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Cobblers, Crisps and Crumbles

September 9, 2014 - Radio Kitchen - Cobblers, Crisps and Crumbles

If you're by nature patient and optimistic, this time of the year is the big pay-off.  We all love summer, but that humidity is just a killer.  So when we start to detect those first cool breezes of Autumn, we all indulge in a quiet little smile, take a deep breath and think, "bring it on."  And along with these first cooler days comes the richest season in Maryland for fruit.  And Chef Jerry Pelligrino of Waterfront Kitchen suggests  some very nice ways of enjoying the harvest.

This is the time to start cooking fruit cobblers, crisps and crumbles.  A cobbler is a confection baked in a deep sided dish, featuring a fruit filling and a crust made of batter, biscuit or pie crust.  A crisp is similar, using a crumbly mixture that is higher in sugar, and perhaps containing crushed nuts for extra crunch.  A crumble uses a buttery, almost shortcake batter that is dryer than a crisp.  Here's Jerry's basic cobbler recipe, followed by the basic recipe for fruit filling:

           Cobbler Topping

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 oz. butter, softened

2 eggs

Extra sugar

Combine all ingredients with a spoon. Drop topping on top of cobbler filling. Sprinkle with extra sugar and bake.

                Cobbler Fruit Filling

1 1/2 - 2 pound fresh fruit, peeled, cored, and cut up into bite sized pieces

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp cornstarch

1.  In a large bowl combine the ingredients, tossing to coat evenly.  Pour the fruit into a large 2 quart baking dish and bake in a 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

2.  Keep the fruit in the baking dish and cover with spoonfuls of your cobbler batter.  Sprinkle with sugar and bake for about 30 minutes.

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
Executive Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Corks restaurant is fascinated by food and wine, and the way they work in harmony on the palate. His understanding of the two goes all the way to the molecular level, drawing on his advanced education in molecular biology. His cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients together to work with Corks' extensive wine offerings.