Monday, July 16, 2012

Just Desserts

Strawberry and White Peach Buttermilk-Maple Cobbler
There are so many delicious ingredients in the title of this recipe . . . I'm not quite sure where to start. Summer entertaining is hands-down awesome! An evening outdoors with good friends and grilling is one of the greatest pleasures in life. The only thing that can make those moments sweeter is just the right dessert. Right now we're in a produce transition from my favorite early summer strawberries into stone fruits and (lucky for me) the local co-op is brimming with both. Strawberries or white peaches? Which to choose? Well, duh . . . both. Cobblers are a fun way to take advantage of delicious summer fruits with an even easier-than-pie pastry topping. I found maple sugar at Trader Joe's and had to try it. The unique flavor of this sweetener hit a memorable note on my taste buds. Try it! You're definitely in for a treat.

- 1 pt. fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced lengthwise
- 4 white peaches, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/4 c. honey
- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
- juice from 1 lemon
-  2 Tbsp. tapioca
- 2 Tbsp. corn starch
- 6 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into small peices
- About 1 c. buttermilk
- 2 c. flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 c. maple sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. large-grained sugar for sanding

In a medium bowl, combine strawberries, peaches, 1/2 c. sugar, honey, cinnamon, fresh ginger, lemon, tapioca, and corn starch. Stir gently to combine thoroughly and set aside. Allow mixture to rest for 15-20 minutes for the fruit to soften while preparing the biscuit topping. 

Preheat oven to 400˚F. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together egg with enough buttermilk to make about a cup of liquid. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour with baking powder, salt, and maple sugar. Place pieces of cold butter into the flour mixture and work in together with a pastry blender until a coarse mixture forms.

Slowly pour buttermilk mixture and vanilla into the flour mixture and work with a pastry blender until a lumpy batter forms. If it is too dry, add a few extra splashes of buttermilk. The batter should be rather thick and lumpy with a silky sheen to it.

After the berries and peaches have softened, pour mixture into a 9" baking dish. Spoon tablespoons of the buttermilk biscuit mixture evenly over the berries. Sprinkle the topping with large-grained sanding sugar. Bake cobbler in oven for 25-30 minutes on a foil-lined baking sheet until the berry juice begins to bubble and run out of the dish and the topping begins to brown. Serve with fresh whipped cream or your favorite gelato . . . great summer dessert!

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