This peach, blueberry and blackberry almond cobbler combines delectable summer fruits in a familiar dessert with a nontraditional bonus, almond flavor from the almond paste used in the dough.
It's simple to make from scratch, tastes fine cold - but is a treat served warm with vanilla ice cream.
Remember, too: Because you can make it using frozen fruit in winter, this is a cobbler for all seasons.
Peach and Berry
(Preparation-assembly 35 minutes, 45 minutes baking, total time 80 minutes)
For the Filling:
3 pounds peaches, peeled and sliced into 1Ú2-inch slices
1 pint fresh blueberries, stems removed, washed
1 pint blackberries, washed
1Ú2 cup sugar
21Ú2 T. cornstarch
1Ú4 teaspoon nutmeg
For the Cobbler Topping:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1Ú2 cup sugar
1Ú2 teaspoon baking soda
1Ú2 teaspoon baking powder
1Ú4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold butter
7-ounce package almond paste
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or similar size.
Place peaches, blueberries and blackberries in a large bowl. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch and nutmeg. Pour over fruit and mix together until well incorporated. Pour into baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes while preparing almond topping.
Sift flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. On the large-hole side of a box grater, grate the butter and almond paste (yes, it can be done) into flour mixture. Mix with fingers until the dough is the texture of small crumbs (or use a food processor, or pastry cutter). Add buttermilk and stir until just mixed. To make sure you get tender biscuits, don't overmix.
Remove baking dish from oven and drop dough by rounded tablespoons on top of hot fruit (an ice-cream scoop with a wire release makes this step effortless). Return dish to oven and bake for 35 minutes more, or until fruit is bubbly and biscuits are golden-brown. Delicious cold, or warm, served with vanilla ice cream.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.
(Recipe from Andre Prost Inc., Odense Almond Paste. Further details and recipes, go to http://www.odense.com)
Spiced Poached Pear With Date and Almond Spoon Sweet
(Note: Some preparation needs to be done 1 day ahead)
2 cups Moschofilero wine (see note)
11Ú2 cups Samos wine (see note)
1Ú2 cup sugar
1Ú2 cup honey
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
1 stick cinnamon
2 bay leaves
6 pears, Bartlett or Bosc, peeled, halved and cored
1Ú4 cup Greek yogurt (made from cow's milk, available at many fine food stores), optional garnish
Combine all ingredients except the pears in a large saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add pears to pan and poach for 8 minutes, until tender. Place saucepan into an ice bath to cool quickly. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
For the Date and Almond Spoon Sweet:
3Ú4 cup almonds, shelled (with skin)
2Ú3 cup sugar
1Ú2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
3Ú4 cup water
1Ú2 cup dates, pitted, whole (10 dates)
Rinse the almonds in cold water and place them in a medium-sized stainless steel pot.
Add 6 tablespoons sugar, the vanilla bean and 1Ú2 cup water. Bring water to a boil, skim the impurities, and lower to a simmer.
Cook for 30 to 40 minutes until mixture is a thick syrupy consistency. Skim any impurities that may form at the top, keep warm over low heat.
In a clean medium-size stainless steel pot, combine the dates, 3 tablespoons sugar, and 1Ú4 cup water. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Fold the dates with their syrup into the almond mixture. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, remove from heat to cool.
Place 2 pear halves on each dessert plate; top with 1 tablespoon of Date and Almond Spoon Sweet, and 1 tablespoon of yogurt, if desired.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Note: Moschofilero is a dry white wine from Greece. If you cannot find Moschofilero, any dry white wine will do. Samos is a sweet Greek wine (use another Muscat dessert wine if you cannot find Samos).
(Recipe from Jim Botsacos of Molyvos, New York City)