Apricot Blueberry Cobbler

The other night I blew up a pyrex in my kitchen. I realize now I shouldn’t put my trust in a brand name that has been around forever, claiming you can transfer your bakeware from freezer to oven and such. I could trust something made in the 1920’s but not recently. They changed the glass product from borosilicate glass to soda-lime glass which can’t handle the swing in temperatures and results in a shatter. I lost some good pastry cream and spent way too much time cleaning little glass shards out of my kitchen. Note to bakers: don’t use pyrex on the stovetop (and definitely use caution in the oven with change in temperature). This little disaster put a bit of a hold on my baking for a while. I remade my pastry cream and finished a birthday tart for my office, but since then, I haven’t been baking much. sigh.

Kitchen disaster behind, I decided to use some new ramekins to make individual apricot blueberry cobblers. Sugar Dough was the monthly recipe for June over at the Easy Bake cOven  and since I had some very ripe fruits in my fridge, I put together this incredibly simple dessert.

I think most people are more familiar with cobbler that has a fruit filling and a sugar dough topping. Sugar dough may range from a biscuity dough to a thick crumble, and even hunks of bread. The sugar dough recipe we used came from the restaurant stove in Portsmouth, Virginia. I was reading a blog post the other day and someone said they were skeptical of restaurants who published their recipes. Would they leave something out? Why would they reveal their secrets to ordinary people? Well, I can’t tell you the answers to these questions, but I’m glad that some restaurants are confident enough to do it. I have a feeling knowing Stove’s recipe will not keep Sarah & Eric from going back! Thanks for picking this recipe, it was fantastic!

Mini Fruit Cobbler 
you can use any stone fruit or fruits that won’t obliterate when cooked

for one 10 oz ramekin:
slice 3 small fruits into a buttered ramekin
add 2 tablespoons blueberries
break up 1 scant tablespoon of butter and distribute evenly
sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the top
top with sugar dough and press lightly into the fruit (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup)
set ramekins on a baking sheet
bake for 20-25 minutes at 350˚F or until the fruit is bubbly

Stove’s Sugar Dough
This is not a dough for rolling, you have to pat this dough out into the pan your using for dessert. It’s rich and wonderful and can also be made into a short bread as well. I have even used it for bottoms of pans mixed with pecans and then a cake batter over that for a crunch factor. Just don’t over mix it or you will have some good rubber dough

1 cup white sugar, baker’s sugar if you can find it
1lb unsalted double A butter
6 cups of all purpose flour, (unbleached and without chemicals if possible, King Arthur is good stuff and easy to find)

In the bowl of a 4 to 6qt. mixer cream the sugar and butter until light and somewhat fluffy. Stop the machine, scrape down sides and add all at once 6 cups of flour, raise the bowl and on the lowest speed blend the dough until it pulls together. If it’s winter and your environment isn’t warm you may need to spray from a mister water a little at a time till the dough starts to combine. Pinch a bit of dough to see if it will hold together, if so it’s ready for use. 

this dough stores in the refrigerator for a week or so. It also makes a ton, so feel free to half the recipe.

An Old-Timey Dessert

I love Apple Crisp. It is so simple to make and leaves you very satisfied. It is one of the desserts my mom used to make a lot growing up. Anytime we had an abundance of Johnathan apples (still my favorite) she’d make a crisp. She also didn’t use a recipe which is quite interesting and something I haven’t attempted… everything based on consistency.
I decided an apple crisp would be a wonderful accompaniment to a hearty meal of potato soup and salad. The combination of warm baked apples topped with vanilla ice cream is divine. If you’re looking for a cheap quick dessert to feed a group I recommend something like this. Next time I make one I’ll probably do something based on the original recipe but with the addition of some interesting fruits (like blueberries or plumped dates).
Apple Crisp
Altered from From the Earth to the Table

6-8 C baking apples peeled cored and sliced
1 1/2 C brown sugar
1 1/2 C oats
3/4 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
3/4 C butter

Preheat the oven to 375˚. Butter a 9×12 baking pan (glass or enamel) and fill with apples. Sprinkle some cinnamon to taste and toss to coat. In a small bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Cut the butter into slices and toss with the sugar mix. Mix in the zest. Quickly cut in the butter leaving large chunks with the consistency of large peas. Evenly spread the mix over the apples. Bake for 35 minutes or until the crust is browned and the apples are bubbly. Cool 10 minutes and serve with a dollop of ice cream.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

We received some rhubarb in our CSA box along with some strawberries (they must have wanted me to make this dessert) and I really don’t know of any other good use for rhubarb. I’m sure there are some, but baked with strawberries seems to be the best way to eat it. 

The crisp is actually a really quick and easy dessert to throw together. It is a double crisp with walnut ginger crumb and basic strawberry sauce that you spread over chopped rhubarb. I omitted the candied ginger in the crumb topping because I just don’t care for it – and I added a little more powdered ginger to the strawberry sauce instead. The recipe also called for peeling the rhubarb and I consulted my San Francisco Farmers Market Guide for reasoning. They said you didn’t have to, and that if you peeled the red stalks they would loose color. I left them as little 1/2″ hunks and only tore off the skin if it didn’t cut well (only a few pieces). Since it is a double crisp, you add half the topping to the bottom of the pan to form a crust (not up the sides though) and scatter the rhubarb across it and top with the strawberry mix. Then you sprinkle the crumb topping on and bake for about an hour. It really smells lovely while baking. 

It turned out really well. I actually have never cooked with Rhubarb, but welcome it in my next CSA box! I’ll have to try something new. Serve it warm with some vanilla ice cream and you are in for a fantastic treat. As you may have noticed in my last post, I have been experimenting with different serving pieces and decided the martini glass was fitting for this one. Now I regret never using the Rhubarb that grew in my backyard as a kid – Mom what were you thinking! haha.