Summer Cherry Cobbler
I wish I can take all the credit on this one, but alas I cannot. This adorable recipe belongs to Claire Saffitz at Bon Appetit Magazine. The minute I saw it on their cover, then watched the video… I was obsessed with making it! Cherries are one of my favorite summer fruits. The allure of the dark red color, the sweet flavor, and the fact that you can only really get it once a year adds to it’s mystique. Growing up, I always craved cherry pie. It seemed to be the most American dessert you can get, aside from apple pie that is. But cherries were hard to pit, and I loathed the gloopy sweet concoctions that came out of the cans. So as much as I wanted it, I didn’t get cherry pie as often as I really should have. Cut to, the Magnolia warehouse sale. I decided to take a trip up to Waco… a mere 1 1/2 hr drive from us in Austin to peruse the sale goods. On the way home We stopped by Magnolia table for lunch. No We didn’t wait in the crazy long line to eat in the restaurant.. cuz ain’t nobody got time for that! We ordered our sandwiches from the Takeaway section and ate it in our air conditioned car like civilized people! But we didn’t just have sandwiches…. we had cherry pie. I didn’t think much of it, I just wanted a dessert to go with my lunch. But oh man was it good. Not too sweet, not gloopy and a great almond flavor. Cherries and almond are a match made in heaven in my book! And so with that craving and the knowledge of this Bon Appetit recipe, I present this Summer Cherry Cobbler. (I did make a few modifications to the recipe, to match my tastes… but I hope ya’ll enjoy it!)
Ok, pitting 2lbs of cherries looks like an absolute horror show. Splatters of dark red juice were strewn across my kitchen. From my paper towel roll to my dish drainer, to my fingers… it looked like a crime scene! Tip: WEAR AN APRON and do it in the Sink for easy clean up! It may take a while to do but I think fresh cherries in season are such a treat! Or… you can avoid this part of the headache and just use frozen!! In the immortal words of Ina Garten… It’s fine!
Once the cherries are pitted, you can set them aside. Preheat your oven and get on with the biscuit part of the show. I gotta say, Bon Appetit nailed this biscuit recipe because it’s crisp on the outside, yet soft and pillowy on the inside. It soaks up some the cherry juices beautifully without becoming too soggy. These biscuits require both butter and cream (this is not diet food people… this is indulgent, summertime bliss!) thus creating the perfect tender interior. The dry ingredients are whisked together and chilled cubed butter is cut into the flour using your fingers. I usually use a pastry cutter to do this, but smashing the flour and butter together with your fingers creates a really satisfying feeling! Once the mixture resembles small peas and wet sand. its time to add in the cream.
Stir in butter flour mixture with a large fork while you stream in the cream. This allows the dry ingredients to become evenly hydrated by the cream. Again, I’m loving this technique because you’re not constantly finding dry spots in your dough as you mix! Definitely trying this out on pie crust! Once the dough comes together, turn it out onto a floured surface and shape into a 3/4” thick rectangle. Cut this rectangle into 4 quadrants and stack them on top of each other. This is a really neat technique to creating layers in your biscuit, reminds me of a rough puff!
Press and roll the stacked dough down into a sheet about 1/2” thick and punch out 1” circles, or whatever shape you want to top your cobbler with. Though I did fall in love with these tiny circles! Cut out the shapes and place them on a plate (I punched out about 40 little circles to fill my dish) and stick in the fridge to chill while you put together the cherry mixture.
Mix the pitted cherries with sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, both extracts and salt. Pour the filling into a 2 Qt baking dish and press down to flatten. Place the chilled biscuits on top, arranging them tightly together. Brush the biscuits with melted butter and demerara sugar. Place the whole baking dish on a foil lined baking pan and bake at 400F for 10 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 450F and bake for another 50 minutes. Biscuits will be golden brown and the cherry juices should be bubbling. Allow to cool as much as you can resist it and serve with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream!
Summer Cherry Cobbler
*Adapted from Bon Appetit
For the biscuits
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups all- purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
1 1/3 cup heavy cream
For the filling
2 lbs pitted cherries
1/2 cup sugar (or less depending on how sweet your cherries are)
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tbs raw or demerea sugar
Whisk together the dry ingredients (Flour, sugar, baking powder, salt). Add the cubed butter and toss to coat.
Using your fingers, smash the butter into the flour. Work quickly to create pea sized crumbs.
Using a fork, stir the flour mixture as you stream the heavy cream into it, making sure there are no dry spots. Once dough has formed, turn it out onto a floured surface and shape into a 3/4” thick rectangle.
Cut the rectangle unto quarters and stack each quarter on top of each other. Smash this down and roll out into a 1/2” sheet. Using a small 1” biscuit cutter, cut the dough into approximately 40 circles. Place them on a plate and chill while you mix the filling.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Add the sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt and extracts to the pitted cherries. Mix to combine. Pour the cherry filing into a 2 Qt baking dish. Push the filling down to create a even layer.
Place the chilled biscuit dough on top of the filling mixture making sure there aren’t too many gaps. Brush the tops of the biscuits with butter and sprinkle on the demerea sugar. Place the baking dish on a foil liked baking pan and bake at 400F for 10 minutes. Bring the temp down to 350F and bake for another 50 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown and the cherry juices are bubbling.
Allow to cool slightly and serve with whipped cream or ice cream!