Last summer rhubarb seemed to be the one fruit that did not sell out of the market. It seemed that the pandemic fruit of choice was apples, peaches and all the berries. I began to think no one enjoyed rhubarb, so I took advantage of being able to have too much of it. I made a lot of compotes, crisps, galettes, and this cobbler. As long as the market kept it in stock for me, this rhubarb strawberry cobbler recipe was on the table more often than not.
When I was a child I have memories of my family making rhubarb desserts that were sugary sweet with more of a crust on the top or bottom of a pan, and they would thicken the recipe with tapioca. At the time I was not a fan of rhubarb but I loved tapioca and could not understand why they would mix the two. I would eventually give in and have a bite. After all, it was dessert, and dessert was sugar.
As an adult I came to appreciate this strange thing that you think is a fruit but is actually a vegetable. Lenny likes to say, “oh another pink celery dessert”. Did you know that only the stalks are edible while the leaves are poisonous. I did not realize this until one year I purchased some with leaves attached at a farmer’s market, I thought they would photograph beautifully. I was then informed not to eat them, and to dispose of the leaves. They even offered to take them for me.
Rhubarb is incredibly tart, so tart that it makes my lips pucker and the back of my mouth a little taunt, while my shoulders and body move around as I try to chew through it. I find roasting the rhubarb along with some sugar, fresh lemon juice and strawberries creates more of a tangy base for this cobbler. I am a big fan of roasting all fruits, and especially summer ones as it creates such a beautiful caramelized flavor using the natural sugars.
What is the difference between a pie, cobbler, crisp and crumble? All of them are basically baked fruit desserts with some sort of topping.
- Pie – has two crusts, a top and a bottom.
- Cobbler – have a biscuit topping.
- Crumbles and Crisps – have a similar streusel topping. Crumbles do not use oats, but crisps do.
For this recipe I keep the biscuit topping light and not overly doughy. I prefer more of the fruit to come through than a heavy crust. I basically used the same flavorings from my strawberry shortcake recipe to create the biscuit topping. It is lightly vanilla scented with a rich buttery texture which is perfect with lemony roasted fruit.
To serve the cobbler I like to let it sit for at least 15 minutes otherwise the hot jammy fruit will burn your face off! As well this helps everything thicken a bit. I serve with whipped cream, ice cream or even a little cream fraiche: depends on what I have on hand.
- Cut the rhubarb into at least 1 inch pieces or a little larger. Roasting will break them down a lot.
- Strawberries, I tend to prefer very small ones except when cooking with them. Then I try to find more of a medium to larger strawberry as they hold up better when cooking for a cobbler.
- Glass Baking Dish – 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ x 2″
- Baking Sheet – to catch any drips, and they will be drips
More Summer Dessert Ideas
- 1 1/4 pounds fresh strawberries - 567 grams
- 1 pound rhubarb - 454 grams
- 1/4 cup sugar - 52 grams
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste - 1 gram
- zest from fresh lemon - 2 grams
- juice from fresh lemon - 10 grams
- 1 cup all purpose flour - 145 grams
- 2 teaspoons baking powder - 8 grams
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar - 10 grams
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold) - 23 grams
- 1/3 cup heavy cream - 71 grams
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste - 2 grams
- Demerara or regular sugar
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- whipped cream, ice cream or cream fraiche for serving
Preheat over to 425.
Wash the strawberries and the rhubarb. If the strawberries are large cut them in half, if not, keep them whole. Cut the rhubarb into at least 1 inch pieces or a little larger. Toss together with the sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, lemon zest and lemon juice. Pour into a baking dish that has been placed onto a baking sheet.
Slide into the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
Once finished roasting, remove from the oven and turn the heat down to 350.
Make the Biscuit Topping:
In a large mixing bowl mix whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Using your fingers cut in the butter until pea-sized.
Mix the cream and vanilla paste together, then add to the flour mixture and using your hands mix until it comes together.
Pat onto a lightly floured counter top and cut into 6 small biscuits.
Remove the roasted fruit from the oven and place the biscuits on top.
Using a pastry brush lightly brush the tops of the biscuits with the heavy cream, then sprinkle with a little sugar.
Keeping the baking dish on top of the baking sheet place, return to the oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes; just until the biscuits are golden brown.
Let sit at least 15 minutes before serving or you will burn your mouth off!
Serve with whipped cream.