One of the great parts of summer is having friends over and sharing fellowship. I'm not one to plan ahead very much and always need a few things that are easy to throw together and taste delicious. You are more likely to entertain if you have a few simple things in your treasure trove of recipes to pull together quickly. And it doesn't have to look fabulous, right? Being with friends and eating something tasty are what matter. Below is one of my favorite summer desserts from The Junior League of Atlanta, Inc.'s first cookbook, Atlanta Cooknotes. And below that are the alterations I make to the recipe...
Peach or blueberry or raspberry or whatever fruit you have on hand Cobbler
6 Tablespoons butter
2 cups fruit (sliced or thawed)
2 cups sugar, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350, and melt butter in your pan. You can use a large round pie dish or a casserole pan. Just stick the butter in the bottom and melt it. Don't be all ADD like me and forget your butter is melting and burn it...
Now, you can use plain white sugar that is highly processed and I'm sure it will taste fine. I prefer to use organic sugar because it gives a much richer flavor. Divide your sugar in two. One part goes with the batter and one part goes with the fruit. I also use closer to 1 1/2 cup sugar for each of the two halves. Here is how I change the recipe:
For the fruit "half" sugar, I use 1 c. sugar and about 1/2 c. of brown sugar and turbinado sugar. It gives the fruit a bit more depth but also makes your cobbler a little darker in color. For the batter "half", I use about the same amount of sugars, and add in maybe 1/4 c quick cooking oats for texture. I used to use a packet of Quaker oats Maple and Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal, but as I've gotten older, I've decided to be a little fancier. I use organic quick cooking oats these days. I also add in a dash or two of nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. Just because.
Combine your flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt, then add in your milk to make the batter. Dump this on top of your melted butter (that you didn't forget about and burn).
Toss the sugars with your fruits. I tend to use more fruit than the recipe calls for- usually closer to 3 cups. You can go all simple, straightforward peach cobbler or you can mix in whatever fruits/berries you happen to have on hand (or in the freezer). I love adding blueberries and raspberries and tossing together. You could also use apples or blackberries. Dump the fruit mixture on top of the batter without stirring. Then put your dish in the oven to bake. The recipe calls for 30 minutes of baking, but because I use more fruit, the time is closer to 45 minutes or an hour. Do yourself a favor and set a timer. It's too easy to pour a glass of wine and forget you are a baker in action. Which means you need to check what you are baking. Serve this deliciousness with organic vanilla ice cream. Or make your own cinnamon ice cream if you're feeling really industrious. The best part is sharing with friends.
Once you get the hang of this recipe, you can toss it together in less than 10 minutes. That's easier than having to drive somewhere and pick it up!
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