Cobbler

Cobbler is a traditional English and American baked dessert consisting of a fruit filling covered by a brown colored biscuit-like pastry shell.   Cobblers are often considered sweet pies in the broad sense of the word. Cobblers come in a number of varieties. Popular variants of cobbler recipes include Grunts, Slumps, Betties, pandowdy, Sonkers and the Buckles.  Commonly liked cobblers include blueberry cobbler, cherry cobbler, peach cobbler, and pear cobbler. The dessert is made with a number of other fruits than this. Savory cobblers made of meat, like the beef cobbler, are also known.


 


History of Cobblers
The origin of the cobbler is known to date back to the early 19th century to the European cuisine though the cuisine of the Southern United States claims credit for its invention, the dessert dish is largely believed to be a part of the invention of the European cuisine.
 

Common Ingredients used by Cobbler Recipes
The cobbler, as already noted, may be sweet or savory. Fruits of different varieties are a mandatory ingredient of the dessert cobbler. Meat is commonly used for making dessert cobblers. The pastry crust is the next most important component of both sweet and savory cobblers. It is made of flour used to make biscuit dough and contains sugar or salt depending upon the variety. Butter and water are other ingredients used to make pastry dough. Cereals like oats may be mixed with the flour of the pastry dough.    Apart for the fruits already mentioned, apples, apricots, and plums are other fruits that are commonly used in making the cobbler. Spices like cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg are sprinkled in small quantities on cobblers for flavoring.

 

Preparation of Cobbler
Cobbler is a very convenient item to prepare.  The components, namely, the filling and the pastry crust need to be prepared first. For making the pastry batter, flour is mixed with sugar, water, milk, and butter. The fruit filling is made by either arranging the fruit as it is or pureeing it into a fine mixture. The pastry is placed above the filling in the baking tray and it is not necessary that it should always be a continuous sheet of pastry, though many cobblers have this. Many cobblers are made with the pastry appearing like dumplings on the fruit filling. The filling with the pastry is baked till done which may be indicated by the pastry crust attaining a delicious golden brown colored surface.

 


Serving and Eating Cobbler
Cobbler is a dessert dish and it is served with some ice cream after a meal. The cobbler is best served hot, though it can be made ahead, refrigerated and then heated again and served. When topped with ice cream, it should be cooled before being frosted.


 


Popular Variations of the Cobbler

A number of popular American and English desserts belong to the cobbler family. They are discussed as below:

 

  • Crisp/Crumble – these are essentially desserts with a fruit filling covered by a crumbly pastry topping. The pastry topping is most often a mass of crushed cookies, bread crumbs, nuts, and cereals. Even flour is used to make apple crumb topping. The American reference to a crisp and the English reference to the Crumble is essentially to this dessert.



 

  • Betty- this dessert, the most popular of which is the apple brown betty essentially consists of layers of fruit-filling in between buttered pastry crumbs. This traditional dessert, which was known since the colonial ages, has gained international acclaim and has a number of theories to the reason behind its nomenclature. This dessert, which is commonly considered a variety of baked pudding, resembles the French Charlotte.



 

  • Grunts/slumps- the grunt is an interesting name given to a steamed berry pudding, the name being earned by the fact that when berries are cooked in the process of preparing the dish, they make a sound that resembles a grunting noise. These are basically cobblers made with a crust laid out like dumplings. This cobbler is prepared on a stove top. The slump is another name given to these new England and Massachusetts’s dessert , by the Rhode island, Vermont and Maine cuisines



 

  • Buckle / Crumble- this cobbler consists of the filling and the pastry arranged in a single layer. It is mostly made with blueberries and it has a topping that bears resemblance to the streusel topping and it has crumbled or buckled appearance which has earned it , its name.



 

  • Pandowdy – this is an interesting variant of the cobbler and it consists of fruit filling topped by a crumbly pastry crust which at intervals breaks into the filling, to let the juices exude from within. This variant of the cobbler may be baked with the crust at the bottom, in which case it is turned upside down after being baked for serving. The dessert seems to have earned the name for the texture of its topping.



 

  • Bird’s Nest pudding-also known as crow’s nest pudding this pudding which resembles nests of birds, is made by baking together sugar-filled cores of apples which are kept in a nest created with the pastry crust.



 

  • Sonkers- this is a North Carolina deep dish cobbler made with a variety of fruits like strawberry, sweet potato, cherries and peaches.