I've lived my whole life in places where it snows in April. Long winters present a challenge to seasonal cooking, because for more than six months of the year, the available produce is a bit dodgy. I can't help feeling like that helps people appreciate it all the more, though, when spring produce makes an appearance. What a revelation it always is to see ripe, full-size, truly fresh fruit and vegetables for the first time since last summer. I think the absence of it all winter makes it taste sweeter.
This week, I found the most beautiful plums and plump blackberries, and I knew just what to do with them. Plums and blackberries lend themselves beautifully to rustic desserts, where their texture and flavor can take center stage.
This cobbler is of the cakey, rather than the crumbly variety, so as not to compete with the fruit's texture. It is just sweet enough to enhance the plums and blackberries, without masking their wonderful taste. Use the freshest fruit you can for this dessert, as its flavor will be the strongest.
- 1/4 c. unsalted butter
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- 3/4 c. + 2 T. granulated sugar
- 2 T. + 1 T. packed brown sugar
- 2 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. kosher salt
- 3/4 c. whole milk
- 1 t. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine 2 T. granulated sugar, 1 T. brown sugar and 1/2 t. cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
Wash and gently dry fruit. Cut plums in half and remove pits. Slice each half plum into thin wedges, about 1/4" thick at their widest point. Place plum slices and blackberries in a medium bowl and gently toss with sugar and cinnamon mixture. You may not use it all. Set sugared fruit aside.
Cut butter into pats and place in a 10" tart pan or a 9" square baking dish. Place in oven until butter is completely melted.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together flour, 3/4 c. granulated sugar, 2 T. brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in whole milk until it is completely mixed. Add vanilla and stir just until combined.
Carefully remove hot pan from oven. Swirl melted butter around to be sure it is evenly distributed. Pour batter over melted butter. Do not mix batter and butter together. Distribute sugared fruit over the top of batter, trying to cover the surface evenly.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until puffed, golden around the edges, and completely set in the middle. Set on a wire rack to cool for 10-15 minutes. Cobbler will deflate a little as it cools. Scoop it into a bowl while it's still warm, and top with sweetened freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.