The term johnnycake brings a vision of old-fashioned Americana. Dating back to the 1700′s, it typically refers to a rustic pancake made with cornmeal. This cobbler takes the usual fruit filling and adds a johnnycake inspired biscuit topping with the crunch of cornmeal. The recipe in Baking with Julia calls for a combination of nectarines and plums, but allows for improvising with your favorite fruits.
I cut this recipe in half and made just two servings…as we still had chocolate mousse and a marbled flourless chocolate cake in the fridge. My filling, a melange of local peaches and purple plums, was precooked with butter and sugar, then divided between the baking dishes. A teaspoon of minced fresh ginger root was added to the cream moistened biscuit topping…which provided a subtle zing in every tender bite. The hubby had his with a dollop of whipped cream and I indulged sans toppings…and we both approved. These are best served shortly after they emerge from the oven.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 6 cups sliced stone fruit (9-12 pieces of fruit), nectarines and purple plums recommended (I used peaches instead of nectarines)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal (I used white, but yellow is fine)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (use 1/3 less if using table salt)
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) cold, unsalted butter,cut into 12 pieces
- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add sugar, stir and add the fruit. Cook until the fruit softens and the juices thicken.Remove from heat until ready to assemble cobbler.
- Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender or your fingertips it resembles cornmeal. Fold in the heavy cream (or milk). The batter will be thick. If it's too thin, add the extra 1/4 of the cornmeal.
- Divide fruit between baking 4-6 baking containers (about 1 cup capacity)
- Preheat oven to 425º. Bake for about 12-14 minutes on a foil lined baking sheet. I turned my oven down to 350º and cooked for for 5 minutes more as my topping was thick.
- Let the cobblers cool slightly before serving. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.