The recipe was chosen by Amanda of Like Sprinkles on a Cupcake and my feelings have been mixed about the selection. The cherry is a fruit that I have always been on the fence about; I’ve had great cherry-based desserts and others that I literally could not swallow. Rhubarb has remained an oddity in my book and I think it stems from trips to the grocery store as a child when my rudimentary thought process was:
1. I do not like celery.
2. Rhubarb looks like celery.
3. Therefore, I do not like rhubarb.
I am reminded of a fabulous story that was recently aired on NPR’s This American Life, entitled “A Little Bit of Knowledge“. The stories within this episode were about speaking like an expert on topics we know little of, including misconceptions and irrational reasoning that manifests in our childhoods and take with us as adults.
Rhubarb is a perfect example.
1. I still do not like celery.
2. Rhubarb still looks like celery.
3. Therefore, I still do not like rhubarb.
It has come the point where someone mentions rhubarb and all I picture is celery. Which is why I made the face I did when reading “Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler” (voice in Jessica’s head: “Cherry Celery Cobbler? Who the hell would eat that?”).
But, enough about my contribution to “Jackass Monthly” (reference will make more sense when you listen to the NPR story), onto the kitchen.
1 lb sweet cherries, pitted and halved
4 long rhubarb stalks, trimmed, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp ground ginger
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup whole milk
* Mix cherries and rhubarb together in bowl
* Sprinkle sugar, cornstarch and ginger over fruit and toss well, set aside
* Give a few tosses while making the topping
* Pulse flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and ginger in food processor a few times
* Scatter pieces of butter over dry ingredients and pulse until course
* Add milk while pulsing
* Pulse until moist clumps are formed
* Turn onto a lightly floured surface and form 20 balls
* Pour the fruit and liquid into greased 8×8 glass baking dish
* Top with dough balls
* Bake at 375°F for 35-45 minutes
→ A revelation: rhubarb does not taste like celery
→ However, I found rhubarb to be a tad bitter; unsure if this is normal rhubarb flavor or if I just need a lesson in how to select rhubarb
→ I had two Granny Smith’s lying around, so they got chopped up and added to the cobbler. Not sure if this was such a great idea since I found the rhubarb to be bitter.
→ Another revelation: a cherry pitter is a valuable time saver. Wish I owned one. (Well, wouldn’t you know it! It’s on my wedding registry!)
→ I thought the wheat flour was wonderful in the topping.
→ I do not own a food processor, but everything turned out just fine mixing by hand. (Amazing! A food processor is also on the registry!)
→ Hoped for a stronger ginger taste. Next time I think I will add more or omit the ginger all together and do something citrus: adding lemon juice to the filling and the rind to the topping. May work ok with orange juice and rind, too.
→ Call me lazy, but I didn’t feel like rolling the dough into 20 little balls. I rolled the dough into one large ball and dropped hunks of it all over the top of the cobbler
→ Cobblers are a great introductory baking dish and extremely versatile; I encourage everyone to give it a try. I know I will be using the wheat flour topping recipe in future cobblers.
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Look carefully and you can see the steam – I couldn’t even wait for Matt to come home before I dug in!