Cherry Cobbler

Cherry Cobbler Recipe

I've taken to walking around town staring at my feet - or more specifically, the ground a short distance in front of my feet. This is my way of searching for fruit. The first time I saw a bright red cherry alone in an alley gutter, I stood over it and thought to myself - hmmm, someone lost some fruit when they got out of their car. Then I looked up, and saw an entire tree full of cherries. Now I look for fruit on the ground, and then turn my sights skyward - it's a pretty good system. The fruit I used in today's cherry cobbler recipe was gathered just a short walk from my house, and as you all know I live nowhere near any farms or orchards.

Cherry Cobbler Recipe

In just the past few weeks I've stumbled on blackberries, blueberries, plums, cherries, figs, lemons and limes. All growing wild, all within walking distance of my front door - ten minutes or less. I convinced Wayne to come with me the other morning to gather cherries - or what we thought were cherries. I brought along a broomstick and a bowl and you can see what we were able to harvest. There are dozens of trees nearby producing fruit, and I think they are a mix of tiny sweet plums and a medley of different cherries. Most of the blackberries are still green, but I suspect they'll come around in the next week or two.

Cherry Cobbler Recipe

Using my free fruit as inspiration, I did a remix of the buttermilk cake we liked so much, essentially just turning things upside down, creating a cobbler.

Cherry Cobbler Recipe

Fruit on the bottom, sweet buttermilk dumplings crowning the top. The thing I like least about this whole process is the pitting of the fruit, I have no patience for it - particularly with the tiny plums. They taste lovely, but I've decided berries, or most cherries are much easier to deal with. Feel free to use whatever juicy, ripe fruit you like here.

Cherry Cobbler Recipe

This cobbler is juicy, so you need to bake it in a proper baking dish or pan. I like the looks of my tart pans, but many have removable bottoms - to keep them from leaking I line them with foil or parchment paper. Also, as we all know fruit can be all over the board when it comes to sweetness - you may not need as much sugar, you may need more. Sweeten the cherries (or other fruit) to your tastes.

2 1/2 cups sweet cherries, pitted
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup fine-grain natural cane sugar

1 1/4 whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup fine-grain natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
1/4+ teaspoon salt
1/4-1/2 cup toasted nuts (optional)
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled a bit

Preheat oven to 425F degrees, racks in the top third. Butter a 9 - 10-inch round tart pan (or equivalent).

In a small bowl gently toss the cherries with the cornstarch and sugar. Set aside.

To make the cobbler topping, combine the flour, baking powder, and sugar, salt, and nuts in a large bowl. In another separate, smaller bowl whisk together the egg and the buttermilk, whisk in the butter. Fold the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until it's barely combined.

Pour the fruit into the prepared pan. Now top the cherries with the buttermilk dough by dropping dollops into the pan a scant tablespoon each - not too big of they won't cook throughout. I thwap the tart pan against the counter a couple times to flatten out the dumplings a bit. Push the batter around and out to the edges with your fingers if you need to - I like a lot of coverage with a few windows and cracks for the cherries to peep through and the juices to bubble up.

Bake for 15 -20 minutes or until the top is golden and cooked through.

Serves about 8.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • Yum! I've heard of guerrilla gardeners, but not so many guerrilla gatherers!

    Kitt
  • Tis the season for cobblers all right. What a wonderful inspiration to find free fruit lurking. Sadly there's nothing like that within walking distance of my chicago home...although I have been noticing grape leaves everywhere and thinking of some urban harvesting to make rolled grape leaves (armenian sarma), but that is another matter all together. Hooray for foraging.

    Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet
  • Fruit trees within ten minutes of your home?! So enviable.... The closest we have are bird berries and crab apples!

    Josephene Kealey
  • This looks great, and it's wonderful to be able to harvest all that free fruit!

    Fearless Kitchen
  • As someone who cannot (and does not) go ONE DAY without cherries when they're in season, I'm all over that cobbler - yum!!

    VeggieGirl
  • I have never pitted cherries before! This recipe looks great!

    ~C~
  • hi i have tried ur resipe it came up verry good

    satya
  • Fantastic. I love these old traditional recipes. A great way to celebrate summer fruit!

    aforkfulofspaghetti
  • Seeing these lovely plums, cherries, fresh fruit is so inspirational! and making a cobbler is the most wonderful, best way to bring out their lovely fresh juicy flavors out. I was going to make something similar this weekend, with plums perhaps. Though unfortunately they're not on my doorstep! Thanks for the lovely recipe and inspirational story/photos...:) Tal

    Tal
  • I grew up on a farm and we lived off the land and I am disturbed when I see perfectly good fruits landing on sidewalks. Such a waste. I commend you for rescuing those fruits! It reminds me of a group in Vancouver called 'guerrilla gardening' -- their mission is to plant fruits/veggies in open spaces and/or neglected lots. There's something nice about this concept -- even in urban areas fruits and veggies can be grown and openly shared.

    Allen
  • We have numerous fruit growing in my neighborhood (citrus, pomegranate, apples, plums, olives, figs, etc.) as well, much of which goes to waste. I think most people don't realize that it's food you can eat, because it isn't found in the grocery store. Glad you made mention of this subject. My friends and I recently gathered 9 pounds of blackberries growing by the river (a few minutes walk from our door) which were used in cobblers and the other 6 pounds will be used in a blackberry melomel. 9 pounds of delicious, juicy berries for free! I felt positively pastoral with my little berry basket on my arm and purple stains on my fingertips.

    Taryn
  • ....we call the gathering of fruit such as this...and some further "coaxing" of edibles in the neighborhood...."civic pruning".......

    vivian
  • I like the foot idea. At the U/Iowa, where I went to grad school, I came across two of my friends (from Canada) absolutely stunned at the fruit they saw outside one of our buildings. Apparently it was their first encounter outside of Canada of the Saskatoon berry (and my first encounter, period). For two weeks, while the fruit was in season, the grad student lounge was brimming with pies and cobblers that were sensational; sort of a citrus-y cherry. Your intro reminded me of that time.

    Ralph
  • Amazingly easy and delicious receipies. i must confess that i am totally addicted to your mails. i can't do without it. i just wait for it everyday so that i can impress everyone around me with my culinary art. ha ha ha i do let my good friends to know about your website and how they all can benefit from it. thanks a lot and pie i am going to try and i am sure it's going to be a wonderfull experience as ever.

    Shweta
  • If you don't have buttermilk - do this: For 1 cup buttermilk: 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup; Or 1 cup milk plus 1 3/4 tablespoons cream of tartar. I hear it is best to let those mixtures sit for a few minutes and then use. I'm sure real buttermilk is better, but I've used the vinegar method in other recipes with good results.

    citizenjane
  • Anne Gwynn, I've used plain yogurt mixed with some milk as a replacement for buttermilk, and it worked very well.

    Miranda
  • What is a good substitute for buttermilk? I'm a Peace Corps volunteer in a small town in Romania and I can't get it here.

    Anne Gwynn
  • I'd like to know your favorite apricot recipe, since that's what I've got covering my yard...some of which I'm sure to turn into this cobbler!!

    Rebecca
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