Summer Cobblers

Alabama Living Magazine

Food Styling and photos: Brooke Echols

The smell of a homemade cobbler is one of the most delectable and comforting scents to grace our homes. The ready availability of fresh fruit makes summer the perfect season to bake a cobbler your family will savor. So what exactly is a cobbler and how is it different from a pie?  We asked our friends at the Alabama Cooperative Extension System to clear that up for us.

   “The defining difference between cobbler vs. pie really comes down to the crust (or lack thereof),” says Elaine Softley, ACES regional extension agent II, Human Nutrition Diet and Health for northwest Alabama. “A pie, whether sweet or savory, always has a bottom crust, while a cobbler doesn’t. A cobbler is a baked fruit dessert without a bottom crust and the top crust is a kind of biscuit dough instead of a traditional pastry or pie dough. While almost all fruit pies need some kind of pie pan, you can bake a cobbler in any kind of baking dish, using almost any kind of fruit.”

   While some cooks like to prepare their cobblers in an iron skillet, others use a baking pan in the oven. Softley says either will work. 

   “I have made cobblers in an iron skillet, in a glass pie dish and an aluminum pie pan,she says. “All turned out delicious and were easy to prepare.”

   The recipes from our readers this month call for a variety of fruits, and even some unusual fillings, including bacon and sweet potatoes. Let us know which ones you like the best! – Lenore Vickrey

Cook of the Month: Vicky Byrd, Covington EC

Vicky Byrd of Andalusia has been making her grandmother’s Cherry Cobbler for more than 30 years. The use of pitted and stemmed cherries, mixed with lemon juice, gives the cobbler an extra “zing” that sets it apart from other fruit desserts. She makes it for family gatherings “and they all enjoy it,” she says. This recipe is also just as tasty if you want to use peaches instead of cherries, she notes.  And maybe even a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, we might add!

Cherry Cobbler

  • 6-8 cups cherries, pitted and stemmed 
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1¼ cup yellow cake mix
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons butter

Seed and stem cherries. In a large mixing bowl, add cherries, lemon juice, cornstarch, white sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix lightly. Pour into 2-quart baking dish. For topping, mix yellow cake mix, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder. Stir to combine. Use pastry knife to cut in butter into coarse crumbs. Add topping to cherry mix. Place in 425 degree oven for 25-35 minutes, until topping is golden color and juice is bubbling.

Easy Peach Cobbler

  • 1 29-ounce can sliced peaches with syrup
  • 1 package butter pecan cake mix
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Layer ingredients, in order listed, in an ungreased 9×13-inch pan. Bake 55-60 minutes. Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or cool with ice cream, if desired.

Nancy Sites Sizemore, Baldwin EMC

Red, White and Blue Berry Cobbler

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter 
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 11/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • Vanilla ice cream

In a large bowl add 1/2 cup sugar and lemon zest to the fruit. Gently stir to cover the fruit. Allow fruit to sit for 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. As the oven preheats, melt butter in a 9×13-inch casserole dish or a 15-inch cast iron skillet for a rustic look. Whisk together the flour, 1 cup sugar, milk, vanilla and pinch of salt. Pour mixture over the melted butter. Do not stir. Spoon the fruit and juice over the butter and dough mixture without stirring. Bake until the cobbler crust has turned a light golden brown and cobbler is set. This takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cooking time can vary depending upon how much juice your fruit produces. Remove from oven. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream

Kathy Phillips, Wiregrass EC

Seedless Dewberry Cobbler

  • 1 quart dewberries, washed and stems removed
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • ½ stick margarine
  • 1 small can layered flaky biscuits
  • 2 tablespoons sugar combined with ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Bring dewberries and ¼ cup water to a low boil. Remove from heat and strain through a sieve, retaining all the juice possible. Discard seeds. Mix 1½ cups sugar and 2 tablespoons flour together, add to juice. Boil on low heat until thickened. Remove from heat. Melt margarine in a casserole dish. Pull biscuits apart, layer by layer. Roll out each layer until very thin. Cut into small strips. Place layer of biscuit strips in melted margarine. Pour small amount of berries and juice over this first layer. Add biscuit strips and berries with juice alternately, ending with biscuit strips on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Bake at 350 degrees until biscuits on top are golden brown. Serve plain or slightly warm with whipped topping or ice cream.

Diane Jenkins, Black Warrior EMC

Strawberry Cobbler

  • 1 stick margarine, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced and sprinkled with sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a casserole dish with cooking spray. Place strawberries in dish. Melt margarine in microwave, set aside. Mix sugar and flour together. Add milk and mix well. Add melted margarine and vanilla flavoring, mix well. Pour batter over fruit in the prepared casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cook’s note: This recipe was found in an AREA magazine in the late 70s or early 80s. It was my father-in-law’s favorite.

Rebecca McCarter, Pioneer EC

Apple-Bacon Cobbler

  • 4-5 slices bacon, reserve bacon grease
  • 1 stick butter
  • 5 apples
  • 3 cups lemon lime soda
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups Bisquick
  • 1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place bacon in a cake or lasagna pan, baking for 30 minutes. Core, peel and slice apples, putting them in a large bowl with the 3 cups of lemon lime soda. This will keep the apple slices from browning. In a large skillet, add butter, apple juice, cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg. Drain the liquid from the apple slices; add to the skillet and bring to a boil. Boil on medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove the bacon from pan, chopping and adding to the apples. Pour apple and bacon mixture back into the baking pan and mix with the bacon grease. In a bowl mix Bisquick and milk and pour over the top of the apple-bacon mixture and bake for 30 minutes on 350 degrees.

Kirk Vantrease, Cullman EC

Photo by The Buttered Home

Crock Pot Blueberry Cobbler

Crock Pot Blueberry Cobbler is an easy dessert that captures the essence of a Southern summer. Using fresh or frozen blueberries in a hands-free cobbler is a real treat to make and eat!

  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 and ¼ cup sugar, divided 

In a large bowl, mix self-rising flour and 1 cup of the sugar and milk. There will be some lumps. Add in melted butter and mix well. Pour into a well-greased liner pot of the crock pot. Coat berries with 2 tablespoons of sugar and allow them to sit.

Sprinkle blueberries over the top of the cobbler mix in the crock pot liner. Evenly distribute them so you will not have to stir them. Sprinkle ¼ cup of sugar over the top. Cover and bake in the crock pot on low for 2 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean. 


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