Last weekend my family and I went to Avon, Minnesota to see a special 4th of July live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion. For those of you who have never been to Minnesota, you will get a quick and thorough understanding of the place if you tune in to listen to Garrison Keiller’s show on NPR. He ends every broadcast with the phrase “…where the women are strong, the men are good looking and the kids are above average,” which pretty much sums up the place.
We brought enough food to share with the thousands of other patriotic NPR listeners sitting all around us. We arrived 4 hours early (we were far from the first ones there) and didn’t want to risk getting hungry. You know how that goes. For dessert I made blueberry cobbler, the biscuits were made with tarragon from my garden. It was hot from the oven and required its own basket and carrying case. This is significant only because of the distance between our car and the field we set up in. But, my family never said a complaining word and I marched on blissfully with my cobbler. In the end they, carrying everything else, were happy that I did.
It was such a hit that I made another batch and baked them as individuals in dainty ramekins my friend Jen bought me during her trip to Maine. This time I served the blueberry cobbler with white peach ice cream.
Blueberry Cobbler from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours (which was also a gift from Jen)
For the filling:
5 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
4-5 tablespoons sugar (depending on your taste)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (Dorie only called for 1 tablespoon, but the blueberries are so juicy I added more)
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon chopped (thyme would be lovely too, here are some I made for Baking and Books.)
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup whole milk (I used 1/2 and 1/2 because it is what I had on hand)
White Peach Ice Cream inspired by a David Lebovitz article in the July issue of Fine Cooking Magazine based on Perfect Scoop:
3 large white or yellow peaches (the white ones are a more subtle and perfumed flavor)
1/4 cup of honey
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
5 large egg yolks
To make the cobbler:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Prepare the filling:
mix together the sugar, cornstarch, zest and black pepper. Toss with the blueberries and put them in a baking dish or individual ramekins.
Prepare the topping:
grate the butter and put in the freezer to set hard, while you prepare other ingredients.
In a large bowl mix together the flours, brown sugar, baking powder and tarragon. Add the frozen butter and rub between your fingers until it looks like a course meal.
Add the milk and
stir it with a spoon just until combined. If you over do it they will be tough when baked.
Scoop up the biscuit batter and create 2″ loose balls and place on top of the fruit. Again, don’t overwork. It is okay if they are a little funky looking.
If you are making individual cobblers made a biscuit that is just smaller than the ramekin.
They don’t need to cover all the fruit, but depending on the size of your baking dish they may.
Bake for about 30 minutes for the individual ramekins. They should be golden brown and the berries should bubble around the biscuits. The large baking dish will take about 60-75 minutes.
To make the White Peach Ice Cream:
Slice the peaches.
Cook the peaches with the honey, lemon juice until they soften a bit, about 5 minutes on simmer. Refrigerate and allow them to cool completely before adding them to the ice cream base.
Serve the cobble warm with a scoop of the ice cream and you will be singing the praises of Dorie and David!