Fresh Cherry Cobbler

Not surprisingly, I have only just discovered the Great British Baking Show.  Not surprisingly because I'm usually pretty late to most pop culture parties.  I think the show's in like it's 6th season or something and a smash hit on both sides of the pond and has held everyone but me enthralled for lo these 6 years.  In my defense, I will tell you that I've had it up to here with all of the competitive baking shows which have over-saturated American food television, so I pretty much passed on what sounded like another one, with British accents.  But I recently happened to land on the first episode of the first season on Netflix and I'm not even kidding... 4 minutes into the show I was hooked.  Binge-watching ensued and not only have I been inspired by all the baking, but I'm totally in love with the Brits and their accents and the adorable way they can work squidgy and peaky and all manner of hobbit-like expressions into their culinary banter.

And what does that have to do with my cherry cobbler?  Not much, really, except that as I was throwing it together I was imagining Paul's blue eyes scrutinizing my messy crust and Mary being very put off by cherry filling oozing over everything and declaring it "very unprofessional".   But in my kitchen on this day, I would have it no other way.... messy, oozy and oh so incredibly delicious.

If truth be told, I think I'd rather eat a cherry cobbler or pie than just about any dessert one might have to offer.  So when I saw that Sunday (the 28th) is National Cherry Turnover day, I got more than a little excited.  Actually, a lot excited.  I had 2 lbs of fresh cherries in the fridge and I was now inspired as to how they might achieve their cherry destiny.  Visions of little cherry turnovers were dancing in my head.

And then a bunch of life happened.  

Left with not enough time to crank out little turnovers, I grabbed what little time I had and threw together this cobbler.  No regrets here.  It's magnificently delicious and fairly bursting with fresh cherry goodness. I'm sort of calling it my cherry turnover cobbler, but I think you'll call it scrumptious.  Here's the recipe...

                       My Cherry Turnover Cobbler

Click here for a printable recipe

This recipe turns out a delicious rustic cherry cobbler, bursting with cherry goodness.  I've used a couple of perhaps unconventional ingredients in the filling that add to its deliciousness, the first being the addition of balsamic vinegar.  Most fruit pie recipes ask you to add lemon juice to balance the acidity, but with cherries, balsamic vinegar is my acid of choice.  Secondly, I love using tapioca starch to thicken my fruit pies.  Bob's Red Mill makes it or you can get it at most Asian stores.  Cornstarch works fine if you con't have tapioca starch.

Enough pie dough for a 9-inch pie (here’s my recipe -see note below)

5 cups of pitted cherries (from about 2 pounds whole fruit)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup tapioca starch (or the equivalent of cornstarch)
2 tablespoons of raw sugar for sprinkling.

Note on the crust:  If you don’t want to make the dough for your top crust, you can use a store-bought pie crust and shape it to fit over your baking dish or you can use puff pastry.  

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the cherries, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and tapioca starch in a large bowl.  Stir to combine thoroughly and then scrape into your baking dish.

Top with your pie crust or puff pastry and slice a few little vent holes on the top.  Sprinkle the crust with raw sugar and place in the preheated oven.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly.  Let cool for 30 minutes before serving.  Top with ice cream if desired.