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~ A Simply-Scrumptious Summer Strawberry Cobbler ~

IMG_2378 2Fresh strawberry cobbler with home-churned strawberry ice cream, made the old-fashioned way, is going on our picnic table tonight.  A few years ago that I realized strawberries make superb cobbler.  I experimented on a whim and it turned out great.  It was so successful, I tried this same recipe, substituting pineapple for strawberries that same Summer, meaning:  I gained cobbler confidence.   I don't know why it surprised me, strawberries contain a lot of citric acid, so, their own natural flavor makes them perfect for the relatively-fast turn-around in the oven required for a traditional cobbler.  The moral of the story is: pretty much any juicy fruit or berry will work fantastic in this recipe, so, use what you've got and don't look back.  Be like me -- cobbler confident.

Be like me -- cobbler confident.

IMG_2369A bit about cobbler:  Cobbler is almost always associated with a baked, deep-dish fruit or berry dessert that emerges from the oven with a semi-crispy top that has been made with a batter, a biscuit dough or a pastry.  There is no right or wrong topping for a cobbler -- it depends on your preference, where you live, and/or who taught you how to make cobbler.  Cobbler recipes have been printed in European cookbooks since the 19th century and were originally main-dish, protein-based meals. Cobblers in the US originated in the Colonies because the English settlers were unable to make their traditional suet puddings for lack of ingredients and proper equipment. The name is said to derive from the finished product looking like a rough cobblestone street.

And this goes together faster than I can eat strawberries!

IMG_23424  cups hulled and 1/4"-thick sliced strawberries (24-ounces sliced strawberries)

4  ounces salted butter (1 stick)

1  cup pancake mix

1  cup sugar + 3 additional tablespoons sugar to macerate strawberries

1/2-3/4  teaspoon ground cinnamon

1  cup milk

2  teaspoons pure strawberry extract

Sugar 'n Cinnamon

IMG_2346 IMG_2346 IMG_2346 IMG_2346~Step 1.  Hull and 1/4"-thick slice the strawberries as directed, placing them in a medium bowl as you work.  Add the 3 tablespoons additional sugar.  Using a large rubber spatula, fold the sugar into the sliced strawberries and set aside, to macerate, about 5-10 minutes (no longer than that).

IMG_4768 IMG_4768~ Step 2. Place the butter in an 8" x 8" x 2" baking dish/2-quart casserole -- I like clear glass because I can keep an eye on the baking process.  Melt the butter in the microwave. Tilt the dish to evenly coat the entire bottom with the melted butter.

IMG_4772 IMG_4772 IMG_4772 IMG_2354~Step 3.  In a large bowl, stir together the pancake mix, sugar and cinnamon.  In a 1-cup measuring container, stir together the milk and strawberry extract.  Add the milk mixture to the pancake mix mixture.  Using a large rubber spatula, stir until a thin, semi-lumpy batter forms.

IMG_2358 IMG_2358 IMG_2358~Step 4.  Pour all of the batter into the baking dish right on top of the butter. Do not stir the batter into the butter.  Using a slotted spoon, spoon/distribute the strawberries evenly over the batter. Generously sprinkle the top of the berries with Sugar 'n Cinnamon.  Bake on center rack of preheated 350º oven 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool to desired temperature, 2-4 hours.

IMG_2366Note:  While the cobbler is baking, the strawberries (or any fruit) are going to sink to the bottom of the baking dish.  At the same time, the batter is going to bubble and bake up to the surface in random spots across the surface.  The cobbler will be golden and will spring back slightly when touched in center.  Walk away.  Cool at least 20-30 minutes.

Serve steamy-hot, slightly-warm or at room temperature...

IMG_2384w/old-fashioned strawberry-custard ice cream:

6a0120a8551282970b022ad37bb114200dA Simply-Scrumptious Summer Strawberry Cobbler:  Recipe yields 8-12 servings.

Special Equipment List: cutting board; chef's knife; 4-cup measuring container; 1-cup measuring container; large rubber spatula; 8" x 8" x 2" baking dish/2-quart casserole, preferably clear glass

6a0120a8551282970b01bb09adfbfd970dCook's Note: Here's a pie I seldom get the chance to make because, after making strawberry shortcakes, a batch of   strawberry preserves and  strawberry dessert topping, I rarely have strawberries left.  That said, I keep this super-simple go-to recipe in my repertoire for times when I do have a few cups of seriously-ripe strawberries at that "use 'em or lose 'em" stage.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2019)


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