Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I walk on the sidewalk but I skip on a cobbled path

Oh my does time fly. A year has passed since I took my first baking class at New School of Cooking, and it was Chef May Parich who introduced me to cobblers. I've never heard of this juicy fruit dessert before because Chinese cuisine have more sweet soups than baked goods. Some of the common ingredients the Chinese use are red jujube, red bean, goji berry, and lotus seeds. It's interesting how these ingredients are usually flavorless if you eat them raw and once you cook them they release a hint of sweetness in the soup; on the other hand, fruits lose its acidity after baking. Depends on how you treat the ingredient on hand you get different flavors.

two red ramekins side by side; biscuit is golden yellow with a hint of blueberry juice sipping out on both of themI never baked with blueberries until my biscuit class. The first thing we learned was to crumble butter and flour together into little peas. This is my favorite step in making biscuits, and this is also why I like to make biscuits or pie crusts by hand. I like the silky butter on my finger then rubbing it away with bits of flour.

Contrast to biscuit, in which you need to worry about the dough not raising in the oven, cobblers have no such problem because the main star here is the baked fruit (whatever you decide to slip under the biscuit). I remember baking with apricot and blueberry in class, and I much preferred blueberry's vibrant color after baking. Apricot was a bit boring and stayed rather pale.

a hint of blue juice is visible on the golden biscuit crust in a red ramekinSo yesterday I baked a blueberry cobbler in four ramekins. I had some when it first came out and the hot blueberry juice goes so well with the crunchy biscuit. I admit I over biscuited the cobbler because the biscuit sank down and basically took over the whole ramekin and pushed the blueberries to the side. Nevertheless, butter and blueberry are pretty darn good together! The flavor preserves pretty well because I had a happy breakfast the next day and licked the ramekin clean. As expected though the biscuit lost its crunch texture and the butter flavor isn't as strong, so the cobbler tasted like bread soaked in blueberry jam. It was definitely an appetizing breakfast compare to milk + cereal.

The recipe below makes four servings. You can also bake everything in one square pan to make one serving, and feel free to double the recipe. I cut the original recipe in half and further reduced the sugar level because I want to taste more blueberry.

a list of ingredients and instruction to recreate blueberry cobbler

blueberries in four ramekins ready for biscuit topping

a fork dipping into the cobbler and extracting out a large chunk of biscuit with blueberry juice and blueberries clinging onto the biscuit

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