This 4th of July marked the first family get-together I’ve been to in over 10 years. And my first freestyle dessert. EVER.
Not wanting to get into all the family drama here, let’s suffice it to say it was lovely and relaxing and not at all like my holidays have been the last decade. =)
In order to celebrate this historic occasion, and because I was asked to bring a dessert, I decided to make cobbler! It must be noted I have only made cobbler once before in high school and I’m terribly picky as to how I like my topping. It must be chewy and crumbly and crunchy, not all biscuit and not all granola.
I scoured the recipe sites, glancing through one promising recipe after another. None sounding promising! So I decided I’d wing it.
I wanted to make sure my little cousins would be able to enjoy the dessert (and since this was all a from scratch creation) I chose to cook the fruits on the stove first, before baking. I sliced up two (slightly overripe) peaches and threw in a costco sized container of fresh raspberries and blackberries. I added about 1-1/12 cups of sugar and maybe 1/4 cup of flour to those. I stirred it once in a while over medium heat until it started boiling.
If you try this, please add less fruit or use a VERY large baking dish. There was a lot more liquid than I had anticipated so I let it simmer for about half an hour or so, waiting for it to thicken so the topping wouldn’t just sink to the bottom.
Which it did anyway…but that didn’t turn out so badly, either.
I did a double batch of topping – enough for two layers.
mix together 2 cups oats, 1 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 brown sugar and a pinch of salt.
Following the preparation techniques of the recipes I was looking through, I mixed in the cold butter with my fingers. I used a smooshing technique. Just crumbling everything together until there weren’t any big chunks of butter left.
Then I added just enough water to bring the mixture together.
What I will do the next time i make this is sprinkle 1/3 to half the mixture over the cobbler and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. this WILL sink into the fruit. But that gives it the chewy texture I like. Then sprinkle the rest of the topping over the cobbler and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. This will be the crunchy portion!
My aunts and uncle and cousins LOVED the cobbler and went back for seconds and thirds. There almost wasn’t enough for everyone! I was so happy it came out well. I don’t normally freestyle on desserts since there is so much food chemistry behind the measurements. But this has given me the confidence to keep trying new things. Or at least when I can’t find a recipe that suits my tastes!