Cobbler season is coming—are you ready?

By Tiffany Stevens
March 16, 2020

The weather is warming up, and spring is in the air. Sure, many of us are (hopefully) inside right now, mitigating the spread of COVID-19. But that’s no reason we can’t obey the weather when it comes to our dessert plans. Instead of sitting with anxiety, the best way to mitigate the self-isolation spring blues is to dream of upcoming summer. And what better way to do that than to whip up a delicious, fruit-filled cobbler? 

If you have some fruit that needs using up (or if you have some frozen berries stashed away), then join us in making some cobbler comfort food. Once your cobbler is finished cooking, you can savor it as a simple reminder that good food can be found even in stressful times—especially if that food is topped with ice cream. 

Photo: Kelsey Hansen; Prop Styling: Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland; Food Styling: Robin Bashinsky

Step One: Choose Your Crust

Get the Recipes: Blackberry Cobbler with Almond-Ginger Biscuits, Berry Cobbler with Pecan Sandie Streusel, Ginger-Peach Shortbread Cobbler, Too Easy Cherry CobblerBisquick-Topped Blueberry Cobbler, Classic Blueberry Cobbler

Cobblers are usually defined as fruit-filled desserts topped by dumplings or dough—especially biscuit dough. But there’s nothing mandating that that biscuit dough has to be a Southern-style buttermilk biscuit (though, obviously, that’s a good route to go with). Feel free to flavor your biscuits with whatever spices you think might go best with your fruit, like almond or orange extract, cinnamon, or ginger. You can also make shortbread and stamp out rounds to top your cobbler, use pie dough as a topping, or you could just mix up some Bisquick and drop dollops across the top. For a super simple cobbler, you could use slices of bread, as seen in the Too Easy Cherry Cobbler. And, while we wouldn’t exactly call it a traditional cobbler (technically, it’s a crisp), you could always skip the dough altogether and go for a streusel, if you want a topping that’s a little lighter in carbs. 

Photo: Aaron Kirk; Prop Styling: Christina Daley; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Step Two: Choose Your Filling

Get the Recipes: Blackberry and Bourbon Cobbler, Blackberry Almond Cobbler, Pecan Peach Cobbler, Easy Strawberry Cobbler, Pecan Cobbler, Easy Apple Cobbler, Raspberry Cobbler, Plum Cobbler, Easy Blackberry Cobbler

As mentioned earlier, fruit is typically the primary filling for a good cobbler, especially spring and summer fruits and berries. Feel free to branch out from those choices, though, if you’d rather try a cobbler that’s a bit different. For example, there’s no reason not to make a cobbler with a pecan pie filling, and a generous portion of apple cobbler would especially be worth enjoying before the weather fully warms up. Blackberry, blueberry and peach cobblers are obviously classic flavors, but if you notice a new fruit in your produce section, it might be worth seeing how it tastes when it’s been given the cobbler treatment. 

Once you’ve picked out your filling, you’ll want to sprinkle your fruit with some sugar, salt, and flour to help it release juices and create a thick, pectin-filled sauce. A squeeze or two of lemon is also a tasty addition in this process, as the acid helps balance the sugary sweetness. Gently stir those ingredients together so that everything is well combined, and your filling is ready to spoon into your cooking vessel.

Photo: Stephen DeVries; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Step Three: Choose a Presentation Method

Get the Recipes: Mini Berry Cobblers, Patchwork Cobbler, Star Berry Cobblers, Classic Apple Cobbler Recipe

You’ve picked your biscuit style and decided on your fruit. Now it’s time to decide how you want your cobbler to look. This is simply a question of aesthetics and servings. Do you prefer a neat cobbler with a uniform, biscuit-y top? Or do you want to drop your biscuit dough in a pattern, with some fruit showing through? You can also experiment with presentation styles by making individual cobblers in ramekins or small pie tins. Cookie cutters can be used to shape the dough before it bakes; the star-adorned berry cobblers above, for example, show a fun variation on the traditional cobbler that would be perfect for special occasions.

Step Four: Cook Your Cobbler

Jen Causey; Prop Styling: Christina Daley; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

How to Make Cobbler In the Oven

Get the Recipes: TennTucky Blackberry Cobbler, Tamarind Peach Cobbler

Baking your cobbler in the oven is probably the easiest and most common method for getting this delicious dessert onto your plate. Most cobblers will bake fine at 350° F for an hour, but if you’re worried about the biscuits getting too brown, check the dish about 30 or 40 minutes through and decide if you’d like to tent it with aluminum foil until the last few minutes.

Victor Protasio

How to Make Stovetop Cobbler

Get the Recipes: Skillet Peach Cobbler, Ginger-Plum Slump

If we want to get into semantics, a cobbler cooked on the stove is a slump. Whatever you want to call it, though, it’s definitely worth your time to make. For this recipe, cook your fruit filling in a skillet, preferably cast iron. Then, after getting the fruit to the consistency you want, drop your dough or biscuits across the top and then either finish off in the oven for about 30 minutes or cover the skillet, reduce the heat to low and cook the dough for about 20 minutes longer. You’ll be left with a delicious dish that tastes like cobbler, even if it doesn’t quite share its name. 

Photo: Greg Dupree; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

How to Make Cobbler On the Grill

Get the Recipe: Grilled Peach Cobbler

This variation is similar to the stovetop method, but using a grill instead. For this cobbler, you’ll want to make your fruit filling and then spoon it into a cast iron skillet. Cover the skillet with aluminum foil. Next, put the skillet over the hottest part of the grill and cook for about 15 minutes, or until bubbling. To finish the cobbler off, make up your biscuit dough, drop it on top of your filling, cook covered for another 15 minutes, and you’ll be ready to serve.

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