Monday, June 22, 2015

Cherry-Raspberry Cobbler

I'm calling this cobbler recipe rustic because it involves a cherished pie crust recipe from one of my mom's old cookbooks. And as you can see, I am not even close to an expert pie maker, but combine this pie crust with cherries, raspberries and rhubarb and what you've got is one mouth-watering dessert, you'll want to make again and again.

If you use high quality pie cherries, like North Star from Grouse Mountain Farm, use less sugar. When you're ready to enjoy some, give yourself the time to linger over the delicious flavors of the season.  Each seasonal fruit goes by fast, so slow down and enjoy each one.

We've got our own crop of raspberries again this year, a bumper crop really, but I'm not sure about allowing my Cooking Assistant free reign around the raspberries. We could end up with a lot less for summer desserts.

Taking bets on how long he'd last if left alone with these berries.

Sometimes I wonder is there any food this dog doesn't like?  He's a big fan of raspberries, that's for sure.

Pitting them is mess, no way around it, you have to wear an apron or get cherry stained.

Another pie cherry fan.  I've loved them ever since I can remember and in those days I'd only sampled canned cherries.  The fresh are out of this world.

Rhubarb, not surprisingly, pairs well with most summer fruits.  It wouldn't be suitable to share with your pooch though because the rhubarb is on the canine don't eat list.

That doesn't stop my Cooking Assistant.  He has a relentless passion for anything edible.

Cherry-Rhubarb-Raspberry Cobbler
(Serves 4)
This cobbler is made with a pie crust topping and you can always opt for a frozen version, but sometimes it’s fun to make your own.  I always go back to one of Mom’s  favorite cookbooks--Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (1951).  Pies, it seems, never go out of style. While my grandmotehr used lard, this recipe uses shortening and I used a vegan shortening.For this recipe, it’s best to start the crust first because the dough needs to be chilled before rolling it out. I came up with these three fruits that go together nicely.  If you don’t have one, make your own substitutions.

1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
4 to 5 tablespoons very cold water
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped lemon zest
2 cups pitted pie cherries
2 cups thinly sliced rhubarb
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
2 cups raspberries

1. Prepare crust by sifting flour and salt together.  Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until pieces are the size of small peas.  Add the cold water by teaspoons, tossing with a fork until all the flour-coated bits of fat are covers. Stop!

2. Gather the dough into a compact ball then turn onto a waxed piece of paper and flatten with your hand.  Chill the disc for an hour for easier handling.

3. Preheat oven to 350F.

4. Combine cornstarch, lemon juice and zest in a small bowl and mix well.  Place cherries, rhubarb and sugar in a saucepan on medium-low heat.  Blend in the cornstarch-lemon mixture and stir. Cook and stir until a sauce forms.  It will be opaque at first and when it turns closer to clear but not quite clear, remove from heat.  Pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Stir in the raspberries.

5. Roll chilled pastry dough 1/8-inch thick, rolling lightly from the center to outer edges.  Gently lift and place over the fruit.  Crimp the edges and make a few slashes in the top of the dough with a knife.  You can lightly butter the top and add a few dashes of cinnamon sugar if you want before baking.

6. Bake for 35 minutes or until lightly browned on top and bubbling inside.  Let cool for 10 minutes before serving with coconut sorbet.