Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bing Cherry Cobbler

For the filling:
5 cups pitted fresh Bing cherries or other sweet cherries (about 3 lb. unpitted)
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, strained
3 Tbs. sugar

For the topping:
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 Tbs. sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat an oven to 375°F. For individual servings, place six 1-cup ramekins or custard cups on a rimmed sheet. For a large cobbler, have ready a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie dish or baking dish with sides at least 2 3/4 inches high.To make the filling, in a large bowl, stir together the cherries, lemon juice and sugar until well mixed. Divide the fruit among the ramekins or pour into the pie dish or baking dish. Bake the fruit for 10 minutes while you prepare the topping.

To make the topping in a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and vanilla; set aside. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs the size of small peas. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the flour mixture and, using a large wooden spoon, stir just until combined and a soft, sticky, evenly moistened dough forms.

To Finish:
Slowly pour in the buttermilk mixture and continue to beat just until combined and a soft, sticky, evenly moistened dough forms. Drop the dough by heaping spoonfuls onto the hot fruit, spacing it evenly over the surface. The topping will not cover the fruit but will spread during baking to cover it. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over the dough. Bake the cobbler until the fruit filling is bubbling, the topping is browned, and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the topping comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 6.

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