To me, a cobbler is the ultimate late summer dessert because it celebrates fruit at its peak sweetness and because you can’t mess it up. It’s the most flexible and forgiving of desserts.
What should you put in your cobbler? Whichever berries and stone fruit look most enticing at your local farmer’s market. Don’t have measuring cups? Equal parts sugar, flour, and oats will do the trick. Gluten-free? I’ve made this same dish using a gluten-free flour mix, and it was awesome. As long as you have copious amounts of ripe fruit, butter, sugar, and flour, your creation will be a hit. Oh, and vanilla ice cream – can’t forget that!
This is my go-to dessert… in part because I find that it often doesn’t require a shop, but mostly because it’s a joy to serve and a delight to eat. It’s great for a dinner party, looks good on top of a picnic table, and is easily made pre-beach.
My favorite cobbler container is a cast iron skillet. I Iove the way it looks when you bring it to the table and rest it on a trivet. I also love covering the leftovers with a sheet of foil, leaving it out on the stove, and digging into it in the morning: breakfast cobbler.
That said, another fun way to construct this dish is in small ramekins. If you go this route, I suggest overfilling each dish, and arranging them on a baking sheet before placing them in the oven. Otherwise, you’ll have a sweet and sticky mess at the bottom of your oven.
Nectarine and Blueberry Cobbler
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
—1 1/2 pints blueberries (about 3 cups)
—4-6 ripe nectarines, cut into bite-sized pieces
—1/4 cup sugar
—1/4 cup lemon juice
—freshly squeezed zest of one lemon
—1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
—1 cup rolled oats
—1/2 cup light brown sugar
—1/2 cup granulated sugar
—1/2 lb cold butter
—3/4 tsp cinnamon, diced
—1/4 tsp nutmeg (if you have it!)
—3/4 tsp Kosher salt
2 pints vanilla ice cream
Before getting started, make sure the butter is in the refrigerator. Then, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Next, make the fruit filling. You want these flavors marinating while you make the crumb topping. In a medium bowl, combine the blueberries and nectarines. It’s not necessary to peel the nectarines, but if your nectarines are particularly ripe and juicy, some of the skin will pull away as you cut the fruit away from the pit. Remove stray pieces of skin. Add the sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice – it’s easier to zest your lemon before juicing it! Toss to combine. Set aside, or cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. When I’m thinking ahead, I like to make the filling in the morning, before hitting the beach, so that the flavors can mingle in the fridge all day long.
In a medium bowl, make the crumb topping. Whisk together the flour, rolled oats, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Remove the butter from the refrigerator, cut it into small cubes, and add it to the bowl. Stir until combined, and the butter looks like peas.
Pour the fruit filling into a cast iron skillet. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the fruit, until the filling is covered and the crumb topping is mounding in the middle. It will seem like you have more topping than needed. I urge you to use it all. This is not a time to skimp on crumb topping! Some of the topping will sink into the oozing fruit as it cooks.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling at the edges.
Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.