siblings and friends, berry cobbler and george michael.

siblings and friends, berry cobbler and george michael.

My lovely and wonderful little sister, Meg, arrived for a short but much-needed visit a couple weeks ago.  As it happened, her visit also coincided briefly with the visit of Leah, one of my dearest and closest friends from Oberlin. The seemingly ever-looming rain had returned, so the prospect of going on big adventures didn’t seem so appealing, but we decided to get dinner in the neighborhood, rain be damned (okay, so by the time we went out the rain had pretty much slowed to a drizzle, but we’re still a pretty intrepid bunch).  We went to the always cozy and delicious Habitat. I’ve gotta tell you, I’ve loved french fries since I was no bigger than an easy bake oven and thus consider myself somewhat of a french fry connoisseur. And as a self-proclaimed fry expert (fryspert?), I feel confident saying that the waffle fries at Habitat are magnifique – some of my favorites at the moment.

After dinner, we pointed our feet homeward, where we set up to bake some berry cobbler and watch Arrested Development.  The dessert was quite impromptu, as Meg and I had decided just a few hours before that we wanted to make something while she was here. But it turned out to be a good night for baking, as it wasn’t too hot – and of course, what could be more satisfying than preparing a nice summery dessert with family and friends around, and with a healthy dose of good television?  With another (modified) recipe from Tartine, we did a simple berry cobbler (they called it a dumpling, but I object to that word on aesthetic terms).

baking time, bluth time


The Garden had some pretty slim pickings as far as seasonal fruit was concerned, but we found some passable raspberries, blackberries and plums (I’m really into plums these days; I feel that they’re underappreciated when compared to the pantheon of summer fruits).  Tartine’s recipe calls for a huge amount of cherries, but we just used the amount of fruit we had (a pint each of raspberries and blackberries and about 5 plums), and futzed around with the other quantities a bit.  Then we whipped up the simple batter (a bit of butter, some crème fraiche, flour, etc.) and dabbled it over the fruit. The recipe demanded a 9 x 13 baking casserole, but we don’t have anything that big, so we used a 9 x 9 and didn’t add all of the batter.

The cobbler baked up really fluffy and looked almost like a cake or souffle, having turned a light golden brown and risen above the level of the pan. Taste wise it was light and subtle, but I think I should have added even less of the batter, as it was so thick that it kinda overpowered the taste of the fruit. But for a completely unplanned and not by-the-book try, it was delicious, especially along with some ice cream and lovely company.

In other news, keep your eyes peeled some time in the next week or so for a post about a certain super secret super awesome banquet(!)

i’m mr. manager, i bake cobbler!**


fruit dumpling/cobbler (adapted from Tartine)


fresh fruit, pitted, hulled and pared 17 cups
sugar 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons


large whole eggs 3
whole milk 1/2 cup
unsalted butter, melted 3 tablespoons
creme fraiche or sour cream 5 tablespoons
vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
all-purpose flour 1 3/4 cups
sugar 6 tablespoons
baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons
salt 1/4 teaspoon
sugar for topping 3 tablespoons

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a 9 x 13 baking casserole.

For the filling, in a large bowl, combine the fruit and sugar and mix well. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, evening out the top of the fruit.

For the topping, in a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, butter, creme fraiche or sour cream, and vanilla and whisk until well blended. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix until just combined.

Spoon the batter over the prepared fruit in an even layer. Sprinkle the top with the sugar. Place the baking pan on a cookie or jelly roll sheet lined with aluminum foil to catch any fruit that bubbles over. Bake for about 1 hour; to test for doneness, push some of the topping apart in the middle of the pan to see if the crumb structure has baked through.

siblings and friends, berry cobbler and george michael.siblings and friends, berry cobbler and george michael.siblings and friends, berry cobbler and george michael.

5 notes

  1. Boots says:

    I did not know you were a fryspert! Guess who’s getting a deep fryer for Christmas….

  2. mom says:

    so lovely to see you all enjoying time and baking together! wish we could all have been here at the same time last week so we could have had a similar experience on the opposite coast, but alas, it was not to be.
    hope you are having a great vacation and will come back with new and ever more delightful taste experiences!
    xoxoxox mom

  3. miss leah d says:

    you didn’t mention the part where meg and i kept drinking and chatting and dug in at the wee hours of the morn. cobbler. perhaps french cloud dumpling from tarty heaven? yes. that is what cateface bakes.

    • girlcate says:

      quite true, lil’ friend. also i just realized that there aren’t any pictures of your cute face up there; we tried, but there were only a few and they were ridiculously hard to see.

      miss you, buddy; let’s chat soon, yeah?

  4. […] I know I’ve used several of Tartine’s recipes before, but eating their amazing food when we were in California was so inspiring and scrumptious, […]

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