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Summer Blueberry-Peach Cobbler


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By Life Pastry - September 26, 2020

 




Summer

Blueberry-Peach Cobbler


Serves 8 to 10

When you have a recipe you love, like I do my blueberry-lemon pie that I’ve perfected for Christopher, you pull it out of your back pocket for as many occasions as you can. I’ve used the blueberry pie filling for mini hand pies, and I love to mix a few spoonfuls into hot grain cereal. In the height of summer I use the recipe as a jumping-off point to make a jammy, juicy cobbler with honey-sweet peaches. About half the blueberries and all the peaches are first cooked down until the juices are released, then the rest of the blueberries are tossed in to give the filling some body. The cream biscuits bake into the filling so they are crunchy on top and soft and tender underneath. The ratio of fruit to biscuit is about one to one, so you have enough biscuit with every bite of luscious fruit.


Cobbler Biscuits

8 cups/1,000 grams fresh blueberries

3 cups thinly sliced unpeeled ripe peaches (about 1½ pounds/680 grams whole peaches)

¾ cup/150 grams superfine sugar

3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons/30 grams cornstarch

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (about 1 large lemon)

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 large egg yolk (about 20 grams), for egg wash

2 teaspoons sanding sugar

 

Make the biscuit dough and set the cut biscuits aside unbaked.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and place a rack in the center of the oven.

In a medium saucepan, combine about half the blueberries, all the peaches, the superfine sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the fruit, sugar, and cornstarch melt into a gooey mass, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining berries. Pour the fruit filling into a 9 x 13-inch baking pan and top with the biscuits.

Whisk the egg yolk in a small bowl with a fork. Use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the biscuits evenly with the egg wash. Sprinkle the biscuits evenly with the sanding sugar.

Bake for about 1 hour, rotating the pan midway through the baking time, until the biscuits are golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.

Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving so no one burns the roof of their mouth.

Cobbler can be served warm or at room temperature. It is best eaten the day it’s baked, but you can store leftover cobbler at room temperature, well wrapped, for up to 2 days. Refresh in a 300°F oven for about 10 minutes before serving.

 


Cobbler Biscuits

Makes 12 biscuits

2½ cups/350 grams all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons/75 grams sugar

2½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

10 tablespoons/1¼ sticks/140 grams unsalted butter, cold, cut into 8 to 10 pieces

1 large egg (about 50 grams), at room temperature

1 large egg yolk (about 20 grams), at room temperature, plus 1 yolk (about 20 grams) for egg wash, if baking the biscuits on their own

½ cup/120 grams heavy cream

¼ cup/60 grams whole milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 


In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, briefly mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and paddle for about 30 seconds on low speed until the butter is somewhat broken down but there are still pieces about the size of lima beans.

In another bowl, whisk together the whole egg, 1 egg yolk, the cream, milk, and vanilla until thoroughly mixed. With the mixer running on low, pour the egg-milk mixture into the flour-butter mixture and paddle for 15 to 20 seconds, until the dough just comes together. There will probably still be a little loose flour mixture at the bottom of the bowl.

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Gather and lift the dough with your hands and turn it over in the bowl so that it starts to pick up the loose flour at the bottom. Turn the dough several times until all the loose flour is mixed in.

Flick flour over the work surface. Dump out the dough onto it and pat the dough into an 9-inch circle, ½ to ¾ inch thick. Use a 3-inch circle cutter to cut out biscuits. Gather and reroll the scraps, then cut out more biscuits. You should get 12 biscuits total.

Unbaked biscuits can be stored, well wrapped, in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

If you would like to bake the biscuits on their own (they are delicious in their own right), preheat the oven to 350°F and place a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet, at least 1 inch apart. Whisk the egg yolk for the egg wash in a small bowl with a fork. Use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the biscuits evenly with the egg wash. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the baking sheet midway through the baking time, until the biscuits are entirely golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack.

Leftover baked biscuits can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Refresh in a 300°F oven for 6 to 8 minutes before serving.



Rum Butterscotch Pudding Parfait





with Ginger-Molasses Crumble

Makes 8 parfaits

I make a mean butterscotch pudding, with lots of brown sugar and butter, finished with a hefty amount of salt and vanilla to accent the toasted caramel flavors. You can find the recipe in my first book, Flour. I make it over and over, especially when I am craving something unapologetically sweet. When Mike, one of our pastry chefs, presented me with his version, I made sure to keep a very open mind with the first bite. I had no need to worry—that first taste was so good I immediately asked for the recipe so I could add it to my repertoire. The main difference is that there’s a swig of rum cooked into the pudding. It adds a fruity, bright note that helps cut through the rich custard. I like this pudding dressed up as a layered parfait with whipped crème fraîche and a spicy ginger cookie crumble. Make these ahead of time in small lidded cups and bring them in a cooler to your next picnic or outdoor event.


Ginger-Molasses Cookie Crumble

6 large egg yolks (about 120 grams), at room temperature

6 tablespoons/50 grams cornstarch

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3⅓ cups/800 grams whole milk

2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses

2¼ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons dark rum or Scotch

1 cup/200 grams superfine sugar

¾ cup/1½ sticks/170 grams unsalted butter, at cool room temperature

1 cup/240 grams heavy cream

½ cup/120 grams crème fraîche

3 tablespoons/20 grams confectioners’ sugar

 

Make the crumble and set it aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in about half the milk, the molasses, 2 teaspoons of the vanilla, and the rum. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the superfine sugar and about ¼ cup/50 grams water to moisten all of the sugar. Brush the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water if there are any sugar crystals clinging to the pan. Place the saucepan on high heat and bring to a boil. Don’t stir the mixture and don’t jostle the pan (you want to avoid crystallization of the syrup, which can happen if the pan is disturbed while the syrup is coming to a boil). Boil rapidly without moving the pan until the syrup starts to caramelize, 1 to 2 minutes. The sugar syrup will boil furiously at first, then slowly thicken as the water boils off. Some of the syrup around the edge will start to color to a golden yellow like a butterscotch candy—at this point swirl the pan to even out the coloring and caramelization. Keep swirling gently until the caramel is deep golden brown. Turn the heat down to low and slowly and carefully whisk in the remaining milk. Be very careful, as the caramel will sputter and spit and possibly seize up—use a long-handled whisk and stand away from the pot until it settles. Whisk until the milk is completely incorporated into the caramel and any hardened caramel bits have melted.

Ladle a few spoonfuls of the hot caramel milk into the egg yolk mixture and whisk to combine and temper the eggs. Keep ladling and whisking until about half the caramel milk has been added to the egg yolk mixture. Scrape all the egg yolk–caramel milk mixture into the pot with the rest of the caramel milk.

Cook the pudding over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, for 6 to 8 minutes, until it thickens and coats the back of the spatula. (The pudding will start out liquid and sloshy and then start to steam as it gets thicker.) Immediately remove the pudding from the stove and pour it through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof container. Let the pudding cool to room temperature for 1 hour or so, stirring occasionally.

Scrape the pudding into a blender or a food processor, or if you have an immersion blender you can use that right in the container. With the blender running on low, add the butter in small chunks until all of the butter is added. Scrape the pudding into a container and cover with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing it directly against the surface (to prevent a skin from forming). Refrigerate the pudding for at least 6 hours or up to overnight, until fully chilled. (At this point the pudding can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.)

When you are ready to make the parfaits, remove the pudding from the fridge and peel off the plastic. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip together the heavy cream, crème fraîche, confectioners’ sugar, and remaining ¼ teaspoon vanilla until soft and billowing. Spoon a heaping ½ cup of the pudding into each of eight rocks glasses or other straight-sided, wide-mouthed 8-ounce glasses. Add a few tablespoons of cookie crumble on top of the pudding, sprinkling it evenly across the surface. Top with about ⅓ cup of the whipped crème fraîche. Garnish with more cookie crumble. Serve immediately, or keep chilled and serve within 5 hours.

 


Ginger-Molasses Cookie Crumble

Makes about 6 cookies, enough crumble for 8 parfaits

6 tablespoons/¾ stick/85 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled until cool to the touch

½ cup firmly packed/110 grams light brown sugar

2 tablespoons/40 grams unsulfured molasses

1 large egg (about 50 grams), at room temperature

1 cup/140 grams all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F and position a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, brown sugar, molasses, and egg and mix on medium-high speed for about 20 seconds, until well combined. Paddle in 1 tablespoon water. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. With the mixer on low, paddle the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture until well combined. (At this point, the unbaked dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.)

Scoop out ¼-cup balls of dough and place them on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes, rotating the baking sheet midway through the baking time, until the cookies are crackly on top and firm to the touch.

Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

Use a sharp chef’s knife to chop the cookies into tiny pieces. You can also crumble the cookies by hand. The crumble will be a little soft and piece-y.

The crumble can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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