This fruit cobbler is certainly one of the simplest coffee cakes to make. The cobbler is low in sugar, baking up into an appealing fruit-laden cake that is as flavorful as it is tender. Based on traditional German everyday coffee-time cake recipes known as kuchens, the simple cakes are leavened with backpulver, the baking powder used in German, Swiss, and Austrian baking.
My favorite fruits for this recipe include pitted, fleshy, sweet Tartarian cherries from my local farmer’s market; peeled and pitted ripe summer peaches, Santa Rosa plums, apricots (just got a big tray from Costco), or nectarines; field-grown red rhubarb; delicate winter pears; even sliced bananas or papaya. Berries such as raspberries or big blackberries are also nice. We would make this at the restaurant with the prune plums, which used to grow prolifically here in the Santa Clara Valley. They are fabulous to bake with.
The cake batter can be made in two 6-inch springform pans or doubles perfectly to be baked in a 12-inch round/oval or 9-by-13-inch rectangle in Pyrex glass. I especially like an 8-inch ceramic baking dish like Emile Henry. The cobbler can be frozen for up to 2 weeks and reheated, although it is best served the day it is made, either warm or at room temperature, accompanied by a pitcher of organic cold heavy cream.
No matter how many times I have made and eaten this, that first bite is just so delicious it is like the first time. It’s just a perfect little recipe.
Yield: One 8-inch cake, or two 6-inch cakes
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup organic granulated cane sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- About 3 cups pitted and halved or sliced fresh fruit, such as plums, peaches, cherries, pears, apricots, or nectarines
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease and flour an 8-inch springform pan, two 6-inch springforms, or an 8-inch square pan and set aside. In a bowl with a wooden spoon, or in the workbowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and beat well.
2. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a measuring cup, combine the milk and vanilla extract. Beat the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture in two additions, alternating with the milk. Beat until smooth and fluffy.
3. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Cover with all of the fruit to create a thick single layer, and drizzle with the lemon juice. To make the cinnamon topping: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and the cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over the fruit.
4. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until the fruit is bubbly and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes for the 8-inch or 12-inch pans, or 25 to 30 minutes for the 6-inch pans. Serve warm or at room temperature, straight from the pan.
Excerpted from The Best Quick Breads, by Beth Hensperger. (c) 2002, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.
Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2016
Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.