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Jul 7, 2008 10:38 PM

Authentic Cobbler

Hi there,

I'm having a Pulled Pork BBQ in a couple of weeks and I thought cobbler would be a good idea for a southern style dessert. Most recipes I've read have the dough portion on top of the the fruit filling, but I always thought that was more of a "grunt" or something. Shouldn't real cobbler have the dough underneath the filling so it cooks and bubbles up through the fruit?

Any thoughts on this? Anyone have a good recipe for this type of cobbler? I'm thinking either peach, cherry or blueberry.


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  1. Not sure how authentic this cobbler is. But the fruit is poured over the dough. This is a sweet dough, not like most pie crust dough. I have made this for 40 years and it never fails.

    1 cup sugar
    2 1/2 cups fruit
    2 cups boiling water

    1 cup flour
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    4 tablespoons melted shortening ( I use Crisco )
    1/2 cup milk ( I have used 1 % and 2%,both work fine)

    Preheat oven to 350

    Pour sugar (1 cup) over fruit, cover with boiling water.

    Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in 3 quart buttered or Pammed baking dish. Stir in shortening and milk. Stir until well blended. Pour fruit mixture over the batter; DO NOT STIR.

    Bake in a 350 oven 30 to 45 minutes. Batter will rise through the fruit and liquid and brown. Check sugar content of canned or frozen fruit if not using fresh fruit. You may need to cut back on sugar in the first part of the recipe if not fresh fruit.

    serve warm in bowls and top with vanilla ice cream serves 6 to 8

    1 Reply
    1. re: Janet

      Thanks for the recipe Janet. I didn't end up making this for my BBQ, but I finally made it last night with blueberries. It turned out really well.

    2. I'm not sure what you're thinking of, but cobbler is basically sweetened fruit baked with a drop biscuit topping. There will be some variations in preparing the fruit or the exact ingredients that go into the biscuit, but that's all it is.

      4 Replies
      1. re: rockycat

        <I'm not sure what you're thinking of, but cobbler is basically sweetened fruit baked with a drop biscuit topping.> Not necessarily. Many people make cobbler with a cake-y, poured topping that is every bit as "authentic" as the biscuit topping, only different. ;>)

        1. re: ChefJune

          I need to check my notes, but I thought cobbler got its name from the way the biscuit dough looked on the top of the dessert -- cobbled and uneven.

          1. re: maria lorraine

            The foodtimeline entry for cobbler


            admits to a lot of uncertainty regarding the name. The American Heritage Dictionary gives 'unknown' for the origin of the dish. Does the name have something to do with 'to cobble' as in clumsy work, or 'cobble' as in cobblestone, a rounded rock used in paving roads. A lumpy biscuit surface could evoke either. The Wiki article for cobbler claims that in the UK, a cobbler is usually savory stew with a scone topping - "each scone (or biscuit) forming a separable cobbler".

            The wiki article describes the American version as the OP thought, a dough that 'bubbles' up through the filling. But I suspect the earliest pioneer American versions, as described on foodtimeline, were biscuit dough on top of the filling.

            The 1975 edition of Joy of Cooking allows the 'fluffy biscuit dough' to be placed either under or over the fruit filling. The 1997 edition prefers the 'cobbled together' name origin, has a whole section on 'American fruit desserts' covering pandowdies, cobblers, grunts, slumps, dumplings, crisps, crunches, buckles, and upside down cakes (and clafoutis). A vague memory of this chapter provoked my earlier comment about the variety of names.

            1. re: maria lorraine

              I have no idea where the name came from. Two of my aunts made cobbler with a biscuit-like topping, My "Other mother" gave me the recipe I use with the poured, cake-y topping. Everyone always loves it like that. That recipe was passed down in her family. An old boyfriend of my sister's also identified cobbler as made with the cakey topping.

              Personally, I don't regard Cook's Illustrated as the "bible" for anything cooking. They have some good ideas, suggestions and recipes, just as the other consumer magazines do.

        2. Dutch oven recipe collections usually have a number of versions of this type of recipe. They can range from putting biscuits on top of the fruit to dumping dry cake mix over a can of peaches (juice and all) and dotting the whole thing with butter. The variety of names, cobble, grunt, dump, etc suggests that authenticity is hard to pin down.. If you use a high proportion of eggs in your batter you can even make a classic French farm house dish (clafoutis).

          1 Reply
          1. re: paulj

            "The variety of names, cobble, grunt, dump, etc suggests that authenticity is hard to pin down." The variety of names is because there are soooo many different variations on fruit and dough and depending on what region of the USA you are in the names are often applied to different things. In the end, I find it a tomato-tomato sort of thing. My classic cobbler recipe [which I have alas, misplaced] from cook's illustrated, used a sort of cookie dough blobbed on top of the fruit. yum. Same issue had instructions for buckles, bumps, crisps, grunts, and heaven knows what. I did blackberry thing the other week that was more of a crisp with oatmeal but I have seen some recipes where they insist that a crisp must contain nuts.....
            or was that a buckle?

            tastes great either way.

          2. If you have access to Cooks Illustrated archives, they once did a cobbler master recipe article. They had master recipes for several versions, including a biscuit-like topping, a pie-crust topping, a cakey batter, and a clafouti-like batter; seems to be a matter of regional/family tradition. It's all good!

            1. In my experience what you're describing is a buckle, but these names get attached to various preparations depending, as jenn said, on where you're from. The following link will bring you to a recipe for blueberry buckle.