This seemed like it would be the world's easiest cobbler, when I first began making it. The recipe is simple and looked interesting, with a johnnycake topping. Johnnycake is the name white cornmeal was given in the early days of this country before the United States won independence. So, I thought this might be a nice dessert to celebrate July 4th. Unfortunately, the cobbler suddenly rebelled (like the American colonies) and refused to bake as ordered. Instead of taking only 16 minutes, as the instructions called for, it took almost 40 minutes. The resulting cobbler tasted very good, but the extended baking time made the biscuit topping crisp, not light and fluffy. Still, I enjoyed a dish of it with ice cream.
I followed the instructions on putting the topping on, but I now think it would be better to make the layer thinner. A wider dish is probably better than this one, even though the cookbook showed it cooked in a dish with the same type of width.
The crust rebelled and took almost 4 times as long to bake as it should have taken. The cobbler still tasted good, but it would have been better if the topping was lighter and fluffier than it turned out. However, I enjoyed the corn meal in the topping. It provided a light crunch that was very enjoyable. I'll try this again, with a thinner application of crust. And maybe I'll cook it on a holiday that doesn't celebrate a successful rebellion and independence. You never know what ideas ingredients may pick up.
Johnny Cake Plum and Cherry Cobbler
(Baking With Julia)
6 cups sliced plums and pitted sweet cherries
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar (or more to taste)
Melt the butter and add the sugar, stir to dissolve. Then add the fruit and cook over medium heat until the fruit gives up some liquid and softens. This took me about 4 minutes. Then raise the heat to high and cook for a couple minutes to reduce the juice a bit. Then put the fruit in a 1.5 quart dish or divide among small individual baking dishes.
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup white stone ground corn meal--you can use yellow if you wish
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter (4 Tablespoons)
1-1'2 cups heavy cream
Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a food processor bowl. Pulse a few times to mix together. Then drop the pieces of butter in the bowl and flip them a few times with your fingers to coat with flour. Then pulse about 18 times until all the butter has been combined with the flour and it looks like meal. (Note: You can make this strictly by hand if you wish.) Make a well in the center of the flour and pour 1-1'4 cup of the cream in the center. Using a fork, draw the flour into the center and mix together. The mixture should form curds as you mix it and all come together in a moist mixture. If it's still dry, add up to 1/4 cup more cream to the mixture. Spoon the mixture onto top of the fruit. Don't worry if it looks uneven or clumpy.
Place baking dish on a foil covered jelly roll pan and cook for 16 to 20 minutes until nicely browned. Let rest for 10 minutes after you take it out of the oven and serve warm. Serve the same say you baked it. Do not reheat. Serve at room temperature for up to 3 hours after baking.