O Canada Cobbler

To my fellow Canadians, a belated Happy Canada Day; to my American neighbours, an early Happy 4th of July; and to everyone else, a right-on-time Happy July!

It has been a glorious long weekend here in Toronto. We like to stay in town for the July long weekend as it’s a great opportunity to chillax and avoid the five- or six-hour drive on the clogged highways as thousands of Torontonians head for the hills.

For the past few years, we’ve gotten together with our good friends who live in “The Beach” (as it is known in Toronto) on Canada Day weekend. We met our friends Laura and Kevin as frightened first-time parents-to-be at our pre-natal classes when we were expecting ponytail #1. Our oldest girls are born a week apart and they’ve been getting together for playdates and birthdays since they were three months old. (We like to say that they were friends before they were born.) Now there are siblings and it’s fun to watch all the kids grow and see that they actually get along well whenever we get together.

I decided to make Cherry Cobbler for our annual get-together last night. Served with a scoop of good ole vanilla ice cream, this red and white dessert is the perfect way to celebrate our Canadian heritage. We ate all but one small scoop of cobbler–even the kids seemed to like it.

I first made this Cherry Cobbler for my friend Maryann when I stayed with her in Vancouver a number of years ago. She liked it so much that I made it about four times during my week-long stay. She raved about it to my other West Coast friend L’il Debs, so of course I had to make it for Debs and her husband Bruce the night I went there for dinner. Since then I’ve changed to a topping that is more biscuit-like, which I prefer.

If you decide to try this, you might find yourself making this again and again too!

Cherry Cobbler

Cherry base adapted from A Year in Niagara by Kathleen Sloan-McIntosh

For the cherry base:

  • 3 ½ cups cherries, stemmed and pitted
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 425°. In a sauce pan, cook the cherries, butter and water over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Blend together sugar and flour. Add the flour mixture to the cherries in the saucepan, stirring to prevent lumps. Return this mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for a minute or two until the sauce is thickened slightly. Transfer the mixture to a shallow 4-cup baking dish.

For the biscuit topping:

From Gourmet, September 1999

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup boiling water

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarst meal. Stir in water until just combined.

Using large spoon, drop spoonfuls of the batter over the top of the fruit. Base for 25 minutes until golden brown.

Notes:

  • I made this in a 10″ cast-iron pan and baked it in the oven (as this was more convenient for me yesterday than cooking on the barbeque). I popped the cobbler onto the grill on low heat as we were finishing dinner. It was bubbling and ready to serve in no time.
  • To cook the cobbler on the grill, follow my directions from my Bumble Crumble in a Skillet.