Plum/berry cobbler

Have you ever had to cut corners in the kitchen and later realized that you had actually created something new and amazing? This must have happened to the early settlers of America who came from the Old World. They had their recipes to make the English pie but did not have all the tools to make them … and came up with a brand new dish called cobbler. Cobbler is just as good as pie is IMO and is much easier to make. Seasonal fruits are used in cobblers as well but not sure where the name came from. It might be refering to the wooden spoons they used or the cobbler who mends shoes like the dough is mended on top of the fruits or perhaps it was the village cobbler’s favorite dessert … nobody knows the exact meaning but this is a crowd pleaser for sure.

This is an ‘end of the summer’ cobbler recipe. It is made with plums along some berries and the savory spices that are nice for this time of year. Of course, I used plums because they are available right now. I also added nutmeg, cinnamon, orange peel and ginger to add a little flavor and they suit the plums nicely as well. The juicy fruits are covered with the perfectly crumpling, soft topping that I used for my rhubarb cobbler (recipe) back in the spring … Oh and it is begging for a bit of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!



My recipe was inspired by the Joy of Cooking cookbook.

Have all the ingredients at room temperature exept the butter.

For the fruits

  • 1 lb of plums, pitted and cut into up into 1′ or smaller chunks
  • 1 lb of berries – I used blackberries and raspberries
  • ½ cup of sugar or more if your fruits are not sweet enough. Only use more if your berries are not sweet. 1/2 cup is plenty otherwise, trust me!
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (I used apple spice seasoning from Penzies)
  • 1/2 tsp dried ginger (cut and sifted) or 1 tsp fresh
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp orange peel
  • 2 Tbsp of  flour or 1 Tbsp of corn starch

The dough

  • 1 1/3  cup of all purpose white flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp of sugar 
  • 5 Tbsp of cold unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup of cream or 1/2 cup of milk (honestly milk is fine too)
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 lightly beaten egg for the top
  • extra sugar for the top
  • vanilla ice cream for serving


Preheat the oven to 350 F. 

Making the fruit filling

  • Have ready an oven proof baking dish that is about 2 quarts large in volume and 2 inches deep (ex 11 x 4 x 2 inch).  
  • Take fruits out of the freezer if they are frozen and let them defrost. Wash plums and cut them into 1/2-1 inch long pieces. Place the plums and the berries in the dish. They need to be at room temperature before you can put the cobbler into the oven. 
  • Add pinch of salt, cornstarch or flour, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and sugar and mix. Set aside and wait for at least 30 minutes.

Making the dough

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour with the baking powder, pinch of salt and sugar.
  • Add the cold butter and mix. This is such a satisfying experience for me to do by hand but if you prefer you can use your food processor for this step. 
  • Add the cream or milk stirring with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. Gently need the dough in the bowl 5-10 times if needed, turning and pressing any loose pieces into the dough. Dust the top and the bottom of the dough.  Let the dough sit for 1 hour if you have time.

Preparing the cobbler

  • Now we will make a patchwork. Divide the dough into 8-10 parts and flatten each piece between your two hands about 1/4 inch thick. Place each piece on top of the fruit mix. Keep doing this until you have used up all the dough and the fruits are covered.  
  • (The dough should be workable but not sticky. If the dough becomes too sticky and warm, put it into the fridge for about 10 minutes to become the proper consistency. This can happen easily in the summer when it is warm outside).
  • Lightly brush the top of the dough with the eggs and sprinkle with a little sugar. 

Making the cobbler

  • Put the cobbler in the pre-heated oven and bake for about 40-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the berries are bubbling. Don’t overbake, make sure the fruits stay ‘liquidy’.
  • Let stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving. 

Serving the cobbler

  • You can serve the cobbler at room teperature with vanilla ice cream if you wish.



Irma S. Rombauer: Joy of Cooking

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