We’ve reached the end of our four-course dinner. As tempting as it is to prepare a chocolate dessert, I wanted to write a recipe that paired well with the other flavors in this dinner roll, bacon salad and beer-braised pork shoulder meal. For that reason, we’re serving bourbon pear cobbler.
This dish illustrates something else, too: desserts and baking projects don’t have to be clean, precise and delicate. They can be heaping mounds of warm fruit, covered in a rough biscuit crust, and topped with ice cream. With this dessert, precision is not the name of the game. Want to add more bourbon to your cobbler? Be my guest.
2 pounds cored and peeled pears (about 6, I recommend Bartlett)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. After peeling and coring the pears, dice them into cubes, with one side being about the size of your thumbnail. In a large bowl, combine the diced pears with the remaining filling ingredients. Toss well to combine and set aside while you make the topping.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Dice the 4 tablespoons of butter into small pieces, then rub them into the flour with your fingers. This will make the topping more flaky.
Add the buttermilk, egg and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Stir gently with a fork until everything is just combined. Small patches of dry flour are OK.
Spoon the filling into an 8-inch x 8-inch baking dish, then top with small pats of butter.
Roughly cover the filling with the biscuit topping by spooning it out. There will (and should) be gaps in the topping, to allow steam and juices to escape.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until the topping has browned. Look at the glorious layers of biscuit, pear and bourbon filling in that side-view shot of the baked cobbler. Allow it to cool for at least an hour before serving. You can’t go wrong with some vanilla ice cream on top.