Inspired by a combination of a Cook’s Illustrated recipe for Cherry Pie and the Cherry Cobbler recipe in my William’s Sonoma Essentials of Baking cookbook
You can see my original post on my main blog here.
Most cherry pie/cobbler recipes are designed for sour or tart cherries which break down and release their juices easier than sweet cherries. A sweet cherry pie recipe from Cook’s Illustrated accounted for the smaller amount of juice released by sweet cherries in the cooking process by adding plum puree. After having tried the pie recipe, I decided to incorporate a few of the ingredients and techniques used to make a better cobbler. A cobbler full of flavor and juicy goodness.
And make a better cobbler it did.
6 cups sweet (i.e. Bing) cherries, stems removed and pitted
2 small red plums, pits removed
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 ¾ tablespoons granulated tapioca
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon sugar mixed with ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
You will also need:
Food processor or blender
Fine mesh strainer
Baking dish (I use a round 11” baking dish with sides 2” high)
Spring loaded scoop (ice cream scoop)
For the filling: Place the pitted plums (with skins) and about ½ cup of the pitted cherries in the food processor. Process about 1 minute, scraping down the sides as needed. Strain the purée through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl, pressing on the solids to remove all the juice. Discard the solids. To the purée, add the sugar, salt, lemon juice, cinnamon and tapioca; stir to combine.
Take ½ cup – 1 cup of the pitted cherries and cut them in half then place all the cherries in the purée mixture. Stir to coat the cherries completely and let stand for 10-15 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375ºF.
Place the cherry mixture in the baking dish; bake for 10 minutes while you prepare the topping.
For the topping: Combine the buttermilk and vanilla and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Work the small pieces of butter into the flour mixture with your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs. Pour the buttermilk/vanilla mixture into the flour mixture; fold and stir together with a rubber spatula just until the flour is completely and evenly moistened. It will be a soft, sticky and thick dough.
Remove the fruit from the oven and scatter spoonfuls (from your spring-loaded scoop) of the dough all over the top of the fruit. It should not cover completely as the dough will spread as it cooks. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar evenly over the top.
Return the cobbler to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. The cherry filling will be bubbling and the topping browned (a toothpick should come out clean).
Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack.
Serve warm with ice cream.