Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Johnnycake Cobblers

Johnnycake Cobblers: Karen's Kitchen Stories

I'd never made cobbler before! I've always wanted to, but cobbler is something that is best served right after baking it, and I am not so good at dinner and dessert unless at least some of the courses can be made in advance. Too much of a high wire act when all I want to do is enjoy being with good friends and family.

I don't know why I waited so long. This recipe is so easy! I got home from work at 5:45, tossed the ingredients together, and this was ready for dessert. To serve this dessert for dinner guests, you can make the filling and mix the the biscuit ingredients except the milk in advance. Keep the biscuit mix in the fridge to keep the butter cold, and then add the milk just before assembling and baking the cobblers. How cool would it be to pull hot, fresh cobblers out of the oven and serve them to your guests?!

Johnnycake Cobblers: Karen's Kitchen Stories

Why the name johnnycake, you ask? I asked the same question. The name comes from johnnycake meal, which is a coarsely ground white corn meal, also called Rhode Island white corn meal. I couldn't find it locally (although I didn't try all that hard). Fortunately, yellow corn meal works just fine and is actually really pretty against the colorful fruit. They taste like a cross between biscuits and corn bread.

Johnnycake Cobblers: Karen's Kitchen Stories

I cut the original recipe in half, and used low fat milk instead of cream for the biscuits (mostly to avoid going to the store). I used both plums and nectarines for the filling, but any stone fruit or a mix of stone fruit and berries would work.

The biscuit dough is very wet, but don't be tempted to add more flour. It bakes into a beautiful crunchy biscuit that works beautifully with the fruit filling. Rustic and elegant at the same time.

Johnnycake Cobblers: Karen's Kitchen Stories

This week, the Tuesdays with Dorie group is baking two desserts from Baking with Julia. We could choose from either the Johnnycake Cobblers (p. 389) or the Raspberry Fig Crostata (p. 374). Check out the Tuesdays with Dorie website for links to everyone's posts. I always learn so much after I've tried a recipe and then get to see how everyone else fared.

This is 1/2 of the original recipe and makes two cobblers with four inch ramekins. I had a lot of extra biscuit dough left over, so you could probably adjust the proportions.

Johnnycake Cobblers


Ingredients

Filling

1 1/2 T unsalted butter
2 T sugar
4 large plums and 2 large nectarines, cut into pieces (about 3 cups of fruit pieces)

Biscuit Topping

3/4 C unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 C coarsely ground corn meal (white stone ground corn meal if you want to be totally authentic)
1 1/2 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 C plus 2 T milk or cream

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan or saucier over low heat.
  2. Add the sugar, raise the heat to medium, and stir until the sugar is melted.
  3. Add the fruit and cook on medium until softened.
  4. Raise the heat to medium high and cook the fruit, stirring often, until it reaches a pie filling consistency but still juicy. 
  5. Spoon the filling into two 4 inch ramekins.
  6. Place the ramekins on a foil lined baking sheet. 
  7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and place a rack in the middle of the oven. 
  8. Place the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to mix.
  9. Add the butter pieces and toss them with a spoon to coat them with the flours.
  10. Pulse a few times until you have the consistency of course polenta/grits.
  11. Pour the flour/butter mix into a bowl, add the milk/cream, and stir with a fork until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated. You will have a mixture with the consistency of oatmeal. 
  12. Spoon the batter over the filling. I had quite a bit left over. 
  13. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown on top. 
  14. Cool on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes. 
This dessert is best served warm, but can be kept at room temperature for a few hours. 

21 comments:

  1. I've made cobbler very few times, and they all look different. I love this bowl idea Karen, so the filling stays where it should! They look awfully tempting!

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    1. I love individual sized anything Paula. =)

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  2. Beautifully done, Karen! I have a feeling this will be the first of many cobblers :)

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  3. sounds like a delicious easy recipe. Will definitely have to try it out.
    I had a go with the crostata instead.

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    1. I went back and forth but didn't feel like hunting down figs.

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  4. these look lovely in their white ramekins! i cut back on the biscuit, too...i like a good amount of fruit to filling in mine.

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  5. Gorgeous photos. These were incredibly easy weren't they? I liked the corn meal topping, not so much the filling. Maybe if there was a little spice added, I would have.

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    1. My filling was really good, but maybe I cooked it down more. The recipe didn't say how long to cook the fruit. Mine was pretty flavorful.

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  6. The cobbler looks so nice in the ramekins. I didn't like this recipe so much. Loved the fruit part, just not the topping.

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    1. It's so interesting to see everyone's take on the recipe. Next time I will cut back on the topping but still use it. Mine was very corn bready flavored.

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  7. Love the filling oozing over the side of the ramekin. I can't imagine making any dessert on a work night - gold star for you!

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    Replies
    1. I am a little crazed Cher. I fought mightily with myself before just going for it!

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  8. These look amazing, I love the individual servings. I haven't made a cobbler before either I will have to give this one a go!

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  9. Your cobbler looks so elegant! And thanks for the tip about making parts in advance. I'm always looking for quick after work recipes, and you've given me another one. I also haven't made a cobbler before, but reading all the comments I'd really like to try this one.

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  10. It has been a pleasant première for me as well. Quick, easy and delicious.
    I made a big cobbler but the next time I'll go with individual servings: yours looks gorgeous!

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  11. Beautiful photography. Your pictures have such a lovely holiday flair to them with the use of the red back drop, it seems like Christmas in August. :-) Great job.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! It's actually an azalea plant in full bloom.

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  12. Replies
    1. Aren't they cute? I'm addicted to little dishes.

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I love comments and questions and read every one of them.