Friday, June 6, 2014

Almond Cherry Cobbler

I'm in heaven.... or at least my nose is. Just a minute ago I was standing over a big glass pan steaming with cobbler from the oven, still baking itself off and turning golden brown in spots right before my eyes, and breathing in that wonderful scent, heavy with butter, almonds, vanilla, cinnamon and a slight tangy whiff of cherry. The air is delicious in here and since I'm in such a great mood, I thought I'd share the recipe.

Giving credit where credit is due, I found this on AllRecipes and as usual, I skimmed through the most helpful reviews. That's my favorite place to find tweaks worth considering. I followed Chef Jayne's idea of using more cherries and adding the cinnamon and vanilla into the original recipe. And I also bought some slivered raw almonds because they pair so nicely with cherries. Any excuse to add a bit of almond, right? I should also mention that the batter makes something very much like a pancakey-sort of cobbler, so expect that sort of a texture, less of a cakey or crumbly one.

So, while this Almond Cherry Cobbler is cooling, I'll share the recipe:

You'll need:
1/2 cup butter

1 cup flour
3/4 cup white or turbinado sugar
 1 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

3-4 cups pitted cherries
3/4 cups sugar (less if cherries are sweeter, full amount for sour cherries)
1 Tblsp flour
1 Tblsp kirsch or brandy

Handful or so raw sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter in a glass 9x13 pan, and melt in oven, about five minutes.
Remove when melted.

In a bowl, stir together dry ingredients for the batter: flour, sugar and baking powder, then mix in the milk, vanilla and cinnamon and stir until batter is smooth. You are now going to pour this batter into the baking pan, over the butter.

 Please note: Do not pour in the batter until the butter has cooled a bit, or it will start cooking the batter as it's poured in. If this does happen, very gently use a spatula to draw the batter toward the edges of the pan-- it's not going to get there by itself. Trust me on this one.

You can use the same bowl again, just give it a rinse and it's time to get your cherries ready. Put them in the bowl, toss to coat with the sugar, flour, and brandy, and then spoon them onto the batter. You won't want to just pour it on; part of the charm of this dish is the cherries peeking out from the depressions in the pastry, so no stirring them together.

Last, take out your raw almonds and gently scatter them according to your taste. I like a lot, I'm also now wondering how to make a marzipan to marble through the cobbler. Wouldn't that be something?

Cook in the oven for about 50-60 minutes and test with a toothpick; when it draws out clean from the pastry, it's done. Enjoy!

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