It is actually the first time I try my hands at this dessert, which is quite easy to make, its main requirement being (in my opinion) starting with good quality fruit. The inspiration to explore cobbler-making came from two things: ripe, dark orange apriums (apricot and plum hybrids, with apricot dominating1) at our local Co-op, and a recipe for apricot cobbler from Gourmet magazine that seemed just about right, once I made a couple of adjustments to it:
- I used 3 tablespoons of sugar, instead of 7 (if the fruit is ripe, not much sugar is needed)
- I substituted 1/4 of the regular flour with the same amount of whole-wheat pastry flour
- I sprinkled only one teaspoon of sugar over the surface of the cobbler before putting it in the oven, instead of two.
I am embarrassed to say that, even though I produced three specimens of aprium cobbler in less than two weeks, all greeted favorably by the audience around the table, I failed miserably in the documentation phase, and therefore have no photos to support my claim of success.
For my fourth try, I decided to use fragole, because 'tis their season and it is hard not to get inspired by them. For the strawberry version, I made the following adjustments to the recipe I used for the aprium version:
- one tablespoon of corn starch instead of flour with the berries (for no particular reason),
- vanilla extract instead of almond extract, because I thought it would go better with the strawberry flavor
- a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar instead of the lemon juice, because I have been using balsamic vinegar to season strawberries a lot this season, and in any case I was out of lemons.
This time, I made sure to take a photo, which turned out to be a lot less successful than its subject, partly because of light issues. Cobbler and gelato make a happy couple and it is fun to test different combinations. For the strawberry cobbler, I'd suggest vaniglia or cioccolato. I suspect that anice stellato also works well: I will confirm this suspicion as soon as I gather the necessary data.
1 Addendum about apriums (and pluots):
Pluot® & Aprium® are "interspecifics" - complex hybrids of plum and apricot. Pluot® has predominantly plum parentage and smooth skin like plums, Aprium®, with very little fuzz, resembles apricots in the expression of its 'cot parentage.
And another page from the same site that has additional information on the different varieties.
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the cobbler di fragole audio file [mp3].
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