Desserts are not my specialty. Whenever I am asked to bring one to a gathering or dinner, my heart chokes on a beat a little. My favorite go-to recipe for dessert has been apple crisp or, *gasp*, boxed lemon meringue pie with a homemade cardboard crust and wilted meringue. I do brownies and the occasional cookie – but that’s about it. I admit it – I’m a dessert disaster waiting to happen to a friendly neighborhood gathering near you.
Add the fact that Alex and I, as well as most of our friends are trying to eat healthier – less sugar, less fat and less dessert in general and you have a first-class dessert emergency. I need something sweet and satisfying that isn’t going to kill anyone – this removes ooey-gooey brownies from the line-up and boxed lemon pie with my special crust (which unfortunately may prove to be slightly deadly on its own).
Well, I found an answer that is going to set me up for a while and keep me in good graces for many friendly dinners to come.
Fruit Cobbler. It’s ridiculously easy, quick to make up and doesn’t have enough sugar to throw one of Willy Wonka’s Oompa Loompas into a coma (heaven forbid). I made it the other night to bring to a friend’s house and it was quickly consumed – always a good sign – and there were enough pleasant noises being made to satisfy my wonderings about its success.
Suddenly Fruit Cobbler
makes enough to serve a dessert-crazed crowd of 10 or so.
for the fruit:
3 – 8ounce cans of peaches (I bought the kind that is packed in 100% juice with no added sugar)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
for the cobble:
2 cups flour (you can use whole wheat or white or a mixture of both)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 Tablespoons butter
1 cup milk and 1/2 cup plain yogurt
I know, “You’re using CANNED fruit?”
Yes I am, because this dessert is a balance between *easy* and *healthy*. This recipe was developed in desperate times for desperate situations. It’s a weapon, folks. I’ll tell you what, popping open a couple of cans of sugar-free fruit just about ended the war on time-crunches.
Alright then – on to business. Lightly grease a 13×9 inch baking dish and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Open the cans of fruit and gently pour them – juice and all – into a bowl. I say ‘gently’ because I recklessly dumped them in and was showered in fruit juice. Yum.
Next, add your spices and honey or maple syrup and stir it all together. This gets poured into the baking dish and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Cut the butter into pieces and mix with a fork, pastry blender or your fingers so that it gets blended into the flour mix. This is always my favorite part for some reason, I love cutting in butter! Your flour mix will end up the consistency of slightly damp sand, holding together when squeezed, but falling apart as soon as you tap it. Pour in the milk and yogurt and stir it all together. You should have something akin to a very thick batter. This is going to be spooned onto the fruit, creating the biscuit top.
It’s baking time! Put that lovely dish in the oven and set the timer for 20-25 minutes. Depending on your oven, it might take a little more or less than that. It’s done when the biscuit crust is well-browned and cracked in the middle, showing just a bit of its fluffy inside. You can serve it warm, in bowls with a bit of the fruit ‘syrup’ spooned over top and a dollop of whipped cream, or it is just as tasty cool.
So – I guess if you invite us for dinner and ask me to bring dessert you know what you’ll get, but that’s ok because it tastes good and until I get my dessert-making down, believe me – you won’t miss the surprise!