Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dark Days 10: Red Fruit Cobbler

I've been watching the crabapples hang on the tree in the backyard all winter.

Crabapples are supposed to have wildlife value, but I'm guessing that these are so tart that they are a food of absolutely last resort.

Fortunately, I've been able to make a fruit-based dessert in advance of Valentine's Day that is much more appealing than crabapples - this week's Dark Days entry is for a red fruit cobbler made with strawberries, sour cherries and pears.

Sour cherries, dried pears and sliced strawberries
It's true that the pears in my photo are not red, but if you soak dried pears with a jar of canned cherries and a jar of canned strawberries, the pears soak up the red sugar syrup.

Cobbler is one of our favorite desserts, so I was pretty happy to realize that it can be a locally-sourced menu option. For cobbler, you need 6-8 cups of fruit mixed with a bit of sugar, flour and spices placed in the bottom of a baking dish. Then you mix up a moist buttermilk biscuit dough - flour, butter, baking powder, baking soda, buttermilk, sugar and salt - and drop that on top of the fruit. Bake for about 30 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the biscuit is golden.

The fruit turns into a thick, chunky sauce.
Because I was using canned fruit preserved in a sugar syrup, I just added flour and a little nutmeg - no extra sugar needed here. Cobbler is also wonderful with peaches and blueberries.

Sources cited:
Sour cherries - Parlee Farms, Tyngsboro, MA
Pears - Poverty Lane Orchards, Lebanon, NH
Strawberries - Edgewater Farms, Plainfield, NH
Flour - Finger Lakes Region, NY
Butter - Cabot Creamery, VT
Milk - MacNamara Dairy, Plainfield, NH
Baking soda, baking powder, spices, sugar, salt, vinegar (to make "buttermilk") - the grocery store

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