Fruit cobbler is to me the essence of summer. There is nothing better than really ripe fruit, a bit of sugar and butter in a satisfying crust. It’s that simple. I have yet to meet a person who can refuse a dish of peach and blueberry cobbler in July.
For those of you who find home-made pie crust a challenge, get familiar with cobbler. Cobbler dough is free form and very forgiving. If it breaks, fine. If the top refuses to form a perfect lattice, no problem. If the flakiness is less than ideal, so what! In fact, you will find cobbler crust-making to be so easy, you will not even think about purchasing a pre-made crust at the store. And the ooh’s and aah’s you will hear from your diners will rival those induced by any pie.
You can serve warm or at room temp; it’s a great bring-along for barbecues or backyard parties. Serve with ice cream if you wish to gild the lily.
- 2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 7 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
- 3/8 cup solid vegetable shortening, frozen
- 7 1/2 tablespoons ice water
- 5 very large ripe peaches, skinned and pitted
- 1 pint blueberries (blackberries would be good, too)
- 3/8 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into bits
- 1 tbl of cornstarch
- Sanding sugar for top of crust
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a deep 7 x 9-inch ovenproof dish. A deep 8" round is fine, too.
Put flour and salt in a food processor. Add the frozen butter and shortening. Process until mixture is the size of small peas. Add the ice water and process until mixture begins to come together in a ball. Remove from the food processor and roll into a ball. Flatten between two sheets of wax paper and place in refrigerator for about an hour. Meanwhile, peel, pit, and cut the peaches into thick slices. Mix together with the blueberries (cleaned if necessary), 2 tbl of the white sugar and the cornstarch.
To assemble, roll the dough into a large, rectangle on a floured surface. Using the roll-up, foldover, or carefully-carry technique, place the dough over the baking dish, smooshing it to the bottom and sides and allowing any extra dough to hang over sides. Add the fruit mixture into the dish. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and dot with the butter pieces. Flop the loose ends of the pastry over the top. Sprinke the top with a tablespoon or so of the sanding sugar.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is golden. Allow to cool to room temperature. If you can.