Saturday, August 20, 2011

Upside-Down Summer Fruit Cobbler

One of the greatest recipes I ever found was discovered completely by accident. In the summertime, I do my best to take advantage of the bounty of produce available by making fruit desserts and I decided last year to make a grand cake for my grandma's 88th birthday. My plan was to make a glorious three-tiered Peach Melba Cake with Raspberry Cream from the book Sky High. Unfortunately, from the moment we started to bake this cake, it was a complete disaster - Tim and I intermediate bakers and, while I thought we were up to task to making something more complex, the paragraph-form instructions were quite difficult to follow and we finally gave up once our supplies were too warm to properly whip cream. I was quite discouraged because I wanted to make a cake worthy of such a milestone birthday but, nonetheless, we decided to press forward and to make use of our wealth of fruit. Fortunately, we found this cobbler recipe and it was just delightful - it's super easy to make, can be adapted to use whatever fruit you have on hand and, most importantly, it's insanely delicious. It was so delicious that I made it for my Grandma's 89th birthday this year. Best accident ever.
Upside-Down Cobbler
I have decided to call this an upside-down cobbler because, unlike traditional cobblers, the biscuit-like batter lines the bottom of the pan and the fruit is nestled on top. As it bakes, the batter occasionally peeks out from underneath the fruit and rises to the top and, just to make the experience evermore glorious, the batter almost appears to shimmer due to the generous sprinkling of raw sugar just before the cobbler enters the oven. The fruit is also extra-juicy since it's allowed to macerate while you make the batter. If you are in the mood to play around, I would recommend swapping any type of stone fruit or berries for those listed below - I imagine that nectarines and blueberries might be lovely and I'm sure that apricots, blackberries, or any of those more obscure berries could be substituted as well. It's just a luscious cobbler and I would highly recommend giving it a try on one of these last few lingering days of summer.

Upside-Down Summer Fruit Cobbler
(Adapted from Rustic Fruit Desserts)

1 tablespoon of butter for buttering the pan
Fruit Filling
1 1/2 pounds stone fruit, prepared (I usually get 2 pounds of fruit just to be safe)
1 dry pint berries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Special Supplies: 3 bowls (1 for the fruit, 1 for the flour mixture, and 1 big one for the mixed batter); 2-quart baking dish; and sifter.

1. Preheat the over to 375 degrees. Butter a 2-quart baking dish.
2. Peel the stone fruit (a link for peaches for how to peel peaches is here) and, of course, wash your berries!
3. Toss the stone fruit and berries with the sugar and salt in a bowl so that the juices will macerate (aka get super juicy) while you prepare the batter.
4. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.
5. Using either a handheld mixer with beaters, a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, OR the awesome power of your bare hands, cream the butter and sugar together for about 3 to 5 minutes until it's light and fluffy.
6. Grab your milk and flour mixture. Beginning and ending with the dry flour mixture, mix about a third of the flour with the butter and, when combined, then add and mix half of the milk. You will then add in and mix another third of the flour mixture, the rest of the milk, and then the final bit of the flour mixture. Scrape the side of the bowl occasionally to ensure that you make the most of the batter-y goodness.
7. Spread the batter evenly into the pan and then distribute the fruit over the top of the batter. Be sure to scrape in as much of the remaining juice from the fruit as possible! Sprinkle turbinado sugar evenly over the top of the cobbler.
8. Bake in the bottom third of the oven for about 45 minutes and cool 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Yum!


  1. It was a perfect dessert for an August picnic. Great just as is, but a scoop of vanilla or a berry ice cream might just put it over the top! (Consider your ice-cream loving roots: Grandma Mary and Dad!) Grandma Mary would have liked peach ice cream because she dearly loved her peaches!

  2. I think white peaches and blackberries would make a delightful combination. Maybe I'll try that this week!