Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Old Fashion Cherry Cobbler

Cobblers, Buckles, Grunts, Crisps, Slumps, Pandowdy's, and Brown Betty's are all variations of using seasonal fruit and adding a biscuit, dumpling or crumb topping.  My mother made these as a quick dessert, but we never felt like we were being cheated out of anything more elaborate!  These desserts are based on taste not fancy pastry preparation.

One of the differences between cobblers, slumps and grunts is that the latter two are cooked on the top of the stove with a dumping topping, but cobblers are baked.   I have fond memories of cobblers, so making a cherry cobbler yesterday came to mind.  These warm desserts, served with vanilla ice cream or when we didn't have any, fresh heavy cream, whipped up are definitely my favorite.

I used canned tart red cherries because fresh cherries are not quite in season here--although in the Pacific Northwest, I could get fresh cherries in early Spring.  And, just like my mom, I cooked my cobbler in my cast-iron skillet she gave me as a wedding present.  It was one of two presents she gave me as "essentials" in the kitchen; the other was a large wooden bowl for making bread.  Both of these gifts are precious to me and almost 48 years old, but used with love and cherished memories.

Cherry Cobbler
4 cans (14.5 oz) Tart Red Cherries in water, drained with 2 cups of liquid reserved
2/3 cups granulated sugar
4 T cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups Kind Arthur all-purpose flour
5 T granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cups buttermilk
4 T unsalted butter, melted

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling on the top of the biscuits

Preheat oven to 400F-degrees.

To make the filling--In a 4 cup glass measure, with 2 cups of cherry liquid in it, whisk in the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract, spices and salt.  Transfer this mixture to a 12-inch cast-iron skillet and bring to simmer over medium-high heat.  Cook, whisking frequently until thickened slightly, 5 to 7 minutes.  Turn off heat and add the cherries.

Meanwhile, make the Topping:  In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, granulated sugar, and baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Stir in buttermilk and melted butter and stir just until combined.  This is a "shaggy" dough.
I used a 1/4-cup scoop to measure my biscuits and place them on top of the cherry mixture. Leave spaces between the "biscuits" because they will rise and spread.
Sprinkle the biscuits with Turbinado Sugar.

Place cast-iron skillet on a baking sheet (in case of filling spills!) and place in the preheated oven.  Bake 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 375F-degrees and continue baking 10-15 minutes longer.  The biscuits will be brown and the filling is bubbly when done.
Let cool slightly, then spoon filling and two biscuits per person on a plate.  Add rich vanilla ice cream and you have a memorable dessert.  Enjoy!


  1. Cobblers are also one of my favorite things to bake. It is the first thing I make when our blueberries are ripe.

    1. I love peach also, but blueberry is good too!

  2. Haven't had or made a cobbler in ages! This looks yummilicious!

  3. Cobblers are so delicious. I've made peach before but never with cherries. This one would be yummy!

  4. Such old fashioned homemade goodness! I love it!

  5. I had to print this out and would love to serve it to my family in Missouri - moving very soon!

  6. Wow, dear Susan, what a beautiful treat! Your cast iron skillet is a treasure. I have my Mama's and wouldn't trade it for all the tea in China. Have a great afternoon. xoxo ♥

  7. It looks delicious!! Question - does one always use tart cherries for pies, cobblers, etc? I've found a few recipes recently that look good but don't specify the type of cherry, neither tart nor sweet. What's the rule?

    1. No, but adjust the sugar amount if you use sweet cherries. My mother always said, "taste the fruit you're baking with!"

  8. Oh Susan...this is my ALL time favorite! Cannot wait to make this...thank you love!

  9. Susan!!! mmmmmmm! this sounds yummy. this is a recipe for me. thanks for sharing.
    stamping sue

  10. Yum! I have some frozen cherries and this would be a real treat!