Recently I realized I was stuck in a summer cobbler rut. If it wasn't blueberry or peach, I didn't make it. Now this realization didn't come to me during a meditation session or anything like that. It occurred to me as I flipped through Lisa Fain's The Homesick Texan's Family Table. Right in the middle of the Sweets chapter is a recipe for Plum Cobbler.
I've never made plum cobbler. In fact, I don't think I've ever baked anything with plums. Don't get me wrong, I love plums. I just eat them raw. So this cobbler intrigued me.
The original recipe calls for an easy cobbler topping made even easier because of how Lisa handles the butter. Instead of cutting cold butter into the flour mixture, she melts the butter and stirs it in with butter milk. To replace the wheat flour, I grabbed some sorghum flour and a little sweet rice flour. Within minutes the topping was ready.
However, I made a mistake. I sliced the plums too thin. The result? A cobbler topping sitting atop a filling that had the texture of jam. All of plum slices melted down during baking. All of them. While not what I wanted, it wasn't too terrible. We spooned the jammy cobbler over vanilla ice cream and it tasted tasted fabulous. Without the ice cream? Meh. But we all loved the flavor. In addition to the plums, the filling also contains lemon zest and cinnamon. When baked, these flavors combine with the plums to create a filling that tastes almost like cherry. In fact, several of my friends thought I'd made a cherry cobbler.
I wanted to make another cobbler with thicker sliced plums to see if I could avoid the jam-like filling.
For the next batch, I quartered the plums. Going into the oven, the dish looked almost ridiculous. There were big hunks of plum under what seemed like not enough cobbler topping. Now I was sure I'd swung to the other extreme: slicing the plums too thick. Forty minutes of baking proved me wrong. The plums baked down a lot. They still softened considerably; however, they didn't turn to jam like they did with my first attempt. The cobbler still tasted great with ice cream, of course. Only this time it tasted pretty great on it's own too.
And because I'm a creature of habit, I made a peach cobbler. This time, however, I used half plums. Amazing. The peaches hold up a little better to the heat than the plums. So you get a cobbler with juicy peaches and soft plums all held together with a sweet, lemony sauce. Summer fruit cobbler perfection.