Hubby and I had a hankering for dessert today. We wanted something we haven’t had in a while, and I wanted something quick and easy to put together…while I enjoy puttering ’round in the kitchen, there are times when I want quick and easy, too! And that’s when I remembered that we hadn’t had fruit cobbler in a while.
As with anything else, there are several variations on fruit cobbler — Wikipedia listed more than I ever even realized!
In the United States, varieties of cobbler include the Betty, the Grunt, the Slump, the Buckle, and the Sonker. The Crisp or Crumble differ from the cobbler in that the cobbler’s top layer is made with oatmeal. Grunts, Pandowdy, and Slumps are a New England variety of cobbler, typically cooked on the stove-top or cooker in an iron skillet or pan with the dough on top in the shape of dumplings—they reportedly take their name from the grunting sound they make while cooking. A Buckle is made with yellow batter (like cake batter), with the filling mixed in with the batter. The Sonker is unique to North Carolina: it is a deep-dish version of the American cobbler. In the Deep South, cobblers most commonly come in single fruit varieties and are named as such, such as blackberry, blueberry, and peach cobbler. The Deep South tradition also gives the option of topping the fruit cobbler with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream.
The cobbler I’m familiar with is the Deep South type described above, a single-fruit variety that is usually served warm or reheated and topped with a scoop of ice cream. There are two basic kinds of such cobbler that I know of — one topped with a pie crust pastry and one topped with a biscuit-type (quick bread) topping. I nearly always make the biscuit-type topped cobbler because it is so quick and easy, especially when I use baking mix (such as Bisquick, Jiffy, or Pioneer).
The easiest way to make this fruit cobbler is with a couple of cans of no-sugar-added pie filling — cherry or apple. But today, the thought of peaches took my fancy — ‘though one could use any fruit or combination of fruits, of course.
When I checked in the grocery, they had a special going on fresh peaches and nectarines, but not only were there not enough fully ripened fruits for me to be able to use in a cobbler tonight, I would also have had to peel, pit, and slice the fruit — more labor than I wanted to put forth this evening.
So, I scoped out the freezer section — and there, also on sale (2 pounds of peeled, pitted, and sliced fruit for $5) were fresh-frozen peaches with nothing added — no added sugar, no added fruit juices, no added anything — just peaches. 🙂
Fresh-frozen fruit: the taste and texture of fresh fruit, prepped and ready, but without the labor of picking through the fruits, peeling them, pitting them, and slicing them.
It smells so yummy — and tastes so good — all while being so easy. 🙂
Easy Peach Cobbler (Makes 6 to 8 servings)
- Fresh or frozen peaches (I like a lot of fruit; I used all 2 pounds of frozen peaches)
- Seasonings to taste for the fruit: dotting of butter (about a tablespoon or two), sprinkling of cinnamon, flour (couple – three tablespoons), Splenda or your favorite sugar-free sweetener (equivalent of a tablespoon or two), sprinkling of lemon juice, and a sprinkling of vanilla extract)
- Topping: 1 cup baking mix, 1/2 cup Splenda granular or equivalent of your favorite artificial sweetener, 3 to 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, splash of vanilla extract, and milk (1/4 to 1/2 cup)
- Spread frozen fruit in an 11″X7″ pan. Dot with a tablespoon or two of butter; sprinkle with a bit of flour and artificial sweetener. Sprinkle with vanilla and some lemon juice. Sprinkle with cinnamon. (The flour and butter will help form a “sauce” with the fruit’s natural juices as it bakes).
- Place in oven, turn on to 375F, and bake until fruit is heated through and juices are starting to bubble — about 35 minutes.
- In a small to medium sized bowl, prepare topping: with a fork, mix together baking mix and sweetener. Cut butter or margarine into small pieces and cut in. Stir in vanilla and stir in milk until mixture is wet and the consistency of drop biscuit dough.
- Remove the pan from the oven, stir up the hot fruit, and spread it fairly evenly in the pan.
- Dollop the topping across the hot fruit. It won’t fully cover it all; don’t worry. Spread the topping out a bit if you like, but it’s okay that all the fruit isn’t covered — and remember, the topping will fluff up and spread out a bit, too, as it bakes. (Note: If you want more topping, simply increase the amount of ingredients — bit more baking mix, bit more sweetener, etc., but we like this ratio pretty well).
- Return to oven and bake until topping is done — anywhere from 25 to 35 minutes.
- Remove from oven to cool. (Let it rest for about 30 minutes or so before you dig into it.) If desired, while cobbler is still hot from the oven, lightly spread a bit of margarine or butter across top of topping and sprinkle with a bit of Splenda.
- Eat warm, topped with a scoop of (no-sugar-added) vanilla ice cream (and/or dollop of whipped topping), if desired.
- Store leftovers in the ‘fridge.