A couple weeks ago my lovely mother-in-law gave me a huge bowl of fresh Okanagan cherries, the best cherries around. They needed to be used promptly due to ripeness, and thankfully this coincided with me needing to make dessert for 10ish people.
At my current rate of 5 lbs of lower-body weight gain per week, I couldn’t justify eating an entire dessert by myself this time. Or really any dessert. Ok, I can always justify eating some dessert, let’s be serious. But the end of calorie-burning breastfeeding is always such a sharp reality check around here. On the bright side though, it means back to the mall as, yet again, it seems nothing in my wardrobe fits just right. I think Carl is starting to believe I do this on purpose, having my body change size and shape every 6 months or so, but I think men will just never understand the many stages of body shape that accompany the before-during-after-even later after of procreating.
I had seen a recipe for Peach and Cherry Skillet Cobbler on Diethood that got me thinking about that combo. I knew my skillet wasn’t going to be big enough and the recipe looked a little time-consuming given my last-minute nature, but the combination wouldn’t get out of my head.
Being averse to peeling peaches, again due to time constraints, I went with nectarines and left the skin on – they aren’t quite as sweet and delicious as fresh peaches but I love them nonetheless. As we all know, smooth skin makes up for a lot of other shortfalls.
I highly recommend buying a cherry pitter if you’re going to be making anything with any amount of cherries (like, more than 2), or if you have children who can’t (or won’t) spit out pits. I had to search good and hard to find said pitter, so if you’re looking, just start in a specialty kitchen store, skip the whole Walmart or Canadian Tire route since they may have everything under the sun but they do not have cherry pitters. Cherry pitters have come a long way from the spring-loaded contraption I remember in my mom’s kitchen – they now come equipped with comfort grips, locking mechanisms, and handy clear splash guards! I grabbed a new pair of tongs while I was at it which is equally exciting, since using full-length barbecue tongs in a little frying pan in a narrow kitchen is more than a little awkward.
Anyways, the cobbler!
There are apparently many ways to make cobbler, and people have strong feelings about what constitutes a “true” cobbler. This version is the type with a biscuit top, and, while I liked it, I prefer the kind that are more like a cake with fruit all throughout. Much as I love piles of fresh fruit, I also love my carbs – the same reason I always cut back the fruit in fruit crisps and double the amount of crumble topping. Fruit to topping ratio is very important to me. If fruit is your favorite part of a cobbler, this will be right up your alley!
I also used the same fruit mixture, thickened with 1 Tbsp cornstarch in place of the flour, to make a couple gluten-free crumbles to accommodate food intolerances. (In case you’re interested, my gluten-free crisp for the two individual servings was just 2 Tbsp melted butter, 1/3 cup quick oats, and 1/3 cup brown sugar).
Nectarine and Cherry Cobbler
4 cups sliced nectarines (about 4 nectarines)
3 cups cherries, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350.
Toss fruit mixture ingredients gently and dump into a 9×9″ or 8×11″ baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make biscuit topping. Whisk together dry ingredients, including lemon zest. Cut in butter until crumbly. With fork, stir in milk to make a soft, ragged dough. Drop dough onto fruit mixture in about 9 heaping tablespoons, and sprinkle the whole top with an additional tablespoon or two of sugar. Return to oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, until biscuits are golden and not wet underneath and fruit is bubbly. Serve warm, ideally with ice cream :)
Biscuit recipe adapted from Canadian Living, fruit mixture is my own.