full disclosure -- this is not the way i learned to make cobbler. on my southern side of the family, for whatever reason, the traditional cobbler came out much less like this and much more like a sweet, fruit lasagna -- several layers of buttery, flaky pie crust alternating with super sugary and saucy fruit filling. but, as much as i love baking, sometimes i just don't feel like actually rolling out multiple layers of dough (and i know you don't either) -- we just want to eat the dang delicious thing. and so...enter the amazingly simple biscuit "crust" cobbler.
but even though i'm cheating a bit, at least as far as my family is concerned, the biscuit cobbler is still totally traditional in many parts of the country, and still utterly delicious. and since i'm not going all out and rolling out crust, i've decided to go a little more classic with my filling here (with a little bit of a modern twist, of course). my favorite cobbler was always plum, because it was less sugary and more tart than all the rest. my granny grew her own plums for years, and when she had trees full of the plump, tart fruit, she would always make a massive cobbler (and then usually give away the rest). though i love the simple, sugary filling with just a little bite, i've cut down on the sugar in this version and added a little lemon zest (as well as juice) and fresh, fragrant mint to brighten up this beautiful, ruby-hued dessert.
for the filling:
8 ripe plums, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons honey
juice of 1 lemon
zest of half a lemon
fresh mint lives, chiffonaded (2 tablespoons, loosely packed)
coconut oil (or other fat of your choice), for coating the pan
for the biscuit dough:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup yellow stone-ground cornmeal (i used Bob’s Red Mill)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt or fine sea salt (i used pink Himalayan)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold (and i mean seriously cold -- like, frozen), cut into pieces, plus more for the baking dish
½ cup lowfat buttermilk, cold
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
how to do it:
mix all filling ingredients, with the exception of the mint, together in a large bowl. let sit for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour (or overnight, covered and refrigerated), until juices release from the fruit and the mixture becomes saucy.
1. meanwhile, make the biscuit dough. whisk flours and cornmeal together in a bowl for a good 30 seconds to 1 minute to aerate and combine. add baking soda, brown sugar, and salt and whisk again to combine.
2. add cold butter, cut into cubes, to the dry ingredients. using a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands (my preferred method), work the butter into the dry ingredients until everything begins to clump and starts to feel like wet sand.
3. add the buttermilk, and stir batter together until just combined.
4. coat bottom of a cast-iron skillet lightly with coconut oil (about 2 tablespoons). gently stir the mint into the plum mixture. pour in fruit filling, then top with rounded spoonfuls of biscuit dough, spaced out as evenly as you can manage. sprinkle turbinado sugar over top. bake at 350 degrees F for about 35 minutes, or until biscuits have set and turned slightly golden on top.
you're done! way, way easier than pie.