Thursday, August 5, 2010

Apricot Cobbler.

I love summer. Picnics. Fireworks. Family. Barbecues on the beach and burning marshmallows over campfires. But I especially love the abundance of fresh fruit there is to bake with. To me, nothing says "summer" more than a sugary tier of shortcakes covered in strawberries or a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top a crumbly apple crisp. So when five pounds of apricots from our neighbor's backyard ended up in our kitchen this morning, I immediately began googling cobbler recipes.

I ended up tweaking a peach cobbler recipe and paired it with my dad's famous recipe for big, soft buttery biscuits. Baked apricots tossed with cinnamon-sugar bubbling over a thick layer of biscuits brushed with heavy cream and sprinkled with more cinnamon sugar... the scent alone was like Christmas and fresh-baked cinnamon rolls. Mouthwatering.

Overall... very good. I think it would taste equally amazing with peaches or blackberries. Or even without the fruit! I love me some biscuits. 
Apricot Cobbler

4-5 cups apricots, sliced
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes

4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk
1/2 cup heavy cream 
Extra granulated sugar & cinnamon for sprinkling over biscuits
4 tablespoons butter, melted for brushing over any extra biscuits

Preheat oven to 425°F. Slice apricots and spread in a 2-quart baking dish. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over apricots. Place small cubes of butter over the fruit and bake for 20 minutes. 

While the apricots are baking, prepare the biscuits. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl using a pastry cutter until just combined. Scatter the cold butter pieces over the top of the flour mixture and continue to combine until the mixture resembles coarse meal. 

Add the buttermilk and pulse until the mixture just begins to come together (I had to add an extra 1/4 cup of buttermilk to make the dough come together). Scrape the dough onto a floured counter. Roll out into a 1/2-inch thick disk and cut with a cookie cutter/round biscuit cutter. (This recipe made an extra 10 biscuits so next time I would halve the biscuit recipe. But for now... warm, flaky, buttery biscuits... I don't mind.)

When the apricots come out of the oven, carefully lay the biscuits on top, gently pushing down into the fruit somewhat; it's okay if the biscuits overlap. Brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Return to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes til a toothpick inserted in the center of a biscuit comes out clean. You may have to cover with foil to prevent over-browning. When done, brush leftover dough with 4 tablespoons melted butter, lower oven temperature to 400°F and bake for 12-15 minutes until done. 

Serve hot, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Source: Apricot filling adapted from A Yankee In A Southern Kitchen, originally adapted from Scott Peacock & Edna Lewis. Biscuits adapted from Bobby Flay