It's memorial day weekend, we go up to Tahoe for three days. I visualize myself hiking under the sun in shorts and a T-Shirts. No such luck: the heater is broken and is lightly snowing. The temperature outside is 1 degree Celcius.
Whatever happened to Global Warming???
Since when does it snow at Tahoe in late May???
So what do I do? Make Warm Nectarine Cobbler! Served after Catherine Martineau's (a fabulous cook) delicious Clam Chowder, this dessert really warmed our bellies.
Nectarine Cobbler (adapted from Cook's Illustrated "Fresh Peach Cobbler"
Cobblers are different from crumbles; crumbles are made by covering fruit with crumbs, while cobblers are fruit with biscuits baked on top. The biscuits in this recipe are very soft and tender. I used nectarines instead of peaches because I did not want to bother peeling the fruit. Also, since the area around Lake Tahoe is very dry, I added another 2-3 tablespoons of yogurt to the biscuit dough because they wouldn't come together.
So, here's the recipe:
2 1/2 lbs of ripe but not mushy nectarines (about 6-8 small ones)
1/4 cup (less) sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp lemon juice (I used orange juice)
1 cup flour
3 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
5 tbsp cold butter cut up into small cubes
1/3 cup plain whole milk yogurt (like Pavel's russian, more liquid than greek-style)
- Since you are using nectarines, you don't have to peel them! Just wash them and slice them into a 9" circular pan, or and 8x8" (glass is best, really) until the pan is full. You might not need to use all the fruit.
- Transfer them to a bowl and toss them with the sugar. Let them rest for 30 minutes.
- While the nectarines are macerating, pre-heat the oven to 425F.
- After half an hour, check if the fruit has spewed a lot of juice. If you think there is more than 1/4 cup, drain a little of it.
- Combine the lemon juice with the cornstarch and mix it with the nectarines.
- Put them back into the pan and bake for 10 minutes.
- While the nectarines are cooking, make the biscuits: Combine the flour, sugar, leaveners, salt.
- Add the butter and either pulse it with the flour in a food processor, cut it in with a nifty gadget like the one in the picture (a pastry cutter), or use your fingers. Whatever the method, it should look like breadcrumbs(ish) (Kinda like >this)
- Now add the yogurt and mix it until it forms a ball (blob).
- When the nectarines are out of the oven, divided the dough into six and scoop it over the fruit. Don't let the blobs touch each other.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes (20 in altitude)
It's extremely easy to use, just slice the cold butter into small cubes and press the pastry cutter in and out of the flour and butter until the butter is well incorporated.
Here is a good article.