Making dessert for a crowd can be tricky, unless you go the easy route and make cookies. But for an end-of-summer picnic, I take advantage of the abundance of fruit and make a big pan of peach and blackberry cobbler. (But if peaches or blackberries aren't available, you can substitute almost anything: plums, apricots, nectarines, blueberries, raspberries - this is a very forgiving recipe.) This not-too-sweet cobbler is topped with a biscuit topping, and has the faintest hint of lemon, which permeates the fruit. It has become one of my go-to desserts.
I discovered this fabulous recipe on a trip to East Hampton, NY, years ago. One visit to Round Swamp Farm changed my life: the baskets of just-picked tomatoes and peaches, the counter full of local seafood, and rows of homemade jams, pies, and cobblers was my first taste of the perfect farmstand. The Lester family has been farming in the Hamptons for over 200 years, and they grow some of the best produce (and catch the freshest fish) in the area. Stop by on your next trip out and stock up on jams, pickled veggies, and produce or just order online direct from the farm.
ROUND SWAMP FARM BLACKBERRY COBBLER
- 5–6 cups ripe berries and/or peeled, pitted, and sliced stone fruit
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- Grated rind of 1 lemon
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 1⁄4 cups flour
- 1⁄2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 1⁄4 tsp. baking powder
- 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- 1⁄2 lb. chilled butter, cut in small pieces
- 1⁄4 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Put berries and/or fruit in a large mixing bowl, then add lemon juice, lemon rind, 3⁄4 cup of the sugar, 1⁄4 cup of the flour, and 1⁄4 tsp. of the cinnamon and mix together by tossing gently. Spread fruit mixture in a deep baking pan and bake until berries are hot and bubbling, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix together remaining 2 cups flour, 1⁄4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Use two knives or a pastry cutter to work butter into flour mixture until it is the consistency of coarse meal.
- Beat milk and eggs together in a small bowl, then add to flour mixture and stir with a fork until just mixed. Spread flour mixture evenly over berries.
- Mix together remaining 2 tbsp. sugar and 1⁄4 tsp. cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle over top of cobbler. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes.