Tuesday, July 14, 2009
This might sound strange to many, but much as I love my veggies, I am not a huge fan of eating fruit. At least by itself.
Of course, there are exceptions. I can eat Indian mangoes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and any time in between. As a child, a chocolate-brown fruit, chikoo, which is not available here in the United States but which has the most deliciously sweet flavor, used to be one of my favorite snacks. And there's nothing more satisfying than an orange after lunch.
But when it comes to apples, bananas and even some berries...I usually try to get the uncomplaining Desi to go through everything I buy because I could very easily leave them alone.
With fruit-based desserts, though, that's another story altogether. I love pies, fruit-based muffins and breads, tarts and what have you. So this past week, when I found my refrigerator packed with more fruit than Desi could handle, I decided to cook up a cobbler.
A cobbler is not unlike a pie, except that it doesn't have a bottom crust and is, in some ways, a much simpler dessert to bake. You don't need the perfection of pie here-- all you do is mix up the fruit with some sugar, slap on the crust, and let everything bake to perfection.
Although I call this a dessert, you could very well have this cobbler for breakfast-- all that fruit makes it healthy enough, and the sweetness makes it indulgent enough.
I made the crust more decorative than usual by cutting it up into discs with a biscuit cutter and then shingling them on top of the fruit. If you'd like to avoid the trouble, feel free to just roll out the crust, lay it on top of the fruit, and make a few slits in it.
Peach and Berry Cobbler
For the crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp trans-fat-free vegetable shortening like Crisco
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry-cutter or fork until it breaks down into pea-sized pieces.
Drizzle in ice-cold water (1/2 to 3/4 cup), rapidly stirring with a fork, until the dough comes together. Roll into a ball, flatten to a disc, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least half an hour.
For the filling:
5 medium peaches, halved, pitted, and then each half cut into five slices
2 cups blueberries
1 cup strawberries, quartered
3/4 cup sugar (use more or less depending on how sweet or tart your fruit is)
3 tbsp cornstarch or tapioca starch
Zest of one lemon
Mix together all the ingredients and pour into an 8 X 8 glass baking dish.
Roll out the crust to about 1/8th of an inch in thickness. With a biscuit cutter, cut out round discs. You can roll up the remaining dough and cut more discs until all the dough is used up.
Now shingle the biscuits on top of the fruit in a decorative pattern.
Brush the tops with some soymilk.
Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden-brown.
Let stand on a rack at least 15 minutes before serving.