With summer already on its way, it’s time for a bevy of backyard barbeque’s and dinner parties. The minute I read the June Gourmet I thought I found the perfect party-time dessert. Unfortunately, Gourmet’s original recipe for a stone fruit cobbler didn’t dazzle the crowd as promised. However, after a bit of tweaking, I think I’ve come up with a crowd pleasing version that wows guests and makes them want to dive in for more.
If you live near a farmer’s market, I suggest buying stone fruits that are in season. In Southern California, you can find nectarines, plums, pluots and peaches in abundance.
Plums at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market
Peaches at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market
For simplicity’s sake, I suggest using only plums and nectarines in this recipe. That way all you have to do is pit and slice and never have to peel off the skin. Otherwise, if you pick peaches or pluots, you’ll need to remove the skin before cooking. Also, choose firm fruits as they are a better choice for baking.
Stone Fruit Cobbler
Adapted from Gourmet magazine
Serves 8 (or a handful of gluttonous people)
For the filling:
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
¼ cup all purpose flour
3 lb mixed stone fruit, pitted and cut into ½ inch thick wedges (8 cups).
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp pure almond extract
NOTE: I adjusted the amount of sugar required from the original recipe. Keep in mind that after blending together the filling ingredients, you may want to increase the sugar level if the fruit mixture tastes overtly sour.
For the biscuits:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cornmeal (not stone-ground)
2 tsp baking powder
½ teaspoon (rounded) salt
2 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
3 cups (plus 1 Tbsp) heavy cream
4 Tbsp demerara sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with the rack in the middle. Butter a 3 quart glass or ceramic baking dish.
Toss together filling ingredients in a large bowl. Spread filling into the baking dish. Bake until just bubbling 15-20 minutes.
While the filling bakes, whisk together sifted flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Blend together the dry ingredients with your fingers until the mixture resembles a course meal. Add 1 cup cream and stir until a dough forms.
Turn dough onto a floured surface. Lightly dust the dough with flour. Roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin until it’s ½ inch thick and is 10-inches around in diameter. Cut out dough with a 2-inch cookie cutter (or use the top of a small to medium sized glass). Gather scraps and re-roll once to cut out more biscuits.
Arrange biscuits ½ inch apart over hot filling. Brush tops with remaining Tbsp cream and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake until topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling in the center. About 25-30 minutes. Let cool a few minutes before serving.
Whip the remaining heavy cream until it forms soft peaks. Serve cobbler and finish the individual portions with a generous dollop of whipped cream.
I’ve brought this cobbler to several parties already. It’s an easy recipe that results in a real show stopping dessert!