Tuesday, June 17

Fresh Apricot and Cherry Cobbler with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust

apricot cherry cobbler full plate

I love reading your comments on my blog every day. This recent one on my fresh apricot muffin post caught my eye. Lovely Ann of Redacted Recipes wrote: *sigh* Every time I read a new post of yours I fall into a geographical depression. Your apricots are so beautiful! And those muffins! I love the way each one coyly shows a little fruit... :-)

Though I had never heard of "geographical depression," I know what Ann means. I used to have it myself (though I referred to it less genteelly). Trust me, I don't post on these gems to make you depressed or envious; I do it because I get so ridiculously excited that I just have to share my finds. That's why I'm posting another picture of fresh farmers' market apricots and cherries.

cherries and apricots fm again

When I saw that 20-foot-long table covered with plump, brilliant red cherries and velvety soft golden apricots I audibly gasped (hey, I wasn't the only one). Then I turned to Jeff and said something like, "I'm making an apricot and cherry pie when we get home! Or should I make a crumble? Ooh-ooh, I know, how about a cobbler?" See what I mean? Waaay too excited.

apricot cherry cobbler plate fork

We decided on a cobbler. I wasn't sure what I wanted to use for the cobbler top, but I didn't have to search too long. My mom and dad had recently sent me Nick Malgieri's How to Bake. When my mom realized I didn't have his book, she was shocked:

"What?! How could you not have Nick Malgieri's book? I love his book! Well, that's it. Your father and I are going to Border's this weekend to get you one," she said.

"Mom you don't need to--" I started to say.

"Susan, listen to your mother," she said.

A week later, the book was in our mail box.

Though Malgieri's book isn't new, it's a treasure trove of classic dessert recipes. Considering that he is an award-winning author of 5 cookbooks and has been the director of the baking program at the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC for the last 12 years, I think he knows what he's talking about. I like the way he covers baking basics such as how to make flaky pie dough and perfect tarts and how he offers suggestions for variations (like Dorie Greenspan, whose book is a bible among food bloggers.)

So here is my mildly adapted version of Nick's Cobbler with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust. I made a spicier, sweeter fruit filling and cut out circles of biscuit dough for the top instead of making one solid crust.

apricot cherry cobbler pie dish

This cobbler is a comforting, old-timey dessert. From the moment you smell the sweet buttermilk biscuit topping baking in the oven to the first taste of luscious, warm, sweet apricots and tangy cherries, you'll want to sit out on a rocking chair on your grandmother's porch and listen to her spin tales from her youth.

Fresh Apricot and Cherry Cobbler with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust
Makes 6-8 servings.
Print recipe only here.

3 pounds ripe fresh apricots, about 15
1 cup pitted fresh cherries
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Buttermilk Biscuit Crust:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cake flour (I just used all-purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2/3 cups buttermilk

1 tablespoon buttermilk, cream, or milk
1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons raw sugar crystals, for sprinkling on top

Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Use a 9 or 10-inch pie plate or a 1 1/2 quart deep oven-proof baking dish.

To make the filling, lightly cut an X on the bottom of each apricot and place them into a large pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of ice water. If the apricots are ripe, the skins will slip off easily. If not, then use a sharp paring knife to remove the skins. Cut each apricot into 5-6 wedges and place in the baking dish along with the pitted cherries.

Combine sugars, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg; pour over the fruit and stir gently. Add dots of butter all over the top of the filling. Set aside while preparing dough.

To make the crust, combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Cut the butter into 8 or 10 pieces and rub into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal (or pulse in a food processor fitted with a metal blade). Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk. Stir gently with a fork, being careful not to overwork the dough (or it will become leaden.) Let the dough stand in the bowl for a couple of minutes to let the flours absorb the liquid.

Flour a work surface and turn the dough onto it. Fold the dough over itself 2 or 3 times, until smoother and less sticky. Lightly re-flour the work surface and roll the dough to about 1/4-inch thickness. For circles, using the top of a drinking glass or a round cookie cutter, make about 12 rounds. Gently place the rounds on top of the filling, slightly overlapping the edges. Brush with glaze, and sprinkle with raw sugar crystals.

Alternatively, you could make a full top crust by rolling the dough out slightly larger than the size of your baking dish. Trim excess dough and flute the edges of the dough at the rim of the dish. Make 4 or 5 (1-inch) slashes in the center of the dough.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is deep golden brown and filling is bubbling gently. (For easy clean-up, you may want to place a sheet of tinfoil on the rack under the baking dish to catch any drips.) Cool before serving. Cobbler is best served warm or at room temperature. It can be enjoyed plain or with some whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

You might also like these fruity desserts:

Coconut-Lime Rice Pudding with Mangoes and Cashews

Fresh Cherry and Peach Upside-Down Cake

Mini Custards with Limoncello-Spiked Raspberry Sauce

And, boy, do food bloggers love a good cobbler! You could stay busy all summer long with these:

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Proud Italian Cook said...

Hi Susan, first of all tell your mother I love her spunk!! Secondly, the cherrie and apricot photo, no wonder you were excited! And as for your cobbler, all I can say is Jeff's a lucky guy! You did Nick proud!!!

Sarah said...

Oh yum! We've been out of town the last two weekends and I'm sorely missing my Farmer's Market finds . . . I'm counting the days until Saturday to see what is in store for me!


Anonymous said...

I'm afraid the Envy Police will need to come and relocate you, Susan. The rest of us simply can't bear all of this gorgeous produce a moment longer!

As always, beautiful photos, terrific story and yummy, yummy food!

cindy* said...

that is some beautiful bounty...i made similar remarks in regards to peaches and pie a few weekends ago at our sat. farmer's market. your enthusiasm is delightful.

Kalyn Denny said...

I'm drooling over that last photo right before the recipe! Sigh, far too many salads and not enough cobbler around this house lately!

Anonymous said...

Cherries and apricots? Forget depression, this is a grand funk.

(Gawr-jeus, m'dear. You'd do a Midwestern gal proud.)

Manggy said...

Hah! Speaking of geographical depression, do you think this could work just as well with canned fruits!? HA HA HA! Oh, I'm so sad :( It looks like I will have to enjoy your pics... But maybe I can make a tropical cobbler, hmmm.... :)

Elle said...

All those lovely cheries and apricots..so little time. Love the cobbler idea...must do one myself soon while cherry season is here. Your recipe is gorgeous...buttermik biscuits go so well with those fruits. Yum!

Anonymous said...

i've seen some really good looking stone fruit at the farmers market lately! i bet that was perfect for this. your cobbler looks simply fantastic, susan! it reminds me of all the cobblers my family would make growing up in southwest virginia!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Everything about that dessert appeals to me! I adore apricots, and I love traditional-style puddings. This looks simply wonderful...

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That's the kind of sweet treat I love to make when all those gorgeous spring/summer fruits are available! Delicious looking!



Peter M said...

That table of apricots & cherries should be simply labeled "June".

The cobbler, is it a crisp or a cobbler or a crisp or a????

Damn inviting it is!

Anonymous said...

This is the second time in two weeks I see a delicious cobbler. Never had one in my life and I starting to itch to make one :)

Anonymous said...

I think every food lovers got this "geographical depression", every now and then ;)
Your cobbler looks super delicious ;)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I'm with Ann -- enough already with the drool-worthy produce! Back here in your home town, we are just seeing a few lettuces at the farm stands. Lettuce and strawberries, and that's about it. I have a bad case of produce envy.

Deborah Dowd said...

Thanks for the inspiration! I have some cherries that are getting almost too ripe and this would be a great use!

LyB said...

I love the way you describe your reaction at the farmer's market! It is exciting to see all the fresh fruits and vegetables and imagine all the wonderful things we'll bake or cook them in, so much fun! That cobbler sounds fantastic! :)

grace said...

two things jump out at me most of all--the beautiful combination of colors and the fantastic crust. crust is always key with me, and your biscuits look delicious!

Mishmash ! said...

Now, seeing that pic, I am into another'geographical depression" :))) guess what, i made a batch of apricot jam last night...my favourite...came out really well...:)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

marie-I will! :) Awww, what a sweet thing to say.

sarah-I miss them too when we're out of town. Have fun Saturday!


cindy-That's an awfully nice comment.

kalyn-Well, cherries and apricots have a heart-breakingly short season, so I say go for the cobbler!

alanna-Yay! I've made up for my sauerkraut ineptitude. ;)

manggy-Heavens to Betsy, no! :)

amanda-Southerners know how to make biscuits and cobblers, that's for sure.

forkful-Well, I hope you try it!

rosa-They're worth the wait.

peter-Cobblers have baked dough/biscuits toppings whereas crisps have more of loose, crumbly topping. But crisp and crumble, now there's where the confusion really starts. :)

linda-Oh, you've gotta take the plunge!

zita-I'm glad you like it.

lydia-Sorry, my friend, but I've got more lovely produce in the works. Enjoy a delicious strawberry salad though! :)


lyb-I'm glad you share my enthusiasm! :)

grace-The colors are really gorgeous, and I'd make this biscuit topping again in a heartbeat!

David Hall said...

Hi Susan, LONG time no hear! How are you? Delicious unpretentious pud, right up my street. Hope life is good.


Swati said...

Oh Susan, I can keep looking at the lovely pudding and imagining what it would have tasted like.. yummy all the way!!

Cakespy said...

This looks like the perfect summer treat--refreshing, fresh, and most of all, flaky, sugary and delicious. I have to say, biscuits and biscuit topping are probably some of my favorite sweet treats! Shh, don't tell Cake!

Ivy said...

This is absolutely delicious. I bought some lovely cherries and peaches this week. I suppose it will be just as good with peaches.

Terry at Blue Kitchen said...

Insanely beautiful, geographic depression-inducing photos, Susan. The cobbler is making me hungry and I've just finished lunch. I'm curious, as someone who bakes almost never--what would the cake flour bring to the party if you used it?

Anonymous said...

This looks absolutely beautiful. I am sure it is delicious too. I love crumbles and cobblers (though I never know what the difference between the two is really:) Crust? Top?

I am bookmarking the recipe and will hopefully make it next time I buy apricots and cherries! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

Sharona May said...

Your cobbler looks fantastic!! Love the fruit desserts ~ especially in the summer with warm weather. I just made a plum pie but I haven't had time to post it just yet.

Thanks for sharing.
Sharona May

Lisa Turner said...

!! Yet another recipe of yours that I will have to bookmark. I'm enjoying apricot season myself and recently made some apricot fritters.

Lore said...

I've recently discovered the cobbler via food bloggers from the US and I've come to love it just like I love a good clafoutis.
Your cobbler looks lovely Susan! I also get pretty excited about my food finds :D

K Allrich said...

I was sighing over the beautiful colors of your cobbler- just gorgeous! Then I noticed your mention of my humble vegan cobbler. Aw. You are so sweet! Thank you. I am going to try a gluten-free version of yours. It's so lovely!

Lisa Johnson said...

I'm suddenly feeling fruit deprived! And I love how your mom insisted on sending you that book. Mom's do know best! ; )

J said...

What a lovely treat! How swet of your mum to send you the book :)

Melita said...

What a lovely post, awesome cobbler, and beautiful pictures!
Greetings to your mom, that is so sweet!
I always have to buy all my cookbooks myself... :)
My culinary challenged friends do not appreciate my love for food, and are always puzzled about what to get me for my once in a couple of years B-day (see, I get stuck to certain age for few years, no one knows exactly how old I am any more)!
I need to start inserting clues about those gifts...

Julie said...

My personal geographical depression is nothing new, but now I have serious biscuit envy to add to it! The flaky layers in your top photo are enough to make me save this recipe (which must be great since it's from Malgieri) for my customary 4th of July cobbler.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I don't get depressed when reading your blog, but I do get (very) hungry. :)

Isn't the "listen to your mother/father" a classic? :)

Love the crumble, too - cherries and apricots are always winners in my book!

Anonymous said...

i have total geographic jealously. especially of all those people who keep posting pics from the ferry plaza farmer's market in SF. damn them. and damn you apricots that i want and can't have yet!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

If I had a farmer's market like that, I would think I'd have died and gone to heaven. I love this cobbler (and not sure why the combo of apricots and cherries never clicked in my head)

Pam said...

Love the pictures... the cobbler looks amazing.

Simona Carini said...

I also get so excited when I see something at the market that just screams to be made into a dish. Cherries just showed up at our market and I am ready. Nice combination, apricots and cherries.

Brilynn said...

You know I love it because it has cherries in it! I can't believe you remembered my comment from last year! The cherries should be ready here around the first of July, I can't wait!!

Unknown said...

Apricot and cherry cobbler sounds great! Nice photos!

Anonymous said...

Oh Susan, oh Susan, oh Susan!! Again, I am seriously salivating over these photos. That cobbler looks incredible!

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

That cobbler looks amazingly good, Susan! What a great combination of flavours. It is nice when inspiration strikes like that and no wonder with such a great farmer's market!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

shn-I adore apricot jam too.

david-I'm well but busy! It is a humble pud, just my style.

swati-To the last bite. :)

cakespy-Mums the word. :)

ivy-Oh, definitely.

terry-Oh, thank you! The cake flour is supposed to create a more delicate texture.

farida-Crumbles are more of a pebbly top made from oats, nuts, coconut, etc. They're both absurdly delicious though, aren't they?

sharona may-Ooh, plum pie sounds perfect!

lisa-Oh, what would life be without fresh apricots?

lore-Wait till you make it. You'll be hooked!

karina-You're welcome! It sounds delicious!

anali-Always. :)

jyothsna-She is a sweetie.:)

medena-Clues are definitely the way to go.

julie-Oh, I feel honored! :) Let me know how it turns out!

patricia-Very hungry is good. :)

michelle-I went to that market last year when I was in SF. It definitely inspired produce envy.

mike-Wait till you taste the combo!

pam-Thanks a bunch!

simona- Cherries are jewels, aren't they?

brilynn- Happy cherry picking!


kristen-Aw, shucks. Thanks.

holler-It happens every week!

Jeanne said...

OK, I don't want to be funny but that photo of the cherries and aprocits at the market is NOT going to help those poor folks suffering from goegraphical depression!! :o)

I've been toying with making a cobbler for a couple of weeks now - maybe this will spur me on. Stunning photos as always.

Deeba PAB said...

Still here & still bookmarking...I'll just ditta everything Ann said & says!! 'Geographical depression'...is such an evocative term, & Envy Police seems too right!! LOL..I love the cobbler Susan...eggless makes it seem even better!! YAY!!

Katie Zeller said...

It's so interesting to learn what fruits are ripe together in different parts of the world...
Our cherries are long finished and the apricots just starting... But, I'll have blackberries soon - I could blackberry-apricot cobbler...No, Clafouti...

Jaime said...

wow, the farmer's market in dallas is not nearly so pretty. your crust looks so flaky and delicious!