The great cobbler canvas
As a professional cook and all-around food fanatic, I tend to read, watch and listen to anything food-related that comes my way. The tendency to build stories around recipes has become ubiquitous in the past few years : here is a recipe that will bring back memories of a beloved grandmother, there you can smell a trip to some exotic country, or here, swallow whole the flavour of the place you grew up in. And while I love the way food and stories can come together, intertwine, to create something not only delicious but also emotional, comforting, or simply joyful, while I wish the love of cooking ran deep in my family and a tiny Lucie ran around a kitchen full of traditions and love, here is my confession : more often than not, we ate frozen vegetables, packaged chicken wings, and tinned raviolis.
To this day, my mother still asks me every now and then how to make a pie crust. And forgets. Every. Time. There were however just a handful of recipes she made repeatedly throughout the years whenever an occasion presented itself : a damn good tiramisu for every birthday, a creamy mustard sauce that fits salmon just as well as cucumber, and fruit crumble whenever she wanted the kids (hello !) to eat up those fruits.
So here is my version of this very simple and hightly adaptable dessert, fire licked. As usual, think of it as a canvas more than a recipe : use plums or apples if peaches are not in season, switch up the flours, and flavours, or even turn it savoury by using vegetables and replacing the sugar with grated cheese.Have fun.
And even if each spoonful does not remind you of a childhood in the South of France and your mother peeling fruit for hours, well it can still be just a really great dessert.
Gather up your fruits. Here I used peaches because they are in season and very ripe, but apple cobbler is a classic, plums are delicious, pear in the winter is my favorite and apricots or berries are a must. If you just have a bunch of fruit that needs using, don’t be afraid to mix and match.
5 peaches 2tbsp lime juice, or lemon (optional)
Peel your peaches, cut them in large chunks if you like texture, or small pieces if you prefer compote. Drizzle with the lime juice if using and place in your Stadler Made pan or any cast-iron pan. Place in the oven for 2-3 minutes to pre-cook the fruit and give it that fire flavour.
2tbsp almond or hazelnut powder
80g unrefined sugar
1 tbsp of optional flavourings : tonka, vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, dried herbs… I used cardamom and ginger.
80g cubed cold butter
2 pinches of salt
100g milk of choice
Mix your dry ingredients in a bowl and add the butter. With the tip of your fingertips, massage the cold butter with the flours : you are looking for a texture that ressembles coarse sand, not a smooth dough, so go easy on the mixing. Once roughly mixed, add the milk with a fork, mixing quickly and not too much to keep some texture.
Pour this mix over the fruits and bake straight away. If not baking straight away, make sure the fruits are cold before you add the cobbler and store in the fridge until ready to cook. The oven could be anywhere between 200°C and 300°C, it is a fairly forgiving recipe. How will you know it’s done ? The top should look crunchy, with darkened spots, but not burned, and the juices from the fruits should be bubbling at the top…YUM !
A few combination ideas to try :
Apple + cinnamon + rye flour
Apricots + rosemary + chestnut flour
Pear + cacao powder in the cobbler + cardamom
Berries + vanilla + oat flour
Tomato + grated parmigiano cobbler
Sweet potato + cheddar cobbler