Cobblers are mostly US and UK in usage. ‘Course the Brits don’t mean the same as we do by the word. What was that about two peoples separated by a common language? Methinks that G.B. Shaw had it right. Anyway – to the American a cobbler is a desert with the crust on the bottom and usually some kind of very sweet fruit mix through which the crust rises and mingles as it cooks. You wind up with a nice brownish crust on top and a kinda’ dumpling sort of consistency through the middle of the goodie.
The Brits mean a meat pie or casserole sort of thing with a Cobbler – or biscuit – scone-like kind of topping. The Brits are starting now to realize that fruit fillings are also a good thing – but they mostly still put the crust only on the top.
The American cobbler has had many variations over the past couple of centuries: Grunt, Sonker, Betty, Buckle, Slump – and so on. Mostly a New England sort of thing in the beginning – but it has spread all over the country.
There is some disagreement as to whether Yankee flour – such as King Arthur – or Southern flour – such as Martha White – does better. A matter of personal taste, in my opinion. Get a bit more rise out of the King Arthur, which I like. Suit yourself and just use whatever you have handy in the way of an all-purpose type. If it is the old-fashioned Self-Rising Southern type then leave out the baking powder.
340 g fruit (2-1/2 cups)
210 g sugar (1 cup)
150 g all-purpose flour (1 cup)
8 g baking powder (2 tsp)
4 g salt (1/2 tsp)
245 g milk (1 cup)
1 stick butter, melted (1/2 cup)
Cream, whipped cream or ice cream, if desired
—– Fruit —–
Most Berries: Stir together berries and sugar in a bowl big enough to hold them. Let stand about 20 minutes and then stir again gently. You should see a bit of syrup which has formed. Works fine for Blackberries, strawberries and the like. May not work for blueberries – I haven’t tested them yet.
Peaches: Blanche for 1 minute, then plunge in an ice bath for 1 minute. Peel, pit, cube or slice. Boil with sugar and 70g (1/3 cup) water, Simmer for 10 minutes. You can add a bit of cinnamon or whatever else tickles your taste.
Apples: Core, peel, slice. Use brown sugar. Can be boiled and simmered or mixed with crust. Cinnamon is pretty good with apples.
Mix flour, baking powder, salt and milk. Add the butter and stir just until blended. Pour into an ungreased pan big enough to hold everything with some room at the top. Spoon the fruit mixture over the batter.
Bake at 375°F for 45 to 55 minutes or until the dough rises through the fruit and is golden. I usually set the pan on top of a jelly-roll pan covered with aluminum foil. Otherwise a mess is had by all when the sugary fruit mix boils over the sides. An oven cleaning is then in order – NOT my favorite kitchen activity.
Serve warm with cream. Or with ice cream. Can be stored in the fridge and re-heated. Heat up in a 350°F oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
You can up to double the fruit filling if you want more fruit to crust ratio. You can adjust the sugar down if it is too much for you. Being a very traditional Southerner I like my peach or apple cobbler fairly sweet – but suit yourself.