Weekend Cookbook Challenge #17: Cornmeal!

I actually made this several weeks ago, specifically for this challenge. I was about to include it in my "Ooops I've missed a bunch of challenges!" post when I discovered I hadn't actually missed this yet!


Hosted by Ani of Food Chickie, this months theme requires the use of cornmeal in a recipe. And coincided perfectly with the arrival of my Fine Cooking magazine!

Peach and blueberry cobbler with cornmeal biscuits.

I find recipes from Fine Cooking come either two ways: Exact and precise measurements and instructions, or with a whole list of options, add-ins and variations you can make. This recipe came from the second type, a cooking without a recipe version that gave the basics but then let you go while and get creative!

I loved the look of the peach and raspberry version and had planned on making it. However fresh raspberries were $5 per half pint. Quite expensive and not worth the price when I would be cooking them. Fresh blueberries weren't quite as expensive, but could easily be swapped out for frozen blueberries, which I happened to have on hand. The peaches at my local market looked good, and even more importantly, smelled good!

I make this cobbler in stages: while my children ran through the sprinkler in the front yard, I sat out with the big bowl of peaches, pitting and slices them ( left the skins on on purpose.) Later I was able to through together the biscuit dough, which came together in a food processor very quickly. The cobbler itself baked while I make dinner (I think it was the night I made my Mexican burgers), and was ready to be eaten when dinner was done!

Served with a huge blob of whipped cream (we had no ice cream, my usual cobbler topping), this went over very well with the children. My oldest even asked for seconds, when I wasn't sure if he would enjoy the texture of the biscuits.

Sour Cream Cornmeal Cobbler Biscuits
Source Fine Cooking Magazine, July 2007

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar or packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
1/4 cup ground cornmeal
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup sour cream, chilled

In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse briefly to blend. Add the butter pieces adn pulse until they are the size of small peas, 5 to 7 one-second pulses.
Dump the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add in cornmeal and cinnamon and stir until evenly dispersed. Add the sour cream. Using a rubber spatula, gently smear the ingredients together until the flour is evenly moistened and the dough begins to form a large, soft, moist clumps. Bring the dough together into an 8-inch long log. Divide the log into 10 roughly equal round pieces. (I made 6 large blobs.) Refrigerate the pieces in the bowl while preparing the fruit.

For the fruit: Mix together 8 cups worth of fruit, in this case I used 6 peaches and the balance in frozen blueberries, with 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (less for very sweet fruit) and 1 to 2 tbsp all purpose flour (more if you are using alot of berries) and a pinch of salt. I also added in a sprinkling of fresh grated nutmeg. Gently toss to mix, then place in an 9x13 baking dish, being sure to scrape in any remaining juices and sugar.

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Arrange the biscuit pieces randomly on top of the filling, being sure to leave some space between the pieces. If desired, sprinkle with 1 1/2 tbsp of sugar (demerara, granulated or turbinado, your choice.) Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the topping is browned. Let sit about 20 minutes before serving.


Cheryl said...

A lovely cobbler. Your biscuit looks so delicious and love the contrast in colors from the whipped cream and the berries.

Peabody said...

I like this idea of using cornmeal in a cobbler. YUM