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Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler with Gingered Biscuit Topping

For the cobbler:
1 pint strawberries, rinsed and quartered
1/2 pound rhubarb (2 stalks), peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick slices
5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Pinch table salt
1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, cut into slivers

For the topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons very finely chopped crystallized ginger0.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing

To prepare the cobbler, place the strawberries and rhubarb in a large, heavy saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon sugar. Stir over high heat until the sugar has started to dissolve, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until the fruit has exuded some of its liquid, about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the fruit and all liquid with the remaining 4 tablespoons sugar, the flour, lemon zest, and salt. Cool slightly, pour into a lightly buttered 1-quart baking dish, and dot with the slivers of butter.

To make the topping, preheat the toaster oven to 400 degrees F. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Use a pastry blender or your fingertips to mix in the ginger and to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles the texture of small peas. Quickly stir in the buttermilk to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a well-floured work surface, knead into a ball, and roll out to a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Use a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to cut out 4 biscuits. Gather the trimmings and roll out again. Cut out 2 more biscuits.

Arrange the biscuits snugly over the fruit. Brush lightly with additional buttermilk, sprinkle with sugar, and bake until the cobbler is bubbly and the biscuits are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Pear Butter

Jan. 2nd, 2007 12:22 am
treeskin: (Default)
Pear Butter -- makes 4 pints

about 20 medium pears
4 c sugar*
1 tsp grated orange peel
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 c orange juice

Core, peel. slice pears. Combine pears and 1/2 c water in a large pot. Simmer until soft. Put pulp through sieve, do not liquify.

Combine pulp and other ingredients. Cook until thick enough to round up on a spoon. Stir constantly to prevent sticking.

Pour into hot jars, leaving 1/4" head space. Wipe rim and place lids and rings. Process in water bath for 10 minutes.

* Sugar: measure pulp, add half that volume in sugar. Can substitute half brown sugar.
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Apple-Kiwi Honey Preserve (originally posted 8/9/06)
from Jams and Preserves, by Judith Ferguson
ISBN 1-85501-355-X

4 ripe kiwi fruit
1/4 pint water
1 lb sugar
1 lb honey
14 oz cooking apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped **
1 tsp lemon juice
green food coloring (optional)

Peel and chop kiwi. Heat water, sugar, and honey together in a preserving pan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add kiwi, apple, and lemon and cook very gently until preserve darkens and thickens. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Allow to cool slightly, place in a food processor, and blend until smooth, with a little food coloring (if desired). Leave a few minutes to allow bubbles to disperse, then pour into hot, sterilized hars, seal, and label.

** For apples, I used an equal amount by weight of an apple puree we'd made a while back and stashed in the freezer. I think those were Macintosh.

Because I used the puree, I didn't need to run it through the blender for the texture...the kiwi will cook down to nothing, especially with a bit of judicious squishing with a wooden spoon.

*** Ages to a honey-colored beige after a year in the cabinet, but still tasty.


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