Apricot Cobbler with Cornmeal Biscuits
Although apricots will grow in many regions, George
and Anna Zebroff picked the perfect place to grow one
of their favorite fruits: a dry climate with plenty
of heat during ripening. It's surprisingly difficult
to find really good apricots; the best 'cots are grown
with little, if any, water, so ask your grower whether
he or she irrigates the trees, and, if so, how close
My favorite variety of all time is one that George
and Anna produce and that we grow at Fairview Gardens
: Royal Blenheim. It's an old variety, and it often
matures small and not so perfect looking, but the flavor
is as rich as that of any you'll find.
This is a charming, old-fashioned dessert-the kind
your grandmother made (or should have made). The buttery
yellow cornmeal biscuits give the cobbler a rough,
craggy top, and the fruit juices spill over the sides.
The cornmeal gives the biscuits a little extra crunch,
and goes well with the tart apricots.
2 1/2 pounds apricots, halved, pitted,
and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
3/4 cup plus 2
1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
3 tablespoons sugar, plus 2 to 3 tablespoons
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter,
cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter,
Heavy cream or vanilla ice cream for serving
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Put the apricots and sugar in a large bowl and toss
well to combine. Transfer to a 10-inch deep-dish pie
pan. Place the pie pan on a baking sheet lined with
aluminum foil and bake until the fruit begins to bubble,
25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the biscuits: Combine the flour, cornmeal,
3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and
salt in a large bowl. Add the cold butter pieces. Using
your hands, toss the butter around to coat each piece
with the flour mixture-this helps the butter to cut
in evenly. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut the
butter into the flour mixture until there are no large
lumps and the mixture is the texture of coarse oatmeal.
Make a well in the center of the dough and add the
cream. Stir, gradually pulling in the dry ingredients
from the sides of the bowl, to make a soft, moist dough.
When the fruit begins to bubble, remove the pie pan
from the oven and spoon biscuit-size mounds of the
dough on top-don't worry if the fruit is covered unevenly.
Brush the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle
to taste with the 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar. Return
the cobbler to the baking sheet in the oven and bake
until the biscuits are golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 15 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature, in a puddle of heavy
cream or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.