier to make and they’re always available when they’re hot from the oven (while cherry pies typically need to cool for the filling to thicken).
These Cinnamon Streusel-Topped Cherry Crisps are individual desserts that pack a whole lot of cherry flavor into a very small package. Juicy cherries make up the main part of the dessert, of course, but a crisp and buttery streusel topping is what makes it a winner for me. The topping is made with oatmeal, ground cinnamon and brown sugar, with some chopped pecans tossed in for extra crunch and flavor. A pinch of salt adds just the right amount of contrast to the topping, so you can really taste every element alongside those cherries. Almonds would also work very well in the streusel, as they tend to be a great match with cherries.
Cherries are a fruit that are typically in season late in the spring and summer, but they keep very well and I have them in my kitchen all year round. I keep frozen cherries in the freezer and jars of good-quality cherries (packed in cherry juice) in the pantry for any occasion that I might need them for. They both work just as well as fresh cherries will – and since they seem to release a little more juice than fresh cherries, you can even end up with a slightly saucier cherry crisp. Any kind of cherries will work, from sour cherries to black cherries. I personally tend to go with the sweeter black cherries, but a mix of different types will produce an outstanding dessert.
I like these best when they’re fresh from the oven, but they keep very well and leftovers are terrific for breakfast. I heat up my leftovers for a few seconds in the microwave to warm them up again before re-serving.