25 July 2014

Skillet Cherry Cobbler

It's cobbler season! Are you as happy about this as I am? I had the good fortune of enjoying peach cobbler on our recent trip to the States not once but twice, while visiting both my mom and mother-in-law. And because I apparently did not get enough there I had to come home and make another. But this time it is filled with cherries, one of my top 3 favorite fruits, and is made in a skillet. There's something about the homey, rustic quality of cooking in a skillet that I just love. It presets my expectations that I will have an easy go cooking and a delicious, comforting result at the end. That's certainly true here, and as long as you have a cherry pitter -- couldn't live without this one--or a few helpers, you really don't have an excuse not to make this.

The cherries are pre-roasted in the skillet, then topped with the biscuit topping and returned to the oven for a quick 10-15 minute bake. The slightly tangy biscuit provides the perfect contrast to the soft, sweet cherries and the oozy, thick syrup they've baked in. Serve it warm, with ice cream of course, and bask in cherry bliss.

Skillet Cherry Cobbler with Buttermilk Biscuit Topping
Serves 6

Cherry Filling
5 cups/2.2 lbs (1 kg) cherries, pitted (weighed before pitting)
1/4 cup (40 gr) coconut sugar (or muscovado/natural cane sugar)
1 Tbsp. arrowroot (or corn starch)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Juice 1/2 lemon
Couple splashes of water

Buttermilk Biscuit Topping
1 cup (148 gr) light spelt flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. coconut sugar (or muscovado/natural cane sugar)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. (42.5 gr) cold butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (180 ml) buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 F (204 C). Add a small knob of butter to a 10 inch (25 cm) cast-iron skillet and place skillet in oven while preheating.

Prepare cherry filling: Once butter has melted, remove  skillet from oven and swirl around to cover the bottom with melted butter. Add all filling ingredients to the skillet, and stir to combine. (I left the pitted cherries whole, but you can cut in half if you prefer.) Return skillet to oven and cook for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare biscuit topping: In a medium mixing bowl, use a fork to mix flour and the next 4 ingredients (through salt). Use your fingers to crumble butter into flour mixture until you get pea-sized clumps distributed evenly throughout. Pour in buttermilk and stir with fork until just  combined.

Remove skillet from oven. Give cherries a stir. Pour biscuit topping over and spread around with back of a spoon to cover cherries as much as possible. Alternatively, drop dough by spoonfuls to make individual biscuits. Return to oven and cook another 10-15 minutes, or until top is lightly golden. (My oven cooks hot, so my cooking time was barely 10 minutes.)