Thursday, May 19, 2016

Old Fashioned Skillet Cherry Cobbler


Spring cleaning is not a chore I enjoy. My kids are 25 years old and I still find myself giving away toys and cleaning out old makeup and cheap gems from my daughter's room. My son's has been cleaned out, but since he is far, far away and hopefully will return again, we are storing boxes and books and four guitars that require keeping a humidifier running in his room. That isn't so bad as long as I remember to fill it. Manservant has even found that if he keeps his cigars in there it works out quite nicely for them, too.

I can't wait to paint our basement that has brightly colored stripes running up and down the walls that worked out quite nicely during the kid's party years. And the basement still contains various games and tons of children's books that I know I will save forever. Well, I hope I have someone to pass them on to. And then there is the crawl space that contains so many stuffed animals and baby clothes and who knows what else, because I'm afraid to go in there.

But this week I was more focused on the freezer. We need a new refrigerator so badly. This one is 24 years old and it works quite nicely except that the ice builds up in the bottom of the freezer side and then we need to chip it away so I can use the bottom shelf. It also involves a hair dryer to start the melting which isn't hard to do, but it is a hassle. We've tried to have it fixed but no one ever does the job, so we've given up on it ever being 100%. Since all funds are going to China, it appears I'll be chipping away a few times this year.


Which takes me back to spring cleaning. You knew I'd get there, didn't you? The discovery process of cleaning a freezer can be quite amazing. In my case it involved throwing away a can of frozen limeade that has been there for two years. And then I discovered the chicken fat that I was going to use for rendering for Passover so I wouldn't have to buy schmaltz, but I did buy schmaltz, so now I guess I'll try saving it until Rosh Hashonah. Then I found three Cornish hens that never got baked and who knows how long they have been there. And I could go on, but why?

The best part -besides the frozen Halloween candy- were the found frozen sour cherries that I bought at the farmer's market last year. The time has come to use them up so I can buy more frozen sour cherries to find next year. Sour cherries are my absolute favorite fruit to use in summer desserts. There is something decadent and wholesome when one spies truly gorgeous, red glistening cherries coming out of the oven. It doesn't matter in what form they are-whether it is crisp, cobbler or pie. Whether it is syrup, sauce or jam, or just one on top, cherries are just so damn pretty.


Being quite busy running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I threw this cobbler together for a nice dinner I made last weekend for Manservant's send off. Except it wasn't a send off, because the MAN is still here. Drives me crazy when he does this! I also made a superb papparadelle with baby lobsters in a lemon garlic sauce. Yes, those baby lobster's were in the freezer, too. I buy them and tuck them away, whenever they are on sale and I think these were from Valentine's Day. It was a nice night of eating and I didn't even take a photo of the pasta dish. But I did get this cobbler which ought to be in your belly. Easy peasy and yummy; this cherry cobbler is a dream!


Old Fashioned Skillet Cherry Cobbler
Serves 8
Time to Make: About 30 minutes active
Adapted From: Gourmet 1991
Ingredients:
4 c sour cherries, pitted and drained well
2 T lemon juice
1/4 t almond extract
1/2 t vanilla extract
2 T cornstarch
2/3 c sugar plus 3 T
1 1/2 c flour
1 t salt
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon
12 T cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8" cast iron skillet. Put cherries, lemon juice almond and vanilla extract, cornstarch and sugar into skillet. Stir well. Set aside and make biscuit dough.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt 3 T sugar and the butter. I use my fingers, but you may want to use a fork or pastry cutter, and cut the butter in until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in 1/2 c boiling water, stirring until batter is just combined.

Now over medium heat bring the cherry mixture to a boil. Drop the batter in large heaping tablespoons onto the cherries. Bake the cobbler for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is golden. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Other fruit desserts to try:
Not My Mama's Cherry Pie
Strawberry Spiral Biscuit Pie
Blackberry, Blueberry, Basil and Browned Butter Cobbler
Raspberry Crumble Tart
Triple Cherry Chocolate Skillet Pie

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29 comments:

  1. I love all things cherry-- this cobbler looks wonderful! My freezer could use some work too...I dread looking way in the back but if I could make a cobbler with my findings then it might be worth it.

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    1. It seems like once it's clean it gets dirty again! But cherries are worth it!

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  2. Hang on to all those books etc..for yourgrandchildren..I became a nana at 52..and almot even before..at 50.it happens all of a sudden..and then the next few yrs brought 5 more..

    you will love it.
    No matter what age..just saying..keep the stuff:)

    I must comment on your silverware..it's ours..well it was my mom's..and she would be in her 90s..
    I spotted it straight away.Love it.

    We find treasures in the freezers too:) Jacques is in charge though..I rarely freeze desserts etc..
    Great idea the lobster..I am craving a lobster roll..and your dessert looks delish!

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    1. Well, this silver was my grandma's who would be I think would be like 108 now-but I'm not sure. I use it as every day and still love it! So lucky to be a nana and at an early age. So much to enjoy. Keeping the stuff but must organize it better! Lobster roll was my second choice!

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  3. Hi Abbe, I love desserts in a skillet, this looks very tasty, especially with a lobster pasta dish. Sounds like you have fun spoiling your family in the kitchen. Take care.

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    1. Love spoiling my family, but I think they consider it normal! Thanks Cheri!

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  4. I love sour cherries too, so that is why planting two of them was one of the first things we did at our "new" house. Finally, year two, we had blossoms galore and a decent amount of bees buzzing around them so, fingers crossed, we might just have enough to make a 1/2 pint of jam. This cobbler might be on my list year three. It looks wonderful.

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    1. You will get it! Planting some new trees this year and cherries are one of them!

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  5. Heck, if you keep making great "going away" dishes like this for Manservant, he'll never leave. How could be possibly abandon such wonderful food! Love a good cobbler -- this looks wonderful. BTW, we recently got one of those French door refrigerators with bottom freezer. Totally love it -- favorite refrigerator, ever. Realize it'll be a bit before you're ready to buy, but suggest you look at them when the time comes.

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    1. Very funny Mr. Riffs! I have seen those fridges and they did catch my eye. Thanks for the recommendation. What brand did you go with?

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  6. I hate cleaning freezer. Really, besides ironing, that's another housework I have been avoiding. Still no sight of cherries here...gotta save this for the cherry season. It looks super, Abbe.

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    1. Oh man! I have baskets of ironing. Totally hate it and it is always on my list to do! Usually it is table cloths and stuff. Thanks Angie!

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  7. What a scrumptious cobbler! Plus making it in a skillet is such a fun presentation. I think you and I live in parallel worlds---I just told Bill that I need his help to purge the basement. We have dorm room stuff from Tom that needs to be donated---and he graduated college years ago! Having cleaned out my parents' house and soon to clean out Bill's parents' house makes me realize I don't need to keep this stuff any longer!

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    1. I so need to purge! Actually I do pretty good, it is Manservant that needs to purge. I do best when I'm really angry. Then I throw everything away!

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  8. Wow you're a good mom. I think my parent's had all my stuff packed up and sent away within weeks of my first day of college. Beautiful cherry cobbler too. Which also reminds me of childhood for other reasons entirely. GREG

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    1. Greg, I think our moms were a lot alike! My mother redecorated my room the first semester I was away at college with some ugly trellis wallpaper. Ugh! Maybe that's why I never wanted to visit home! And I won't ask!

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  9. I love having frozen cherries on hand for some baking :) This cobbler looks fantastic!

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    1. Thanks Cathleen. Cherries are always something special to have on hand!

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  10. Rustic desserts like this are my favorite. Well it is a good thing you were cleaning out the freezer as you were able to find some delicious ice cream to top it. So is your eldest working or going to school in China or a little of both? Take care

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    1. Thanks for asking Bobbi! You are right. i was able to dig out two containers of vanilla! Alex is working for a NY real estate company who raise money for their projects in Asia. He was selling wine and liked it, but he didn't like who he was working for.

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  11. I hate those big cleaning chores! I have to say I'm so happy I saved some of our daughters childhood toys and books, especially the old Fisher Price house, zoo and farm. My grandsons have gotten many happy hours playing with them and I smile to think they my girls did too. Save the good stuff for your future grandchildren :) So often I have to throw things out because I've forgotten them too long in the freezer. The pasta with lobster sounds wonderful and your cherry cobbler look beautiful and delicious! Good job!

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    1. The zoo and the farm? I still have all of their beautiful molded animals and the horses! And the beanie babies. OMG! Do we have beanie babies! Freezers are like junk drawers. They just collect!

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  12. This is absolutely gorgeous Abbe! By the way, don't throw too much out. When the grand kids come, you're just going to have to buy it all over again!!!

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    1. Thanks Mimi! My mom saved none of our things so I must admit I have saved a lot. Glad I have room to store it! I still even have their cribs!

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  13. That's exactly what I plan to do today Abbe - go through my fridge/freezer/pantry and create the rest of my week meal plan with what I have. But I am pretty sure I won't find any baby lobsters in my deep freeze :D

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    1. For a long time my kids thought we were keeping lobsters (loppers) in a big pot in the garage. Someone once sent us a lobster boil and they were here when they met their demise. However they were napping and did not know what really happened. For the longest time they thought the loppers were taking a nap in the garage in the big pot. Well, until we told them they had escaped!

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  14. I love winter puddings! This looks so comforting.

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    1. Totally comforting and totally good! thanks for visiting and enjoy!

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  15. LOVE your skillet cobbler....great for the 4th!

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