Best Recipe: Frozen Fruit Cobbler

Cook’s Notes: Any kind of berry can be used: blackberries, blueberries, marionberries, or raspberries. You might also like a blend of berries, such as Trader Joe’s Very Cherry Berry Blend with raspberries, marionberries, blueberries, and cherries mixed together. There is no need to thaw the fruit before baking. Although cobbler is a perfect summer dessert, with this recipe, you can make it year-round.

Both varities of topping — buttermilk biscuit or granola crumble — are simply delicious. For a casual dinner party in July, we brought a pair of cobblers: mixed berry with biscuit topping and peach with granola crumble. Highly recommended.

Variation — Granola crumble topping: If you don’t want to make biscuits, try this topping instead. Faith Ford recommends using the granola topping with peach cobbler. It is also great with blueberries. Combine 1.5 c granola, 3/4 c flour, 1/3 c brown sugar, 1/2 c (1 stick) melted butter, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon.

2 x 16 oz bags frozen berries, cherries, or peaches, unthawed
1/3 c sugar
Cornstarch: 1 T for berries, 3 T for cherries, or 4 tsp for peaches)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For cherries or peaches, add 1 tsp almond extract

Biscuit Topping:
1 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c granulated white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c buttermilk (or 1/3 c milk combined with 1 tsp white vinegar; let stand 5 minutes to make buttermilk)
4 T (1/4 c or 1/2 stick) butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon

Heat oven to 400°F. Coat a 2-quart glass pan (either 8-inches square or 8 x 11-inches) with cooking spray.

Toss frozen fruit with sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla extract. (For cherry or peach cobbler, toss with the almond extract). Spoon into prepared pan. Place pan on a rimmed baking sheet, in case the filling bubbles over. Bake 60 minutes.

In the last 15 minutes that the fruit is baking, make the biscuits:
1) Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
2) Combine the melted butter, buttermilk, and 1/2 tsp vanilla together.
Stir buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Divide the dough evenly into 8 pieces. Mix the 2 tsp sugar with the cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside.

Remove the hot fruit filling from the oven and stir. Space the biscuits on the hot filling spaced 1/2-inch apart. Sprinkle biscuit dough with the cinnamon sugar.

Return cobbler to oven. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until filling is bubbling and biscuits are cooked through. Cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serves 8.

Recipe sources: America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook; Granola topping modified from Cooking with Faith and The Better Homes & Garden New Cook Book.