Getting creative with summer fruit Cobblers: These sweet, bubbling dishes offer healthier versions of old-fashioned favorites.

August 12, 1998|By NANCY BAGGETT | NANCY BAGGETT,EATING WELL MAGAZINE

Think about cobblers and crumbles and you're sure to get an image of sweet, ripe, warm fruit bubbling around a rich, crusty topping - qualities that belie their essentially humble origins. The charm in these desserts is centered in the tradition of cooks who may have had limited resources but who were creative enough - and caring enough - to make recipes for their families that went beyond simple necessity.

The economy in preparation is no less alluring today, of course, but the real delight is in their taste: One bite of a plum crumble or a raspberry-peach cobbler will make you forget the most artful and sophisticated of French pastries.

So seize the summer bounty while you're out - roadside fruit stands are overflowing and berry brambles are loaded. Whether you're drawn to a sugared, biscuit-based cobbler or a cinnamon, brown sugar and oatmeal-covered crumble, these healthier versions of old-fashioned favorites will certainly lure you back home.

Apricot-Oatmeal Crumble

Makes 8 servings

FILLING:

7 cups thickly sliced pitted apricots (2 1/4 pounds)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup apricot preserves

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

TOPPING:

1 cup old-fashioned oats

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon chilled butter, cut in small pieces

1 1/2 tablespoons lightly beaten egg

1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup slivered almonds, coarsely chopped

To make filling, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a shallow 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish or coat it with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients. Spread over bottom of prepared dish.

To make topping, in a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Work in oil and butter with your fingers until coarse crumbs form.

Using a fork, stir egg, corn syrup and almond extract into flour mixture until moistened. Sprinkle evenly over prepared fruit; top with almonds.

Bake crumble for 40 to 50 minutes, or until browned and bubbling. Cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Per serving: 380 calories; 6 grams protein; 10 grams fat (1.6 grams saturated fat); 72 grams carbohydrate; 95 milligrams sodium; 4 milligrams cholesterol; 4 grams fiber

Cherry-Berry Cobbler

Makes 8 servings

FILLING:

3/4 cup sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 cups raspberries

2 cups Bing cherries, pitted

1 cup blackberries

1 cup blueberries

1/4 cup kirsch

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

TOPPING:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon chilled butter, cut into small pieces

2/3 cup buttermilk

1 egg, lightly beaten, for glazing

To make filling, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a shallow 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish or coat it with nonstick spray.

In a large saucepan, combine all filling ingredients. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook, stirring, until sauce is slightly thickened and translucent, about 2 minutes. Transfer to prepared dish and set aside.

To make topping, in a medium bowl, combine flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Work in oil and butter with your fingers until coarse crumbs form. Add buttermilk and stir with a fork just until a dough forms. Let stand for 5 minutes.

On a sheet of wax paper, dust dough with flour and pat into a disk. Cover with another sheet of wax paper and roll out 1/2 inch smaller than the baking dish. Peel off top sheet of paper. Invert dough onto filling. Peel off paper. Cut several slashes in dough to vent steam. Brush top lightly with egg and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake cobbler for 30 to 40 minutes, or until top is browned, filling is bubbling and a toothpick inserted in the center of the topping comes out clean. Cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Per serving: 360 calories; 5 grams protein; 7 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated fat); 68 grams carbohydrate; 165 milligrams sodium; 5 milligrams cholesterol; 6 grams fiber

Plum Crumble

Makes 8 servings

FILLING:

7 cups thickly sliced pitted red or black plums (2 1/4 pounds)

2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

TOPPING:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon chilled butter, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 tablespoons lightly beaten egg

1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup

To make filling, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a shallow 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish or coat it with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine plums and brown sugar. Spread over bottom of prepared dish.

To make topping, in a medium bowl, combine flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt. Work in oil and butter with your fingers until coarse crumbs form. Using a fork, stir egg and corn syrup into flour mixture until moistened. Sprinkle evenly over plums.

Bake crumble for 35 to 40 minutes, or until browned and bubbling. Cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Per serving: 345 calories; 3 grams protein; 8 grams fat (1.4 grams saturated fat); 69 grams carbohydrate; 100 milligrams sodium; 4 milligrams cholesterol; 3 grams fiber

Pub Date: 8/12/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.