Saturday, August 05, 2006

Summer Fruit Cobbler

The Altitude Adjustment Section
This time of year, with all the lovely summer fruit falling off the trees and practically hitting you on the head, perhaps it's time to talk about cobblers. And who better to go to than Susan Purdy, the queen of high altitude baking? This recipe was influenced by a cobbler she had made by Peyton at Harry’s Roadhouse, right here in Santa Fe. Once you get the basic technique down, you can use a variety of fruit fillings. So this is how you do it:

Ingredients for dough
1 1/2 cups A.P. flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons gran. sugar
pinch nutmeg
4 tablespoons=1/2 stick butter room temp
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 room temp egg

Ingredients for fruit filling
apple juice or orange juice 3/4 cup to 1 1/3 cup, depending on juiciness of fruit
1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
1/3 to 3/4 cup light brown sugar, depending on sweetness of fruit
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 cups sliced ripe fruit plums, peaches, nectarines or berries pitted and thickly sliced

Preheat oven to 425. Find a 10-12 inch deep baking pan or use a 2-4 quart dutch oven or an old cast iron skillet.
Prepare the dough in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse together the flour, powder, salt, sugar and nutmeg. Add the butter and pulse till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk and egg, pulse just till mixture comes together — don’t over mix. Set aside.

Now prepare the fruit filling: In a thick-bottomed skillet, whisk together the apple or orange juice and the cornstarch, then stir in the sugar, lemon, orange zest and cinnamon. Add the cut-up fruit and set over medium heat. Bring to the boil and then cover the pot and let simmer for 10 minutes, until the fruit is tender and easily pierces with a knife. Now transfer fruit to baking dish, if using, while still hot (very important). Take tablespoons of the prepared dough and spoon on top of the fruit. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and set it on a sheet pan lined with tin foil (to help with sticky clean up) in your very hot oven to bake for 25-35 minutes, or until dough is puffed up and golden brown.