Recently in Cobblers, Crisps, Slumps and Brown Bettys
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

peach, apricot, and blueberry cobbler

peach, apricot, and blueberry cobbler

Should you find yourself in a precarious situation with too many peaches (a common occurrence in this household where we love summer produce), you must, at once, head over to the kitchen and make cobbler. It’s really an unwritten rule of summer. Make a note, don’t forget it. You can thank me later.

Cobblers are delicious, but beyond that, they are forgiving – they look better imperfect, slightly scraggly. Summertime pie crusts, though I love them beyond words, can be a bit finicky. They love the cold, but summers here tend to be hot, sticky – an enemy of cold-loving crusts. Even though I have pretty much gotten my summer pie production under control, there are times when you don’t have the hours to chill the crust before rolling it out. Sometimes, you up and decide you want to make dessert and there is fruit that needs to be rescued. So on days when I don’t have a pie crust hanging out in the fridge, or if I have simply forgotten to take the crust out of the freezer, cobblers are a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Continue reading peach, apricot, and blueberry cobbler.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

apple cobbler

apple cobbler

The very first time Andrew and I had dinner, we were, technically on a non-date. He had just moved to the city and it never occurred to me that our getting together was anything more than a new person looking for a familiar face to break bread with. I remembered how it was for me to move to New York – I didn’t know a soul, save for my roommate who pulled investment banking hours and spent her remaining free time with her boyfriend. It was lonely, stressful and overwhelming. I thought perhaps he might be going through the same thing and wanted to see a familiar face.

granny smiths

I, on the other hand, had other ideas. While I didn’t want to project an obligatory date, fearing rejection and embarrassment, I picked what I thought to be the perfect restaurant for a nice dinner that was relaxed enough to be construed as casual, but suggested subtle date-like hints. Braeburn was that restaurant – it had everything I wanted: lovely, thoughtful and comforting food; gracious and knowledgeable staff who knew the difference between attentive and overbearing; a room large enough for a few tables, but small enough for a quiet conversation; and a cozy, welcoming, and warm ambiance. Braeburn has and continues to strike me as a place that wants you to feel more like you’re in someone’s home than a formal restaurant, and I mean that in the best possible way.

lots of peels

Continue reading apple cobbler.

Monday, September 13, 2010

blueberry cobbler

blueberry cobbler

Fall is decidedly making its entrance with cooler and darker mornings and evenings, and is further marked by the disappearance of berries from the farmers market. I realized something was off season-wise, when I asked for hot coffee the other day instead of iced. And I actually wore a sweater coat out to dinner the other night and still was cold! That could also be the fact that I happen to be a girl a girl and get cold very easily. Or maybe it is actually getting chilly. Anyone else reaching for an extra layer when they go out?

flour, butter.... infinite possibilities

And yet I’m in my perpetual never-happy-with-whatever-season-I’ve-been-given mode. Spring is gone? But what am I to do with half a dozen strawberry recipes I want to try? Summer closing in on us? But! But! Wait! There are still tomato recipes sitting untouched on my desk, watermelon sorbet promised and forgotten about, and cobbler – Andrew’s favorite dessert, that I’ve been meaning to make all summer and yet until now, have failed to deliver. How does one forget to make her boyfriend’s favorite dessert? Shouldn’t courtship ensure that such thing are moved to the top of the priority list?

crumbly coming together
clump rolling out the dough - no mess!

Alas, blueberries are no longer at my farm-stand. But clever girl that I am, I froze a few pints and kept them for those moments when blueberries are called for (like pancakes), but are no longer in season. Frozen blueberries store remarkably well, given that it’s a hearty berry with thickish skin. There are still a few bags of these gems sitting around and awaiting their fate.

Last weekend, when we were blissfully lazy, soaking up the last few days of summer and making good use of the long weekend, I suddenly remembered my promise to Andrew that I would make blueberry cobbler. It was sort of a last-minute memory, but one that decided that evening’s dessert. [Did I mention that this household respects its dessert?] Cobblers are forgiving, quick, messy desserts. They’re rustic, unpretentious, messy, unfussy. They are in my preferred family of desserts where their beauty lies in their imperfections. A little drip on the side of the pie dish. A crumb or two on the plate. A messy piece heaped onto a plate and topped with a scoop of ice cream that immediately begins to melt to bleed into the blueberry filling, spreading itself out into a creamy blue rivulet on your plate. I could eat that mess every day.

sugary blueberries blueberry cobbler
blueberry cobbler

And since I’ve a few bags of frozen summer berries in my freezer, come winter there’ll be a cobbler or two served around here. It’ll be decidedly out of season, but much like a tropical vacation mid-winter can seemingly shorten the winter season and cure the snowy blues, so shall blueberry cobbler – reminding us of summer, sun, picnics in the park, and the golden summer light that seems to go on forever.

blueberry cobbler
blueberry cobbler

Continue reading blueberry cobbler.