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.
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.