Learn how to make a delicious cherry cobbler using tart or sour cherries, particularly the Montmorency variety.
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When it comes to fruit based dessert - the cobbler is high on my list.
It's easier to make that pie and tastes just as good - maybe even better. I like the fruit to dough ratio in a cobbler.
Cobbler got it's name because the ingredients are "cobbled" together. The word "cobble" means "to put together clumsily". It's not a fancy or fussy dessert. Although it's not fancy it can be full of flavor even the proper ingredients are used.
Cherries are one of my favorite fruits to cobble so they are the topic of this post.
Here is what you will need to make this cobbler:
- cold butter cut into cubes
- brown sugar
- all-purpose flour
- demerara sugar for sprinkling (optional)
- pinch of kosher salt
- tart cherries
- cane sugar
- potato or tapioca starch
It all starts with the cherries. They need to taste good. And for the best results they need to be tart cherries. These cherries provide the most flavor as well as the tartness to balance out all the sugar.
The most common tart cherry variety is the Montmorency. I am also a fan of the Balaton that is darker in color, is a little sweeter, with a flavor I like better. But you can't go wrong with either if you can find them. Balaton cherries are a lot harder to find, even frozen.
Montmorency cherry is named after a region in France that is known for being where tart cherries were first cultivated.
Fresh tart cherries would be best, but most people won't have access to them. Here in Michigan we grow the most tart cherries in the country, so every July I can get a hold of a lot.
Frozen will have to be the option for the majority. With the rise in popularity of sour cherries you can find them in most major grocery stores freezer section.
You can still use sweet cherries, try to pick them when they are in peak season for the best results.
Flour, butter, and sugar is what makes up the topping for the cobbler. Where you can really make a difference in the end result is selecting good brown sugar.
Did you know you can make your own brown sugar at home in a food processor (read my post on homemade brown sugar)? Homemade brown sugar tastes so much better than store bought.
Another option would be to use Muscovado Sugar. This is a natural unrefined sugar that has hints of caramel in it's flavor. It's the only thing better than homemade brown sugar.
I like to sprinkle Demerara Sugar on top. This is a sugar (most people know it has Sugar in the Raw) that doesn't dissolve in the oven, so it leaves a nice little crunch on the top of the cobbler.
To learn more about different types of baked fruit desserts, read my post on What is the Difference Between a Cobbler and a Crisp?
💡 Top Tip
The last thing I want is a messy cherry cobbler. To prevent that trouble I recommend mixing some potato starch or better yet tapioca flour with the cherries to help thicken the liquid they release as they cook.
A lot of recipes call for corn starch but I think adds a flavor to the fruit that I would rather not have.
🍰 More Desserts to Make
Here are some other desserts you might want to try your hand at
- Peach Pie
- Strawberry Rhubarb Sour Cream Muffins
- Lemon Meringue Pie
- Lemon Poppyseed Muffins with Blueberries
- Apple Quinoa Cobbler
🍒 More Cherries to Try
Here are some cherry varietals you will want to check out.
For the topping
- 4 tablespoons cold butter cut into cubes
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- demerara sugar for sprinkling optional
- pinch of kosher salt
For the filling
- 1 quart tart cherries
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- 3 teaspoons potato starch or tapioca flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the cherries, starch or flour, and sugar in a square baking dish.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar and flour. Add the butter. Using your hands rub the butter into the sugar/flour mix until it's the texture of cornmeal.
- Evenly distribute the topping on the cherries. Sprinkle on some demerara sugar on top (optional)
- Bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the topping has browned and the fruit is thicken. Allow to cool until the fruit sets up before serving. Can be served warm, cold, or at room temperature.
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