Spring is officially upon us, and the spring produce is beginning to trickle into the stores and farmers markets. As part of the April edition of the Swiss Food Blogs Foodie Challenge, we were tasked with choosing two of the items that are currently in season.
I chose Rhubarb and Mint. I have developed a like for Rhubarb in the last few years, where I previously disliked it. I think growing it ourselves in our back garden made me more willing to experiment with it. It was something I’d had maybe only a few times before, and I suppose I just didn’t like the way it was prepared. Now our own rhubarb isn’t ready to pick yet, but I did manage to find some local Swiss rhubarb in the store! Hurrah!
I knew I wanted to stray from the classic Crisp/Crumble preparation, but not too far away, and I chose to do a Cobbler. What is the difference, you might ask? Good question!
The folks over at The Kitchn have already solved this for us:
Cobblers have a biscuit topping on the fresh fruit. The biscuits are usually dropped onto the fruit in small rounds, giving it the appearance of a cobbled road and hence the name. (Some people also say they are easy to “cobble together”)
Crumbles and Crisps
Crumbles and crisps are very similar, with the name crumble originating from England. They both contain fresh fruit with a streusel-like topping that gets baked until the fruit is cooked.
The original difference between the two lay in the streusel topping: crisps would contain oats and crumbles would not. In an actual crisp, as in apple crisp or strawberry crisp, the oats in the topping crisp up as it bakes, hence the name. As time has gone by, though, the lines have blurred and the names crumble and crisp are now used interchangeably.
So there you have it.
For a Cobbler, you will first create a quick cream biscuit dough, and drop it in scoops on top of the fruit (or vegetable in this case!). Cobblers work great with stone fruits, like peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, etc. Also berries are excellent for Cobblers. Blackberries, raspberries, or mixed berries are all classic choices. You can make your dough more rustic by choosing a different flour, such as spelt, or making it gluten-free with a GF baking mix developed for sweet pastries (ones meant for bread will be too tough).
First you toss the chopped rhubarb with some sugar, lemon juice, and almond essence. If you like mint, you can add a pinch of finely chopped mint as well. If you don’t want it in the cobbler, leave it out and add it to the final presentation.
Then you quickly mix together the biscuit dough, plop some on top, sprinkle with some raw sugar, and pop it in the oven! If the cobbler browns too quickly, just lightly cover it with a piece of aluminum foil.