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.