Articles / Easy As Pie? Pie Is A Hassle. Make Cobbler.

Easy As Pie? Pie Is A Hassle. Make Cobbler.

Published August 14, 2020

For me, a two-crust fruit pie is more a romantic notion than a dish I’m realistically going to make again and again. I’ve always thought they’re a bit of a hassle, and tend to bury gorgeous fruit under a mound of dough. Tarts (where the crust is enriched with some eggs) I like better, but they still require some combination of patience, practice and work.

I’ll take cobbler over those two any day. Objectively, cobblers are way less elegant; subjectively, they’re way more irresistible. Not only does the fruit take center stage, but the crust (fluffy, tender, buttery, slightly sweet, somewhere between a biscuit and a cookie) is far easier to make. You mix it together in the food processor or by hand, spoon it over the fruit, and toss the whole thing in the oven. It turns crisp and golden as it bakes and beautifully complements the soft, bubbling fruit. Ice cream or whipped cream are never unwelcome here, but this cobbler is far from dry, so they aren’t required.

You can make cobbler with all sorts of fruit, but the tail end of summer (aka now) provides my favorite options: peaches, nectarines, cherries, and, best of all, blueberries. Blueberries are perfect right about now, with a tartness that perfectly complements the slight sweetness of the dough. If you like, you can spice them with a little bit of cinnamon (no more than a teaspoon), or with a mixture of cinnamon and other “sweet” spices, like ginger, allspice and cloves. To me, though, that veers the dish a little too far into fall territory; I think a little lemon zest in the dough and/or on the berries is all you need.

The particular recipe here was found decades ago by my friend John Willoughby in a Southern boarding house. I’ve tinkered with it slightly over the years, but it’s more or less the same: reliable, irresistible, and easy as pie.


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Questions, comments, brilliant suggestions? Just want to share the recipe for your grandma’s potato salad, or your mom’s meatloaf, or your uncle Drew’s three-day 100-percent rye loaf (yes, please)? Don’t hesitate to reach out anytime.