I am completely fucking obsessed with rhubarb. The farmers’ market my family has just started going to is completely obsessed with fruit. We may or may not have bought … all of it. And so the stars aligned to produce this cobbler, my first attempt from food-writing-lebrity David Lebovitz.
Let’s first talk about the plums. When we bought them at the farmers’ market, we were informed that they are “sugar plums” (which are apparently things! I thought they were just a variety of fairy). However, wiki’s version of sugar plums doesn’t match the fruit I had at all. Other people seem to agree that the things we had are called sugar plums, and I can tell you that while I’m allergic to typical plums I had no reaction to these whatsoever. I don’t have a clue what’s up, is what I’m saying, but I can tell you that they’re about the size of a ping pong ball or smaller, they are deliciously sweet, and the meat is a uniform garnet in shade. Those made up the “plums” half of the equation. But they were so small that they concerned me. David suggests using 8 – 12, which is quite a lot if one is using regular-sized plums, and I thought that perhaps the number of sugar plums I had wasn’t enough for what the recipe expected. And while I had quite a lot of rhubarb, it was pretty sad stuff – extremely thin, even after rehydration. Add that to the fact that I was using a larger baking dish than the recipe calls for – he suggests a 2 quart baking dish, but since I am in fucking America that is not the sort of thing that is available to me, so I used a 9 x 13 baking dish (my dad deduced a reasonable substitute via the time-honored method of converting from quarts to cups (1 quart = 4 cups, for your reference) and literally standing there with a baking dish and a measuring cup) – and I was pretty damn worried about not having enough fruit for this cobbler. At which point my dad got a wild gleam in his eye and started pulling fruits from hither and thither and slicing with abandon, which is how this became plum-rhubarb-peach-cherry cobbler.
This is fully David’s recipe, but I’m going to rewrite for you with the fruits I used and would use again (I’d leave the cherries out as they did not bake up as nicely as I’d like); clearer (that is to say, Amurrkin) measurements; and a few adjustments that I will use when I make some version of this again. Also, just for your reference, I preferred this topping to the topping I used in the above-linked rhubarb cobbler; it stayed crisper and made a better lid over the fruit.
For the fruit:
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
14 ounces rhubarb washed and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces (I used probably 18 – 20 very thin stalks; 10 – 12 regular-size stalks would get the job done just as well)
8 – 12 sugar plums, pitted and quartered (you could probably use 3 – 6 regular plums)
2 peaches, pitted and chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
For the topping:
1 3/4 cups + 2 tbsp flour
4 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
10 1/2 tbsp butter (1 stick + 2 1/2 tbsp), melted
Preheat the oven to 350.
To make the fruit filling, melt the butter in a large saucepan and stir in the brown sugar. Add the fruit, a tablespoon of water, honey, cardamom, cinnamon stick, and lemon peel, and cook for five minutes, stirring regularly. After five minutes remove from heat and remove cinnamon stick. Transfer the fruit mixture to a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Make the topping. Whisk together the dry ingredients, add the melted butter, and mix well. For this second mixing I found that a fork was by far more effective than a whisk.
Scatter the crispy topping on top and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the juices are bubbling.
Serve with vanilla ice cream. We like Häagen-Dazs.