There are a lot of recipes for cobbler out there, and we've read and considered (and made) quite a few of them. But we keep coming back to a very basic family recipe that is almost no recipe at all. We promise you can't mess it up, and it's guaranteed delicious... I (Elizabeth) learned this method from my Mississippi grandmother, and to this day, I've never seen an actual recipe written down. The method for the topping goes like this: Combine equal parts flour and sugar, and add enough melted butter to make a dough.
I've made it with apples and pears in the winter and peaches and blackberries in the summer. I've made it in giant casserole pans and individual ramekins. It's impossible to screw up. And while there are people who claim you need a bottom crust, perhaps some cinnamon or baking soda, I think simple is better. If your fruit is ripe, you can't go wrong.
For the sake of the Kitchn, I actually measured the flour, sugar, and butter last week. Turns out, the measurements are still pretty easy to remember. As for the fruit, you need enough to have about two inches in the dish (in the one pictured, I used a combination of peaches and blueberries).
Easy, Foolproof Cobbler for Any Fruit
makes enough for a 9x9 baking dish
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus a bit more for sprinkling
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
fresh berries or fruit (peeled and cut into chunks)
Combine the flour and sugar. Add the butter, mixing as you go, until the mixture forms a soft dough. It can be slightly crumbly, but you want it to hold together when you squeeze it.
Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Put the fruit in the dish -- you will probably need about 4 cups of berries or chopped fruit. You want to create a thick layer that comes about two inches up the sides.
If the fruit is particularly tart, sprinkle with a light layer of sugar. If the fruit is soft and sweet, you don't need it.
Take the dough by the handful and pat it into disks that are about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick. Lay them on top of the fruit, continuing with the patties, until it is covered. Bake the cobbler at 350 degrees for about 45-50 minutes, until the crust is light golden brown. Let cool slightly, then serve with ice cream.
Note: In my family, we find cobbler is even better the next day, cold and firm from the fridge.
Related: Recipe: Rhubarb Lavender Crumble
(Images: Elizabeth Passarella)
(Originally published July 1, 2008)