I was intrigued when I stumbled upon this dessert that she created for celebrating the Statue of Liberty's 100th birthday. This cross between a Dutch oven pancake and the famed French cherry clafoutis dessert is not like any cobbler I have ever made. I think of a cobbler as cooked fruit with biscuit batter on top, but Natalie has reinvented that dish to celebrate our nation's history.
What makes this so unusual? First of all there are no eggs in this recipe. You place the dish in the oven to melt the butter. When the pan is hot, you pour in the pancake-like batter topped with sweetened strawberries and let it bake until the top is puffed and brown and the bottom is caramelized. Don't worry if you see melted butter on the bottom of the dish. It gets absorbed and then becomes a crispy, caramelized crust.
My adaptation features more strawberries, buttermilk instead of milk, and vanilla. The cobbler itself has a rather dense flan-like consistency. One bite of this with roasted blueberry sauce and you'll want more. I hope you'll try this for the finale of your Fourth of July festivities this year! Don't forget a scoop of French vanilla ice cream to round out all the flavors. If you're lucky enough to have any leftover, pop it in a preheated oven for a few minutes to crisp up the bottom. Have a delicious Fourth!
STRAWBERRY COBBLER WITH ROASTED BLUEBERRY SAUCE
SERVES: 6 to 8
For the blueberry sauce:
- 18 ounces fresh blueberries, cleaned
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
For the cobbler:
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Powdered sugar, for decorating
Quart French vanilla ice cream
1. For the blueberry sauce: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place the blueberries in a medium baking dish. Sprinkle the brown sugar, butter and zest over the blueberries and mix to combine.
2. Roast until the blueberries begin to burst and the juice is syrupy, about 20 minutes. If they overcook they break down and turn into syrup with little texture so be careful. Let cool. Reserve.
3. For the cobbler: Combine the sugar and strawberries in a bowl and mix together. Allow to sit for 30 minutes so the strawberries will give off some juice.
4. Reduce the oven heat to 350 F. Place the butter in a 9-by-13 inch ovenproof dish and place in the oven to melt the butter, about 7 to 10 minutes,
5. Meanwhile sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the buttermilk, vanilla and sugar; whisk well to make a smooth batter.
6. Remove the dish from the oven with oven mitts and pour the batter over the melted butter in a smooth layer. Distribute the strawberry slices and juices evenly over the batter.
7. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cobbler has risen slightly and is light brown. The strawberries will be incased around the batter. (You may see some melted butter on the bottom, but it is absorbed once the clafoutis sits.) Sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve with blueberry sauce and a scoop of French vanilla ice cream.