This week's Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) recipe was chosen by Amanda of Like Sprinkles on a Cupcake: Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler. While I've certainly had my fair share of fresh cherries, I've actually never baked with them before.
I've actually never tasted or baked with rhubarb either. Most of the time, I've seen strawberries paired with rhubarb, so I was interested to see how Dorie's cherry and rhubarb pairing would turn out.
Just like celery, you trim the ends of rhubarb when preparing it for baking. Unlike celery, you have to peel away the stringy outside layer before chopping it up (at least that's what I gathered from various online sources). I used a vegetable peeler for this task, and could not help but notice how pretty this process looked as I was peeling the rhubarb.
When I finished all the peeling, it looked like I had a pretty plate full of ribbons. My husband saw it and commented on how I was beginning to go a little overboard with my food blogging, as he thought I had cut a bunch of ribbons for the cobbler 'photo shoot.' While I reassured him that it was simply the rhubarb peels, I really do wish that I could improve upon the plating of everything in my blog, but our tiny apartment just doesn't have the storage space for me to buy a bunch of cute dishes, back drops, and props! Some day... :)
Dorie's recipe is very simple. Trim, peel, and cut the rhubarb into 1-inch pieces.
Pit and halve a pound of cherries, then mix the rhubarb and cherries together with some sugar, cornstarch, and ground ginger. Not sure how to pit cherries? No problem. You can use a decorating tip, or any long, rigid object (i.e. chopstick). Simply remove the stem from the cherry and hold it firmly in one hand while advancing the decorating tip through the insertion site of the stem.
Continue pushing through until the cherry seed pops out completely.
Voila! It's as simple as that.
After you mix the filling together, the topping comes together in just minutes. Aside from pairing cherries with rhubarb in this recipe, Dorie also changes it up a bit with the cobbler's biscuit topping. She uses brown sugar and whole wheat flour with just a hint of ginger. You just pulse the dry ingredients together, then pulse in the butter, followed by the whole milk. I have to say that I enjoyed this cobbler topping much more than one from the Mixed Berry Cobbler. I could absolutely see myself using the cobbler topping recipe alone to make biscuits and enjoying them with a small pat of butter :)
Since I was bringing this in to share with my co-workers, instead of one large cobbler, I decided to make eight individual mini cobblers. I only have three small oven safe bowls, so I used tea cups for the rest!
I really enjoyed this cobbler, although I think my favorite is still peach and blackberry cobbler. The rhubarb didn't have much texture to it, though it had quite a prominent flavor. It was extremely tart and was a nice contrast to the sweet cherries. I can see why Dorie would say that a plain cherry cobbler can be a bit bland otherwise. While I haven't quite fallen in love with rhubarb yet, I also don't see why so many people seem to hate it. I never realized how many people disliked rhubarb until this recipe was chosen!
I baked the mini cobblers for about 30 minutes, 5 minutes less than indicated for the full size version. I checked them at 25 minutes, and the topping was nice and golden brown at that point, but the fruit juices weren't bubbling away quite yet.
Thanks again to Amanda for choosing this cobbler. It was my first time baking with and trying rhubarb. Will I make this again? Probably not exactly as written. But I may have found my new favorite cobbler topping and I am eager to try it with my favorite peach and blackberry cobbler filling. If you would like the Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler recipe, you can find it here (with recipe tips here). Make sure you visit the TWD Blog Roll to see how everyone else enjoyed this sweet and oh so tart treat.