Fierce Foodie: Nothing’s Perfect So Let’s Have Cobbler
a blogumn by Roya Hamadani
I love looking at photographs of big, beautiful layer cakes enrobed in marzipan and fashioned to look like pill box hats, Kelly purses or ribbon covered presents. They represent an ideal of human achievement, something both seemingly unreachable and achingly beautiful, like space travel to another galaxy.
Once in my youthful naïveté I tried to make marzipan at home. I wanted to decorate my best friend’s birthday carrot cake with tiny bunnies hopping about in a vegetable garden. I bought a bag of almonds and tried to grind them up and combine them with superfine sugar and egg whites. Oh, the agony, and the mess. What I created was a strangely hard substance that looked like gravel clumped with glue.
This is why I love cobbler. Cobbler is something I can make at home and it’s supposed to look messy. You cover it with vanilla ice cream and voila! It’s the dessert equivalent to a date with a guy who looks like Jude Law and who thinks you’re gorgeous and sexy and smart, but who just so happens to cohabitate with a woman with whom he has an on and off open relationship. It’s called reality. It’s not perfect; just eat it.
(adapted from Everyday with Rachel Ray)
24 oz frozen berries
1/3 cup plus 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 and 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1and 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter an 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking dish.
Mix the berries with 1/3 cup of the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the flour. Spoon into the baking dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 and 1/2 cups of flour and 3 tablespoons of sugar with the baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or 2 knives until it resembles coarse meal. Add the milk and vanilla and stir with a fork to form a wet, sticky dough. Drop rounded teaspoons of the dough over the top of the blueberries to cover them. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar on top of the cobbler and place the baking dish on the middle rack of the oven. (Place aluminum foil on the rack directly below the cobbler to catch any juices that might spill over.) Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown and the fruit filling is bubbling up through the crust.
Let the cobbler cool for at least 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.