Friday, June 1, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

Mmm. Summertime. Cobblers and crumbles and pies.  Fruit pies that lead us right into wanting more pie in the fall season - pecan, pumpkin, and pear. Just thinking about it makes me happy.

I get even happier when I get to make something and eat it (and not just think about it). That's what happened when I opened my CSA box to find rhubarb and strawberries. Together. Perfection.

Our dear friends, the Hahns, were getting ready to move from LA to the Bay Area, so we threw them a little going away party. And what brightens up a bittersweet event more than a fiery red dessert a la mode?

I found this recipe on Pioneer Woman's website. Hers was a rhubarb-only cobbler, but I added the strawberries because, 1) I had them, and 2) 3 stalks of rhubarb didn't look like quite enough to feed 9 people. I was pretty excited to do this because I'd never worked with rhubarb before, but I love the tangy tartness that it brings to a sweet dish. Yay for trying new things!

I chopped up the berries and rhubarb in a medium dice. Then added lemon juice,

and sugar. And "gave it a quick toss," as so many Food Network peeps like to say.

I just mixed that up right in the dish I was going to bake it in. Why wash more dishes than you need to? Oh, and I was out of almond extract, so I think I used vanilla.

Then came the cobbler topping, which is sort of like biscuit dough, but a little wetter.

I used 1 cup of white flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour. Healthy bits here and there make me feel better about the sugar intake... and the butter and shortening. Let's not forget that part.

Note: a little trick my mama taught me. When measuring shortening (from a can), it can be hard to know if you're getting an accurate measure by just stuffing it in a measuring cup. There are air pockets when we do that. So, to get exactly 1/4 cup, you fill a 2-cup measuring cup with 1 cup of water. Then scoop the shortening into the water so that it's submerged in the water (stick it to the bottom to make sure it doesn't float) until it reaches the 1 1/4 cup line. Pour off the water in the sink and put the shortening in your mixing bowl!

Cut in the shortening and butter...

Mix in the wet ingredients (egg and milk)...

Then start topping the fruit with pinches of dough, so that it resembles a cobbled road in a small French village. Hey, it's good to use your imagination when cooking, right?

Sprinkle with sugar for extra sweetness. I used raw sugar - it's crystal-like and shiny. Bake it off for 35 minutes and serve it warm with ice cream!

Here are the lovely ladies, Susan, Allison, and Annie enjoying their dessert. We'll miss you Annie (and Andrew and Colten!)!!

This won't be the last time I make this one. It was a winner. :) Welcome June, welcome summertime!

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