Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sweet Cherry Cobbler

Towards the end of last summer, when the last of the cherries were on sale, I bought a bunch of them, pitted and halved them, and froze them. Now, it's the middle of January, fresh cherries are still a yet-to-be-realized promise of a distant spring. Yet, even on a cold and rainy winter day, I was able to pull out one of my trusty bags of frozen fruit and whip up a cherry cobbler for dessert! (Thank goodness for freezers!)

I found a recipe online that used sweet cherries, which are more widely available in California than the sour cherries more commonly used in baking. I definitely tweaked the original recipe according to my whim and fancy, and it came out pretty darn good. I doubled the biscuit topping, which is very hearty, due to the inclusion of whole wheat flour. I sprinkled the biscuits with turbinado sugar, because I like the texture of it. I also added lemon to perk up the flavor with a nice, fresh citrus element.

Sweet Cherry Cobbler

For the filling:
About 3 cups of sweet cherries, pitted and halved
2 T. water (if using fresh cherries; if using frozen cherries, omit this water)
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 T. squeezed fresh lemon juice

For the topping:
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 T. white granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Zest of 1 lemon, grated
3 T. cold unsalted butter
2/3 c. low-fat buttermilk
1 T. turbinado sugar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Cook the cherries, water, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, lemon juice and a pink of salt in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves, just a few minutes. If you use frozen cherries, omit the water. Pour the filling in a 9-inch pie plate.

Whisk the flour, white sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Blend in the butter with a pastry cutter until the butter is in little chunks and well dispersed throughout. Stir in the buttermilk with a fork just until blended. Drop the crumbly dough in mounds over the filling and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Bake about 20-25 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the cherry filling is bubbling. Serve warm.

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