by Dennis Weaver
I love cobblers with their crusty tops and sweetened fruit.
My "go to" cobbler recipe for years has been our "Mormon Peach Cobbler" recipe. Fifteen, maybe twenty years ago, we found an old Mormon pioneer cookbook at a little store in Yellowstone Park. It had a recipe for peach cobbler that we liked. We've tweaked it over the years and it still makes a very good cobbler. But for fresh fruit, I think I like skillet cobbler better. (For canned peaches, I still like the Mormon peach cobbler recipe better.) And a skillet cobbler is so versatile allowing many different fillings.
Skillet cobblers are made with a sweet cake. There's more cake to fruit than with most cobblers. The cake starts out in hot butter which seems to give it a crisp, buttery crust. Use fresh or frozen fruit for the filling but to sweeten the fruit, you add jam or pastry filling. Then we've added flavored whipped cream from caramel nut whipped cream to lemon cloud whipped cream. The combination of crusty cake, sweet flavored fruit filling, and flavored whipped cream is outstanding.
How to Make Skillet Cobblers
I suspect that I need to give some Dutch oven baker credit for skillet cobblers. They seem like Dutch oven fare. I can picture some camper in the mountains pouring batter in a hot Dutch oven, adding fruit, and then stacking coals on his Dutch oven to bake his cobbler. That's essentially what we do in the kitchen but we use a skillet or frying pan and heat the pan on the stovetop. Then we add the batter, fruit, and bake it in the oven.
1. Choose an ovenproof skillet or frying pan. We have included recipes for 9-inch and 12-inch pans. We used a 10-inch pan for most of the 9-inch recipes and it worked just fine.
2. Add butter to the pan and heat the pan until the pan is hot and the butter is sizzling but not scorched.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and add the batter. It's a one-step, one-bowl batter made with six ingredients.
4. Layer prepared fruit over the batter. You can use a combination of fruits like raspberries and peaches. Add a sweetener—anything from jam, to lemon curd, to cream cheese pastry filling.
5. Bake it in the oven.
The fruit sinks to the bottom and the batter tries to come up and fold over the top though it never quite reaches the center. Serve it warm with flavored whipped cream. (We provide the recipes.) It's not the same but you can use ice cream.
It's peach season and so we started out with a peach and pineapple skillet cobbler. Then we baked variations for days. When our imaginations ran dry and we started to run out of fresh fruit and jam combinations to try, we started adding pastry fillings. That yielded a to-die-for Mango Coconut Cream Skillet Cobbler with Coconut Whipped Cream. Later, to spiff up a pear cobbler, we layered walnuts and caramel ice cream topping over the pears. (You need to add that recipe to your bucket list.) We trotted these and other cobblers down the stairs from our test kitchen to our country store to feed customers and get their opinions. It wasn't just staff that found these cobblers incredibly good.
What You'll Need
If you have an ovenproof skillet or frying pan, you won't need much else for some of these recipes. We used a 12-inch all purpose clad stainless steel pan for the larger recipes and a 10-inch clad stainless steel pan for the smaller.
You can experiment with any jams or jellies and we have large selection of gourmet jams at reasonable prices. Some of the recipes below call for peach pineapple jelly or red currant jelly.
If you are going to make the flavored whipped creams—which we highly recommend—you will a need a selection of flavors. The recipes below call for butterscotch, caramel, brown sugar, and lemon flavors. We sell all these and many more. Most flavored whipped creams call for brown sugar instead of granulated sugar and an appropriate flavor.
We sell professional pastry fillings in Bavarian cream, cream cheese, and lemon plus fruit pastry fillings. Your pastry fillings are inexpensive—two pounds goes a long ways—and open an extra horizon of possibilities to explore.
These are the recipes that we liked best and which we recommend:
• Caramel Apple Skillet Cobbler with Caramel Whipped Cream
• Mango Coconut Cream Skillet Cobbler with Coconut Whipped Cream
• Raspberry Peach Skillet Cobbler with Caramel Nut Whipped Cream
• Blueberry Lemon Skillet Cobbler with Lemon Cloud Whipped Cream
• Blackberry Cream Skillet Cobbler with Lemon Cloud Whipped Cream
• Caramel Pear and Walnut Skillet Cobbler with Caramel Whipped Cream
• Blackberry Peach Skillet Cobbler with Butterscotch Whipped Cream
• Peach Pineapple Paradise Skillet Cobbler with Caramel Whipped Cream
• Plum Currant Skillet Cobbler with Brown Sugar or Caramel Whipped Cream
• Cherry Cream Cheese Skillet Cobbler with Lemon Cloud Whipped Cream
Dennis Weaver is the president of The Prepared Pantry, a full line kitchen store in Rigby, Idaho. The Prepared Pantry sells kitchen tools, gourmet foods, and baking ingredients including hundreds of hard-to-find ingredients.