Delaney and I went cherry picking last week. We went last year, too, but this year’s crop was significantly better. We got caught in a downpour while we were picking, but we didn’t care. We got two buckets of sours, and one of sweets. Then I spend the rest of the week pitting cherries and making things in jars (jam, chutney, pickles, and so on).
I did make one pie, which we shared with a friend, and one night I made these individual cobblers for dessert. They weren’t quite the same as pie, but for a little something sweet, they hit the spot.
Flaky Cherry Cobbler (adapted from Small-Batch Baking by Debby Maugans Nakos)
My version makes 4
For the filling:
4 cups fresh cherries (I used half sweet, half sour), pitted, or frozen cherries, thawed and drained
1/4 t. almond extract
1/4 cup sugar
2 t. cornstarch
For the topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 T. plus 2 t. sugar, divided
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 T. cold butter, diced
2 T. Smart Balance
1/2 cup plus 2 T. non-fat buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375. Spray baking dishes–I used four 1- to 1 1/2 cup ramekins, but oven-proof bowls would work, or just one small souffle dish. Cover a large baking sheet with tin foil, and put it on the bottom rack of the oven to catch the inevitable drips.
Mix together filling ingredients. Divide evenly between baking dishes, and bake until filling is hot, 15 minutes.
While the filling is baking, make the topping. Put the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk to blend well. Add butter and margarine and toss to coat with the flour. Rub the butter/margarine pieces into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
Sprinkle the buttermilk over the the flour mixture, tossing it with a fork until the dough comes together. Take the baking dishes full of (hot) filling out of the oven.
Drop the dough by spoonfuls over the hot filling to cover it. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of sugar over the top of each cobbler (I forgot to do that part, but you should do it; it’ll make your cobblers prettier than mine). Bake until the topping is golden and cooked through, 23 to 25 minutes.
Remove the baking dishes from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Serve warm (but they’re pretty tasty cold, too–ask me how I know).