It’s almost a shame to do anything with a perfectly ripened nectarine other than to eat it, chin dripping with juices. Thankfully, the best cobblers are made from fruit that’s slightly on the firmer side. If the fruit is too ripe, it will break down quickly during baking and result in a soupy cobbler. Assorted berries give this recipe a splash of color. The spices can be adjusted to your taste, as should the sugar and cornstarch, depending on the sweetness and ripeness of the fruit.
- 3 nectarines, pitted and chopped into ¾-inch cubes
- 3 peaches, pitted and chopped into ¾-inch cubes
- 1 cup assorted berries, hulled
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Juice and zest of 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 pound Sugar Cookie Dough (recipe follows)
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- Cinnamon sugar (2 tablespoons sugar, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon), for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Butter four 8-ounce, ovenproof ramekins or a 13- by 9-inch baking dish. Dust the buttered ramekins or dish with sugar. Place the ramekins or baking dish on a rimmed sheet pan to catch any juices that spill over while baking.
In a large bowl, toss the fruit together with the sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla, orange juice and zest, ginger, and cornstarch. Taste the fruit; you should be able to taste each ingredient, even the cornstarch (which should give the cobbler a pasty, flour-like taste). Depending on the sweetness and ripeness of your fruit, you may need to add more sugar, or a smidge more cornstarch, but no more than 1 teaspoon. (Generally, the riper the fruit, the less sugar and more cornstarch, or thickening agent, you will need.)
Mound the fruit mixture into the ramekins or baking dish. The fruit will collapse as it bakes, so you want to heap it so that the fruit domes beyond the top of the baking vessel, and dot with a couple cubes of butter.
Roll out the Sugar Cookie Dough to a ½-inch thickness. Cut the sugar cookie dough into ½-inch cubes and top the cobbler with as many dough cubes as possible, distributing it evenly over the fruit.
Using a pastry brush, dab the dough with the cream. Sprinkle about ¾ teaspoon of cinnamon sugar over each ramekin, or distribute about 1 tablespoon over the cobbler if using a baking dish.
Bake the cobbler until the cookie dough is golden brown and the fruit begins to bubble, about 20 minutes.
Sugar Cookie Dough
- Makes 1 pound
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
- 1 large egg
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, lemon juice and zest, and lime juice and zest. Scrape down the sides, then beat in the egg.
With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in thirds, scraping the bowl down after each addition. Continue mixing until a loose dough forms, about 1 minute. Shape the dough into a flat disk, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and chill the dough in the freezer until very firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.