Nectarine Cobbler

I figured dessert has been a little ice cream-centric lately, so it only seemed fair to give something else a shot. Well one of my favorite fruits has been very available lately–nectarines–and what better way to serve up a nectarine dessert than in a cobbler?

Nectarine Cobbler

Cobblers are a fun, comforting dessert–sort of like a fruity pie but without the trouble of making a proper crust and sort of like a cake, but without worrying about it looking pristine. A cobbler is just a nice, no frills way to serve up some delicious fruit. This smelled great while baking in the oven and it tasted wonderful–light, sweet, lively fruit flavor, and a spongy cake-like topping with a nutty crunch. I was disappointed in it when I ate it the first night though, but was delighted to fall in love with it again the next day–I suppose the flavors were shy and had to get to know each other a little better by spending the night with one another.

Ripe nectarines

If I had to change anything though, I would use more nectarines next time. I thought five seemed like a reasonable amount, but ultimately, that cake topping sopped up a lot of the fruit (without getting mushy, which was nice!), leaving some parts without a clearly identifiable fruit “filling.” I would probably double the number of nectarines and take it from there–I mean, can you really have too many? Fruit is what makes this good for you (right? 😮 )!

I adapted this recipe from a blackberry cobbler recipe included in The Williams-Sonoma Collection: Dessert.

  • Filling
    • 5 ripe nectarines (this was around 1.75 lbs, but I would use more next time–as much as double)
    • just under 1/4 cup finely granulated sugar
    • 1/8 cup brown sugar
    • 1 Tbsp flour
    • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
    • pinch of salt
  • Topping
    • 1.25 cups flour
    • just under 1/4 cup finely granulated sugar
    • 1/8 cup brown sugar
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • pinch nutmeg
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk
    • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
    • 3/4 tsp vanilla
    • Optional: 1/2 cup pecans

Briefly boiled and easily peeled nectarines

Here’s a neat trick I only learned recently. If your nectarines are pretty ripe, you might be wondering how on earth you’re going to peel off the skins without squishing the fruit and losing a lot of juice in the process. The easy solution? Let the fruit do it for you. Simply get a saucepan on the heat and boil some water.

Pull off the peels with ease

Once the water is boiling, score each fruit along its natural curve (that dimple each nectarine has that makes it look like a baby’s rear-end) and then gently place it in the water for about 30 seconds (or 45 seconds if the fruit isn’t super ripe). Fish the fruit back out with slotted spoon, and now, you should be able to grab the skin and peel it off fairly easily.

Pit and cut nectarines into wedges

Then, simply cut the fruit up into wedges, removing the pit, and set these all aside in a bowl. If there’s any stubborn pieces of flesh stuck to the pit, just squeeze the hell out of it and get the juice into the bowl (it’s all delicious, right?). Add in the flour, zest, salt, and sugars, gently tossing the fruit in it to get things well mixed. The nectarines will begin to macerate in the presence of all of this sugar, softening up a bit more and releasing even more of their juices. Are your hands covered in this mixture now? Lick them clean (you weren’t going to just wash that sweet nectar off down the drain, were you?!).

Macerated nectarine wedges

Grease your intended baking dish with butter and pour the macerating fruit mixture into the dish. Set this aside while you work on the top half of the cobbler. Also take this opportunity to preheat the oven to 375?F.

Smash the pecans Mix the liquid batter components Fold the dry into the wet, gently mixing the batter

Begin by crushing the nuts somewhat coarsely. Smashing them with a meat mallet while in a plastic bag is a quick and easy way–just don’t go overboard and turn it all into powder. Set this aside.

Then, in a large bowl, mix the flour, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk the remaining (wet) ingredients together well. Then, gently fold the wet bowl into the dry bowl and a not so attractive looking, fluffy, tacky batter should form, touched with a tangy but inviting aroma. Fold just until mixed.

Spread the batter over the fruit mixture

With the fruit mixture ready to go and the topping mixed, scoop and spread it on top of the fruit filling. Don’t worry if it doesn’t cover all of the fruit–its unlikely that it will and its ok. “Cobbler” doesn’t scream “neat” and all dolled up. If you’re using nuts, sprinkle them on top for a nice rustic look and a great added toasty, nutty (go figure!) flavor. Gently press the nuts into the dough so they don’t just fall off later.

Cobbler fresh out of the oven, smelling great!

Transfer this to the oven and let it bake for about 45 minutes. The fruit filling should be bubbly and the topping cake-like. Let it cool off a little bit and enjoy a nice scoop of it warm! I find this goes well with a creamy side/garnish–a small scoop of mascarpone, a dollop of whipped cream, a scoop of ice cream, blueberries (an allusion to the next dessert posting, oh the suspense!). Whatever the case, enjoy!

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10 Responses to “Nectarine Cobbler”

  1. Susan from Food Blogga Says:

    Oh, I adore cobblers–they’re so low maintenance and comforting. Plus they’re great year-round. I love to experiment with different fruit combinations, liked mixed berries in the summer and apples and dates in the fall. You’ve got me hankering for some cobbler now, Mike!

  2. Nora Says:

    Ciao Mike,
    Your crumble certainly does look comforting. Cobblers are what I turn to when the weather is too warm for me to make a short crust pastry type of pie or even a crumble.

    Necatarines have been in season down under for several months here now, but it’s almost over… sad for me as I love eating and cooking with fresh stone fruits. I did make a simple cake with my last batch of nectarines, will post it another time.

    Nora

  3. Toni Says:

    Since I’m positively autistic when it comes to making pie crusts, I’m a major cobbler fan! Funny thing – I think cobblers must be in the air these days. A friend of mine made one the other day with berries!

  4. Pixie Says:

    Those nectarines look so heavenly. I would just love them on their own right now, as it is 8am! However, later on in the day you can serve me some of that delicious dessert.

  5. mike Says:

    Susan — they really are, and something about their haphazard look is just charming. I never would have thought of a combo of apples and dates–that sounds like a great autumn cobbler!

    Nora — thanks :-) Something about them satiates the pie/crumble craving without all of the extra work. I love some good nectarines! Our season for them hasn’t quite come yet, but then the “local” growers will drive a fresh crop down from Georgia and then its a feast of juicy stone fruit.

    Toni — I used to be a pie crust kick for a while, but now that it’s been so long, I can’t get myself to go make another one just yet. And its funny how the foods we make all seem to inadvertently track one another–definitely something in the air. I’ve also noticed muffins (another post I’ve got coming up in a week or two) seem to suddenly be popping up…

    Pixie — thanks! :-) They were wonderful–the kind where no matter how gently you handle them, juice will be dripping down your hands and arms faster than you can lick it all up.

  6. Nina Says:

    Your cobbler looks scrumptious. I’ve send you a little award, well done.

  7. Kevin Says:

    Nectarine cobbler sounds really good!

  8. Flanboyant Eats Says:

    oh yeah Mike. This looks like the real deal! Living in Atlanta has caused me put a few extra pounds on b/c of things like this!

    I try to stay away, but man it looks delicious! Great pics.

  9. mike Says:

    Nina — I really appreciate it :-) Thanks on both counts

    Kevin — thanks!

    Flanboyant — welcome and thanks! Atlanta? So you’ve got the best hook-up for these delicious fruits while I, the one who hates oranges, live in a citrus state. 😉 Thanks again and I hope you keep visiting. :-)

  10. nikejordan Says:

    Hack again?!

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