Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ivy and Felicity's Washington's Birthday Celebration: Cherry Cobbler

Finishing up President's Day celebrations a bit late!

As I mentioned in our Lincoln's Birthday post,Washington's Birthday was also a day to do something special to break up February and do something a little fun. Now technically, Washington's birthday was yesterday, but since I now have a job (yay!) yesterday turned into an emergency shopping run, so I was out all day and didn't have time to throw this together, even if it's a pretty simple dish to make. We also were having company today, so all in all, it just made sense to push it back a day and hope no George Washington fans were furious with us for being a day late.

This new job also means that I'll probably have less time for blogging (boo!), so I might have to slow down with how many posts I can get out in a month, but I'm hopeful it won't completely suck me dry! I've still got a lot of really fun things I want to try out, and I don't want work to totally get in the way of cooking. More weekend posts just might have to start being a thing.

Anyway, without further ado, here's how we paid a small tribute to our first president!

My grandmother liked to make some dessert involving cherries for Washington's birthday, for what is probably an obvious reason. A myth about a young George Washington chopping his father's cherry tree down has forever linked arguably the most famous founding father to cherries, and so it's not uncommon to see desserts and recipes themed after him to include them in some way, shape or form.

While doing some research for this post, I discovered that cobblers themselves are a very American creation! Apparently, as early English settlers were lacking the suet for traditional puddings, they had to improvise and put biscuits and dumplings over stewed fillings. There are many different varieties and versions of cobblers out there, to both what's topping them and what's inside them. Cobblers used to be something that were served at all times of day, and could be savory, but it's only until the late 19th century that they became almost exclusively something served at dessert.

This recipe is adapted from Ree Drummond's blackberry cobbler, and is pretty much exactly the same except we used cherries instead of blackberries. We usually make cobblers that are more of a crisp than a true cobbler at my house - my mom likes to throw together a bunch of different fruits and put brown sugar and oatmeal on top - so this was the first time I've made a cobbler with a more cakey consistency. However, my mom was the one who recommended this recipe to me to use as a jumping off point, because she's made it before with blackberries and it was a hit!

You start off by making the batter, which is pretty stress free. The entire recipe only needs a handful of ingredients, and the most complicated part is probably making the self rising flour, which is definitely not complicated.

I was pleased to discover that the batter got nice and thick without much convincing, and once you really whisked everything together, it had a nice texture almost similar to a pancake batter.

The batter gets poured into a dish, and then the fruit gets poured in on top. This is different from the first cobblers, as they usually involved putting the biscuits or dumplings on top of the fruit, and not the other way around. This definitely made sense for this particular cobbler though, as I feel like I'm not sure it would have cooked correctly if this had been reversed.

The cherries we used were frozen, not fresh. Working with fresh cherries can be a pain because you need to cut the pits out, so I'm all for using a simpler step to save time. A bunch of sugar gets dumped on top of the fruit, and then everything gets stuck in the oven.

I have to admit, when I checked on it, I worried a bit that this looked like a mad science experiment gone wrong. The batter rose in a really weird pattern that looked like it was coming alive and devouring the cherries inside of it, and I worried a bit that it might bubble over. Fortunately it didn't, but it was definitely weird looking in the oven, even if it smelled good.

After about fifty minutes, you pull it out of the oven and sprinkle more sugar on top. At this point, I was a little concerned that it seemed so wobbly in the center and didn't know if it would be cooked by the time it was finished.

It definitely didn't look too much different when I pulled it out ten minutes later.

The sugar also definitely didn't really brown up at all or anything, which is sort of what I'd assumed it would do. That said, it smelled delicious, and I was eager to cut into it and see what was in there.

I was a little surprised to see how dark and wet it was on the inside, although in retrospect, I probably shouldn't have been. Since the recipe uses fresh, not frozen fruit, I assume that helps cut down on how the amount of juice that winds up coming out during the time in the oven, and the cake might not have come out the same color as the fruit.

That said, it was gooey, sweet and delicious, and I think it was a hit with everyone who had a piece! It was just a little difficult to see what exactly you were eating because everything was stained dark purple. I'd like to play around with this recipe a little and make it all my own too, but I think it's safe to say that it was a hit just the way it was!

Happy birthday, Mr. President!


  1. You did a great job on the cobbler! I love Ree Drummond's recipes, but I'm more a fan of the crumb topping, too.

    Congratulations on the job!

    1. Thank you! :D I think I would have liked this more than a crumb topping if it was more cakey, because I have to admit, I like cake more than pie. Crumb topping is still absolutely delicious though!

  2. Looks yummy!

    I love that Ivy joined Felicity for the celebration. They look cute in their hats.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! I've been having fun looking for interesting combinations of characters. c:

  3. This looks like a nice alternative to the traditional pie that I always think of for the occasion. I'll have to give it a try.

    The tri-corner hats were a great touch for the dolls!

    1. Definitely give it a shot if you can, it's super easy and totally worth it!

      Thank you! I'm glad I thought of the idea.

  4. Looks delicious to me! Cherry cobbler is one of my favorites. I didn't know anything about their history, though... that was really interesting to read.

    Congratulations on your new job!!!

    1. Thank you! And I'm glad you enjoyed the post. c:

  5. I just love your creativity linking the recipe and the American history! The recipe looks delicious and the history behind the cobbler is interesting. Well done! Cute photos, too.

    1. Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it. :D