I still write letters.
I still hand write letters in a festive card with a return address sticker. I might even decorate the envelope with a rubbe-stamped dolphin stampede.
I still write letters and I still have pen pals.
My favorite pen pal? My grandmother. I call her Mommom. She’s rad. I don’t know how she would feel about me calling her rad. She writes me short letters during the break she takes on her morning walk. These letters are usually written from her favorite bagel shop. Letters always include some sort of loving greeting, an update about her walking adventures and the bagel shop, something about an upcoming trailer trip, inquiries about my little sister, and an abrupt closing. Short, sweet and to the point.
The best part about being pen pals with Mommom is that she will not let me slack off. If I haven’t written her a letter in a few weeks, I’ll get another letter urging me to, if I know what’s good for me, write my grandmother back. If for some reason I don’t get to that letter in adequate time… well, I’m liable to hurt my grandmother’s feelings. Hurt grandmother feelings, of course, leads to all sorts of guilt from all sorts of family members. News of pen pal activity, or inactivity travels fast in my family.
Letter writing isn’t a chore. It’s a nice break from simultaneously writing an email and checking my blog stats and watching stupid cat videos. Letter writing is not technology multi-tasking. It’s easy, breezy, simple… all about just sendin’ a little love.
Then there’s cobbler, which couldn’t be any more simple and delicious. This easy cobbler is like letter writing, in baking form. Spend a little time baking up a little love with this cobbler. Sit down with a nice warm slice and write a letter to someone. It’s supreme.
This cobbler just couldn’t be easier to throw together. I used delicious golden nectarines as the filing, but feel free to use fresh raspberries, blueberries, blackberries or peaches in any combination. You can also use frozen fruit, although it should be thawed and drained before incorporated. Enjoy summer the easy way.
Easy Nectarine and Cream Cobbler
adapted from The Pastry Queen
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of cloves
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup milk (low fat milk will work fine)
3 cups sliced nectarines, skins left on
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter in a medium saute pan set over medium high heat until it bubbles and turns a nut brown color. Watch the butter closely, as it can go from browned to burnt in just a few seconds. The butter will have all sorts of browned bits in it. That’s good!
Pour the butter into an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking dish. Do not try a pie baking dish. I did. Overflow!
In a medium bowl, stir together the granulated sugar, flour, baking powder and spices. Add milk and stir.
Pour the mixture on top of the melted butter. Here’s the hard part: do not stir! Without mixing, arrange the fruit evenly over the top of the batter. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
Bake the cobbler for 40 to 45 minutes, until the top turns golden brown. Amazingly, the batter will migrate from the bottom of the pan to cover the fruit. Yum! Serve warm with slightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Made this recipe this evening for dessert – after a nice lasagna dinner! I cut back on the brown sugar and since I didn’t have any unsalted butter in the house I used regular butter instead. This is a great recipe and the little bit of salt in the butter was actually kind of a nice balance to the sweetness of the nectarines.
I just made this tonight, but with a mix of berries (mostly blueberries), in a rather larger quantity than is probably recommended. It came out really, really well. It seemed like it had more butter than it actually did, which was nice. For the fruit I used, I definitely would have decreased the granulated sugar by about 1/4 or 1/3 cup. Regardless, the dessert was a huge hit, and this will probably be one of my go-to recipes for a tasty cobbler, although I’ll probably modify the amount of sugar next time, depending on what fruit I’m using. This recipe seems calibrated to using a somewhat tart fruit. The cakey part was particularly divine.