Pear and Cranberry Cobbler

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

With the leaves changing color and the temperatures finally hovering in the 60s, I've been getting the itch to start baking.

To me, the colder months are best enjoyed with excessive amounts of delicious baked goods.

We are planning to go pumpkin and apple picking this weekend so I can start making all of the traditional fall recipes, but I wanted to introduce something new to my fall recipe repertoire. Something different that still gave me that warm and cozy feeling but didn't necessarily involve apples, pumpkin, or cinnamon. I'm not getting tired of these three by any stretch but I've been feeling ready for a little change of pace.

So, when I came across this awesome cobbler, I couldn't help but get excited! I'll be sure to stop by the market this weekend to pick up everything I need!


Pear and Cranberry Cobbler with Citrus-infused Custard Sauce


For the sauce
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 (3- by 1- inch) strips orange zest
4 (3- by 1- inch) strips lemon zest
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
Pinch salt

For the cobbler
2 pounds firm Bartlett pears, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 2/3 cups fresh cranberries (6 ounces)
1 cup sugar
2 (1- by 3-inch) strips orange zest, finely chopped
¼ cup brandy
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
Rounded ¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream, divided
1 teaspoon sugar

For the sauce
Bring milk and cream to a simmer with citrus zests in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. 

Whisk together eggs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl, then whisk in hot cream mixture.

Return mixture to pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard is thick enough to coat back of spoon (160° to 165°F on an instant read thermometer), about 2 minutes.

Immediately remove pan from heat and strain custard through a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding zests. Serve warm, or at room temperature, or chill to thicken.

For the cobbler
Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in lower third. Butter baking dish.

Stir together pears, cranberries, sugar, orange zest, brandy and allspice in a large bowl. Transfer filling to baking dish and dot with butter.

Cover dish tightly with foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until cranberries burst and pears are just tender, 15 to 20 minutes more.

While the filling is cooking, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, then add 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons cream and stir just until a dough forms. Gather dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly floured surface (dough will feel dense and heavy; don't worry.)

Gently knead dough 6 times, then pat out into an 8-inch round (about 1/3-inch thick).

Cut out as many rounds as possible with lightly floured cutter, transferring to a sheet of wax paper. Gather scraps and pat out once more, then cut out more rounds. (You will have about 16).

Carefully but quickly, top hot fruit with biscuits, arranging in 1 layer. Brush biscuits with remaining tablespoon cream and sprinkle with sugar.

Continue to bake cobbler until biscuits are puffed and golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool 15 minutes before serving and top with Citrus-Infused Custard Sauce.

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