Fruity treats

Cooking 101

June 06, 2007|By Kate Shatzkin | Kate Shatzkin,Sun Reporter

Grunts, buckles, crumbles, crisps, cobblers and slumps are all lively ways of describing fresh, seasonal fruit bound to various degrees by batter, streusel or pastry. Though the cobbler can be the most involved of these to put together (which is to say it still doesn't take much work), William Carlile, a pastry chef instructor at Baltimore International College, thinks it's the prettiest.

Little touches -- like putting the peaches in before the juices to prevent soaking the bottom crust -- help keep his cobbler from getting soggy in the heat. Though some cobblers have a rustic, freeform topping, Carlile prefers the fancier look of an easy lattice pattern.

Carlile uses peaches in this traditional cobbler recipe, but says cooks should feel free to experiment. Blackberries, for example, would mix in nicely with the peaches.

kate.shatzkin@baltsun.com

A GLOSSARY OF FRUIT DESSERTS

Buckle: A yellow cake with fruit and a streusel topping that sinks (or "buckles") into the batter.

Cobbler: A baked, deep-dish fruit dessert topped with a thick crust sprinkled with sugar.

Crumble: Baked fruit with a simple crumb topping (often including oats) and no bottom crust.

Crisp: A fruit mixture similar to a crumble, baked until its topping is brown and crunchy.

Grunt: Fruit topped with biscuit dough and stewed; often found in New England.

Slump: Another name for a grunt.

[Sources: The New Food Lover's Companion; The Fannie Farmer Cookbook; The Oxford Companion to Food. Compiled by Kate Shatzkin]

THE TECHNIQUE

1 -- Make pastry dough and pat into a disc. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

2 -- Roll out half the dough and press dough into the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of a baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

3 -- Meanwhile, saute peaches with lemon and orange juices and butter, then combine with sugar mixture and pour into crust.

4 -- Roll out remaining dough and cut into strips. Arrange in a lattice pattern over peaches and bake.

OLD-FASHIONED PEACH COBBLER / / MAKES 16 TO 18 SERVINGS

BASE CRUST:

21 / 2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup shortening

1 egg

1 / 4 cup cold water

FILLING:

3 pounds fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced

1 / 4 cup lemon juice

3 / 4 cup orange juice

1 / 2 cup butter

2 cups sugar

1 / 2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon cornstarch

LATTICE CRUST:

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon melted butter

To make crust: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Work in the shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cold water. Sprinkle over flour mixture, and work with hands to form dough into a ball. (Don't overwork the dough.) Chill at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out half of the dough to 1 / 8 -inch thickness (and return the rest of the dough to the refrigerator). Press rolled dough into a 9-inch-by-13-inch-baking pan to cover the bottom and extend about 2 inches up the sides. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

For the filling: In a large saucepan, mix the peaches, lemon juice and orange juice. Add butter and cook over medium-low heat until butter is melted. In a mixing bowl, stir together sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and cornstarch. Take care to remove all lumps, then mix into peaches. Remove from heat. Scoop peaches into baked crust and pour the juices over fruit to distribute evenly.

For the lattice: Roll remaining dough to a 1 / 4 -inch thickness. Cut into 1 / 2 -inch-wide strips. Place half the strips on the diagonal over peaches, facing the same way; place remaining strips over the first group, diagonally, in the opposite direction. Sprinkle with sugar and drizzle with melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until top crust is golden brown.

......................

Adapted by Baltimore International College chef instructor William Carlile from allrecipes.com

Per serving (based on 18 servings): 349 calories, 3 grams protein, 17 grams fat, 8 grams saturated fat, 47 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 27 milligrams cholesterol, 134 milligrams sodium

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