I'm not, in all honesty, the hugest of sweet freaks, but David Lebovitz does an excellent job of persuading me otherwise. Lebovitz, who spent twelve years at Chez Panisse, and has authored a slew of critically lauded cookbooks, now lives in Paris, and his blog is full of charming, anecdotal food porn.
Amidst an array of exotic and refined recipes, this berry cobbler jumped out at me. Cobbler is pie for lazy people. And it is delicious. And really hard to mess up.
This one has a biscuity topping, but if that seems like too much work, replace it with a sprinkle of oat flakes and plenty of brown sugar.
For the fruit:
5 cups berries (any combination of raspberries, blackberries, sliced strawberries, blueberries, boysenberries or olallieberries)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
optional: a splash of kirsch or lemon juice
For the cobbler dough:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, chilled
1 cup buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a 10- to 12-inch glass pie plate (or 2 quart baking dish), mix together the berries, sugar, flour and the kirsch or lemon juice, if using.
3. Bake the berries in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring once during baking.
4. After 30 minutes, remove the berries from the oven and make the biscuits.
5. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and sugar. Cut the butter into the mixture either with a food processor, a mixer or by hand (Tip: Try using the large holes of a cheese grater-it works great!) The butter should be the size of corn kernels.
6. Stir in the buttermilk just until the dry mixture is thoroughly moistened. With a big soup spoon, drop six large mounds of the dough over the fruit in various places. Brush with egg wash, if desired.
7. Bake for 20 minutes.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
Note: One good thing about this cobbler is that you can taste the cooked berries for sweetness before adding the biscuits and you can mix in a sprinkle more sugar if the berries need it.
[Image via NPR]