Summer Bounty – Blueberries and Plums (Blueberry Plum Cherry Cobbler)

The state of Michigan is the largest blueberry producer in the nation. My home state of New Jersey is the second biggest producer. Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits. As a child I loved summer drives along New Jersey’s quiet back roads with acres of farmland and farm stands filled with local produce. Most of the stands had fresh blueberries at this time of year and my mom would often stop and buy containers of blueberries for me. We ate them fresh and rarely baked with them. They did not last long enough for that.

A couple of years ago we took a family vacation to Oregon. It was blueberry season and the berries were incredibly large, sweet and flavorful. After 5 days of traveling the coast, we drove through the beautiful McKenzie River Valley. My husband found an organic blueberry farm there and we managed to get 15 lbs. of fresh blueberries on the plane in a cooler. I was thrilled.

I live in a state where the soil content is not hospitable to the growing of blueberries. But I recently discovered a source for Oregon blueberries. So, when they are not in season, I keep them in my freezer for use year-round.

I enjoy baking fruit cobblers during the summer when the fruit is at its best. One of my favorite fruit combinations is blueberry and plum. They complement each other so well. This is a great recipe; I adapted it from a peach cobbler recipe in Sunset Magazine. I had a few sweet cherries in the refrigerator and added them in as well. It is delicious, and my children love it, too. You can serve it plain or drizzle a little fresh cream on individual portions.

Blueberry Plum Cherry Cobbler
Fruit Filling
2-1/2 c. blueberries
2-1/2 c. sliced red plums
1 c. pitted and halved sweet cherries
1 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Biscuit Topping
1 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 c. unsalted butter, diced
1/2 c. heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 6-8 cup baking pan and set aside. In a large bowl combine fruit filling ingredients. Stir well and allow to sit 15 minutes so the tapioca can begin to soften. Then pour into the prepared baking pan. Prepare the biscuit topping by combining dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add butter and work it in with your hands until the butter is in pea-size lumps and the dough resembles coarse meal. Add cream and gently mix with a fork. Let sit a couple of minutes for the cream to absorb. It is sticky so I use my hands to put quarter-size clumps of biscuit topping on the fruit. Use all the topping. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the biscuit topping is light golden. Rotate pan half way through baking. Cool on a rack. Serves 6-8.


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