Summer is approaching and with it, we will soon see cherries, cherries everywhere! What to do with all that abundance? Make cobbler, of course!
Fruit cobbler is an easy way to deal with excess summer bounty, but if you’re not careful, the topping can be a sad combination of soggy and heavy. This biscuit topping is light and tender enough to absorb any excess juices without getting soggy. Cutting the biscuits into small rounds allows plenty of space for the steam to rise and concentrates the fruit bottom, while the biscuits stay tender and crisp.Print
Cherry Biscuit Cobbler
Fruit cobbler is a time-honoured summer dessert but can veer toward dry and heavy. No fear with this biscuit topping—it’s light and tender enough to sop up any excess juices without getting soggy. A winner all around! Delicious served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
For the biscuit top
- 240 g or 2 c all-purpose flour
- 50 g or ¼ c granulated sugar
- 12 g or 1 tbsp baking powder
- 4 g or 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest (from about ½ of a large lemon)
- 6 g or 1 tsp kosher salt
- 127 g or 4 oz unsalted butter, chilled, cut into pieces
- 300 g or 1 1/3 c heavy cream, chilled
For the filling
- 900 g or 2 lb sweet cherries, pitted (fresh or frozen)
- 100 g or ½ c granulated sugar
- 62 g or ¼ c fresh lemon juice (from about 2 large lemons). TIP: zap the lemons in the microwave for 15 seconds before squeezing to maximise the juice
- 22 g or 3 tbsp cornstarch or ClearJel*
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 50 g or 1½ oz unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 30 g or 2 tbsp raw sugar
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and salt until combined (about 5 pulses). Add the cubes of chilled butter and toss gently to coat. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut the butter into the flour until the largest pieces are about the size of a pea.
- Gradually drizzle the cream over the flour mixture, constantly tossing with a fork to distribute the liquid. Using a flexible bench scraper or a stiff plastic spatula, fold the dough over and onto itself several times, scraping the bottom and sides as you go. The dough will be quite wet and sticky.
- Generously flour a work surface and tip the dough out onto it. Flour your hands and shape the dough into a rectangle or square approximately ¾”-thick. Use a bench scraper or spatula to lift the dough and flour underneath as needed to prevent sticking.
- Cut the dough into four equally sized pieces. Dust the surface with more flour, then stack the four pieces atop each other. Flast the stack using a rolling pin, then roll it into a rectangle about ½” thick—dust with more flour as needed.
- Line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Using a 1 ½” or 2” round cutter, cut out the biscuits as closely as possible; dip the cutter in flour as needed. Transfer the biscuits to the prepared baking sheet as you go. Gather up the scraps, reroll, and repeat. You should have about 40 biscuits. Chill until ready to use.
- Arrange a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 400°F.
- In a large bowl, combine the cherries, granulated sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch or ClearJel, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Transfer the filling into a 2-qt baking dish, four small fluted pie dishes or one 9″-diameter cake pan (2” deep). Press down firmly on the filling to compact it.
- Arrange the chilled biscuits over the filling, fitting them snugly with only a few gaps. Brush generously with the melted butter and sprinkle with the raw sugar. Transfer to the now-empty, parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° and continue baking until the biscuits are golden brown and the juices are bubbling (50–65 minutes more for the larger containers, 40–50 minutes for the smaller).
- Let cool slightly before serving, topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
*Available from King Arthur Bakery
This recipe works beautifully for most summer berries and stone fruits. Adjust the sugar as needed for the tartness of the fruit.
Adapted from Claire Shaffiz, Bon Appetit.