As I mentioned in my last post, I got over-zealous with my cherry purchasing a few days ago and ended up with a truckload of the buggers. I started right out with storing a couple pounds of them away in the fridge, deeply marinated in brandy for a day this fall when they will emerge in a fancy cocktail or two. For my next dish in my personal cherrypaloosa I decided to get a little less fancy and go with something that is never fails: cobbler
Finding a recipe for cobbler turned out to be slightly harder than I expected, mainly because I kept going back and forth between making a cobbler, a crumble, or a pie. Starting with the idea of a pie, I ultimately rejected it because I didn’t feel like messing about with pie crusts. Also, I’d like to get one of those fancy-dancy pastry wheels for making the pretty-looking lattice top, so pie will have to wait. Then I was all set on making a crumble, but couldn’t find a cherry crumble recipe that I liked. So I decided to use the filling from a cobbler recipe and the topping from a crumble recipe. The only problem with that plan is that cobbler has a sweet filling and a more savory top, while crumbles tend to have a more sour filling and a sweeter top. Having both parts being sweet would have been far too much sugar. So I finally ended up with a cobbler.
The interesting mystery ingredient to this particular recipe is tapioca. I know, right? Seems weird but it worked great and was much easier to deal with than corn starch (which a lot of the recipes call for). The tapioca makes for a thick, rich syrup in the filling. If you look close you can see the individual kernels of tapioca but you certainly can’t taste them.
Finally, since most cobblers have more than one kind of fruit, I added in some apricots mainly because they looked good at the store. No doubt my carbon footprint went up my 50% simply because of those apricots, but I suppose I’ll just have to deal with it because they tasted wonderful.
Cherry Apricot Cobbler
2 Lbs of pitted sweet cherries
4-5 apricots, pitted and sliced into wedges
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 tablespoon (or more) brandy
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Mix all of the ingredients for the filling together in a large bowl. Allow everything to macerate in the brandy and juices for at least fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally. I made mine the night before and let it sit, covered, in the fridge overnight.
In a food processor, pulse the butter, flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt together to form a coarse meal. Transfer the meal to a bowl, add in the milk and vanilla and stir until just mixed. Put the filling into a greased baking dish or ramekins (I used various sizes) then use a spoon to place mounds of the topping on top of the filling. Bake for 40 minutes until the topping has risen a bit and is nice and golden brown. Allow to cool slightly (melted sugar=molten lava) and then serve. Perhaps with ice cream.