I love cherry season. As a family, we generally consume about 25 pounds in a span of two or three months. (I'm not telling how much of that I'm personally responsible for. Ahem.) This simple cobbler is one of my favorite ways to eat cherries. It's also a great way to use all of those other yummy summer stone fruits, like peaches, nectarines and plums. This recipe is kind of a cheater cobbler: still from scratch, just without all that dough making, rolling and cutting. Perfect for surprise guests or afternoon cravings.
Summer Stone Fruit Cobbler
1/4 cup butter (That's right. Real butter. I said it was simple, not healthy)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
~ 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of the stone fruit of your choice
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
Prep your fruit, first, by washing it really well. If you're using peaches, nectarines or plums, remove the stone and slice your fruit. (I don't peel my fruit for this recipe because I like it to be a bit more rustic. Plus it's prettier. Suit yourself on this.) If you're using cherries, spend the next hour laboriously cutting and pitting the little wretches OR you could do like I did and buy yourself one of these handy little kitchen wonders and be done with pitting in mere minutes:
( I did the Snoopy Happy Dance when I first used this)
Okay, fruit cleaned, pitted and sliced (except for the cherries, which I leave whole), toss it into a bowl with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Use your hands to mix well, coating each piece of fruit with the sugar mixture. (If I don't have time to let my fruit sit for a while, I massage it a bit, especially the cherries [really, I come pretty close to crushing these], to get the juices flowing really well. If you can let the peaches, nectarines and plums sit in the fridge for a couple of hours, they'll get juicy on their own.)
Preheat your oven to 375. I really like to use a well seasoned, cast iron skillet for this cobbler. The advantage is that it will give your cobbler a beautiful, crunchy, delicious crust. Totally worth the extra effort.
Melt your butter on the stove top in the cast iron skillet while you mix the batter. You want the skillet hot and the butter melted and swirled around the edges of the pan to coat the bottom and prevent the batter from sticking. Be careful not to burn the butter - if you're nervous about the multitasking, just wait until your batter is mixed to heat your skillet and melt the butter. You could also let your skillet heat up in the oven as it preheats, then take it out to melt the butter once your batter is mixed.
Now for the rest of the batter. This couldn't be easier. Blend the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk and vanilla well with a whisk and pour over the melted butter in the skillet or baking dish. Very important: do not stir. Distribute the prepared fruit gently over the batter, again without stirring.
Bake for 40 minutes, until the batter is starting to turn golden brown and crisping around the edges. Serve your cobbler hot out of the oven with ice cream or freshly whipped cream, if you like. Or, just as good, straight out of the fridge the next morning for breakfast.