If you are wondering what the difference between a cobbler and a crisp is, here is a short explanation. As with many things in food, names vary regionally - sometimes with a difference in ingredients and sometimes just due to the varying location. However, in the case of cobblers and crisps, there is a difference in the delectable dessert product. Cobblers have a biscuit-like topping that covers a bottom of fresh fruit. Variations to the biscuit topping include cake batter and cookie dough. The "plops" of batter create an effect similar to a cobbled road, hence the name.
Crisps, on the other hand, have a streusel-like topping over a bottom of fresh fruit. Crisps and crumbles are similar, with crumble being the name more commonly used across the pond in England. Crisps are most known for the oats that crisp while they bake. Crumbles traditionally did not contain oats but these days often do.
I always enjoy learning something new, so perhaps that was your new tidbit for the day! Crisps and cobblers don't have that picture perfect pie appearance but they sure do taste good. The recipe below showcased fresh blueberries wonderfully, and with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream, makes for a great spring dessert or even a festive Memorial Day or 4th of July treat. One note: due to the juiciness of the berries, the firm topping is best the day it comes out of the oven making this a good dessert to share with company. If it isn't finished immediately, the juices will seep into the topping. This does not change the taste at all; it is as yummy on day 3 as day 1, but the texture does change. I hope you have a chance to try it out. Some day I would love to try it after going blueberry picking, but for now, bulk berries from Costco does the trick!
Sweet Blueberry Cobbler
Adapted from Wicked Good Kitchen
For the Blueberry Filling
6 cups (30 ounces) fresh blueberries, sorted, rinsed, and dried
1 cup granulated sugar
1-2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest*
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
For the Cobbler Topping
1 cup plus 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into bits
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Turbinado or Demerara sugar**
ground cinnamon for sprinkling
ground nutmeg for sprinkling
Arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 375ºF. Lightly butter 10-inch round quiche plate or 2-quart baking dish.***
Prepare the Blueberry Filling: Place blueberries into a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. (For maximum flavor, gently rub the sugar and zest together with your fingers.) Add the flour and whisk until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle mixture evenly over berries in large bowl and toss gently ensuring the sugar and flour mixture is evenly distributed throughout the fruit. Pour into prepared baking dish. Set aside.
Prepare the Buttery Biscuit Crumble Topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until well combined. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal with small pea-sized pieces of butter. In a small bowl, whisk vanilla into beaten egg using a fork. With a fork, gently toss beaten egg and vanilla into flour mixture until moistened and dough starts to hold together. Continue to toss and blend gently with fingertips until well combined yet taking care not to overwork the dough.
Assemble the Cobbler: Sprinkle biscuit crumble topping evenly over fruit filling. Sprinkle biscuit crumble topping with sugar and, if desired, dust with cinnamon and/or nutmeg.
Bake the Cobbler: Bake in preheated oven until topping is golden brown and filling is cooked through and bubbly, about 40 to 45 minutes. To prevent over-browning of topping, cover with sheet of aluminum foil after 25 minutes of baking. Remove foil and carefully transfer to wire rack to cool.
Serve the Cobbler: Serve cobbler warm a la mode!
* The full 2 teaspoons renders quite a lemony taste. At first, I thought it was too strong. The flavor grew on me because it adds another dimension to the cobbler. However, I the next time I make it, I will try it with 1 tsp.
** The sugar topping adds a nice touch to the look of the cobbler. However, unless the cobbler is eaten immediately, any texture added by the sugar will be lost on the leftovers. If you are looking to cut back on sugar, this is a small but easy place to do it.
***I used my 10-inch round French White Corningware® Quiche/Pie Plate. As you can see from the pictures, this recipe filled the dish to the brim. I would use it again, but make sure to always put a piece of foil or a spill mat underneath so you don't make a nasty mess of your oven and an unpleasant burnt odor throughout your house!