Happy Monday after Easter everyone! Let’s celebrate this great occasion by talking about an amazing new cookbook by a fellow blogger that I’m obsessed with, both her and this beautiful book. Sweeter Off the Vine by Yossy Arefi is a must have for anyone and everyone who loves fruit desserts. It’s broken up by season and by fruit, making it easy for you to pick what to make at any given time of the year. And even if you’re not much of a baker, these recipes are easy enough to make you feel like a boss in the kitchen. The photos alone will make you want to eat and make everything inside of it. As soon as I got the book last week, I bookmarked practically every recipe that I was dying to try out. I took a trip to the grocery store this past weekend, and the strawberries were calling out to me. I’m fortunate enough to live in California where there are strawberries pretty much all year round, but in early spring like right now, they’re out of this world. So I grabbed a few boxes and came up with a game plan. The one recipe that kept sticking out to me from the book is the Blueberry Skillet Cobbler with Whole Wheat Biscuits, but since blueberries aren’t in season at the moment, and since Yossy suggests in the notes of the recipe that you can try it with strawberries as well, that’s what I did. I can’t wait to make the cobbler with blueberries once it’s the right time of year again. I’ve decided to give it a try each season, but with different fruit. Let’s see how that goes for me.
Because I’m obsessed with this cobbler, this book and giving away free things, I’ve decided it’s about time for another giveaway on the blog. It’s been too long since the last one. Plus, it’ll make my mamma really happy to be able to read all of your responses and pick a winner once again. So here we are, I’m giving away a copy of the book so that you can have one all to yourself. You know the drill, and just in case this is your first time at the rodeo, I’ll refresh your memory. You enter the giveaway be leaving a comment below, answering a question. The question this time around is “What is your favorite fruit or fruit dessert?” I want to hear all about your favorite fruit. Give me all the details, memories or stories you have regarding your answer. The more detailed the better. Not because it’ll up your chances (because the winner will be picked at random) but because I love reading your answers. You have until the end of the week to participate, and keep in mind that it’s one entry per person. I like to keep things fair. I’ll let the winner know through email, and update this post at the bottom with the lucky chosen one. May the odds be in your favor and may you win. Good luck. I’m rooting for you!
Let’s start by rinsing whatever berries or fruit you’re doing. If you’re using strawberries like I did, go ahead and stem them and cut them in half. If they’re small, keep them whole, that’ll be okay.
**Tip: As Yossy recommends, also try them with in season fruit. Try it with apples or pears in autumn or rhubarb in spring or cranberries in winter! Or do a mixture of berries!**
Toss the berries together with sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, orange zest, and nutmeg until evenly combined.
**Note: Give the fruit a taste before tossing the filling together, if they’re sweet enough, add less sugar, or if they’re not that ripe, add more sugar.**
Pour the berries into a buttered cast-iron skillet and shake the pan so they’re in an even layer. Set the skillet off to the side while you work on the whole wheat biscuits.
In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat and all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined. In a measuring cup, whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Mix together with a rubber spatula until it comes together.
**Tip: Do not over-mix the dough or else you’ll end up with tough biscuits. The dough will be soft and somewhat sticky.**
Use a spring-hinged ice cream scoop or two spoons to portion out eight even biscuits on top of the berries. Make sure to space them out evenly as they’ll rise and spread during baking.
Brush the biscuits with a bit more cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. The sugar on top is optional, but it adds a great finishing touch and texture to the biscuits.
Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the biscuits are golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through baking to ensure even browning.
**Tip: Place the skillet on top of a baking sheet to catch any drippings. It’s better that any juice lands in the baking sheet rather than the oven.**
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving. As with any cobbler or crumble, it’s best served warm with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
I love these types of desserts because they’re super easy to put together. You don’t have to worry about resting or rising times or lots of mixing or kneading. Just pour the fruit into a skillet—any fruit for that matter, it’s completely customizable—and then just scoop out biscuit dough on top. Bake and forget about it.
I’ve also come to realize that any type of fruit dessert is always welcome at dinner parties or gatherings. Especially during the summer, and when ice cream is involved, forget about it. People lose their cool. Ice cream always makes everything better, and if you don’t agree with me, then you’re stone cold evil…no, you’re not.
This cobbler is best when eaten the day you make it, but if there are any leftovers (how could there be??!), you can store them in the fridge and eat them the next morning for breakfast. It’s the best breakfast in all the world.
Contest Rules: Don’t forget to enter the contest by leaving a comment below so that you can win a copy of Sweeter Off The Vine for yourself! It’s so easy to enter, just leave a comment telling me what your favorite fruit or fruit dessert is. As always, only one entry per person, let’s keep things fair for everyone. Also, give me more than just a simple one word answer (I mean you can) but I LOVE to read all about your answers. Why you love this particular fruit or fruit dessert, what memories it brings you or the experience you felt when you first tried it. I want details! You have until the end of the week to enter, then my mom (of course) will pick the winner at random on Friday and I’ll let you know through email if you won! Good luck, I’m rooting for you!
- 3 pounds fresh strawberries, stemmed and cut in half
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Juice from ½ a lemon
- ½ teaspoon orange zest
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 teaspoons turbinado sugar
- vanilla ice cream, to serve
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with butter, set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss together the strawberries with the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, orange zest, and nutmeg until evenly combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared skillet. Shake into an even layer and set aside.
- To make the biscuits, in a large bowl, combine the whole wheat and all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a measuring cup, whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, heavy cream and vanilla extract. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet. Stir gently with a rubber spatula until just combined and the dough comes together. The dough will be soft and sticky.
- Using two spoons or a medium ice cream scoop (spring-loaded) and scoop out 8 biscuit mounds on top of the berries. Space them out evenly as they're rise and spread during baking. Brush the tops with the leftover liquid in the measuring cup and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Place the skillet over a baking sheet and bake until fruit is bubbling and the biscuits are golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool somewhat. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream. Cobbler is best the day of, but leftovers can be stored in fridge and rewarmed the next day or eaten cold.