Fruit cobblers are traditional desserts in America and Great Britain. When I moved to Pennsylvania Dutch Country, it seemed mandatory to perfect my pastry and pie recipes, and so I started with the simple fruit cobbler. Cobblers can be made with just about any fruit, but apple is by far the most traditional here in the States. I've added a couple of pears to the mix and substituted a small portion of the sugar with granulated Splenda® (as I am mildly diabetic), but for the most part, I've stuck with the basics. After all, who am I to argue with such delicious Pennsylvania Dutch tradition?
Preheat your oven to 400°. Then, peel, core, and slice the fruit.
As you place the fruit slices in a medium bowl, drizzle some of the lemon juice over them in order to prevent browning. If you forget to peel an apple or pear, like I did, it's no big deal. When all the fruit is in the bowl, add the cornstarch and stir thoroughly.
In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the brown sugar and Splenda® and stir until fully dissolved. Let boil lightly for one minute.
Add the fruit mixture, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Stir to coat everything and move the mixture into an 8x8 baking dish.
Dot butter evenly over the top. Then, in a separate mixing bowl, sift together the flour, white sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Add vegetable shortening. With a fork or pastry mixer, incorporate the shortening until crumbly. Add the milk.
Mix the dough until it is wet and gooey. Drop it over the fruit mixture in spoonfuls.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving with ice cream. Enjoy!
-e. magill 10/14/2010
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