This cobbler with fresh strawberries is an easy recipe that brings out the best of this favorite fruit and involves little time in the kitchen. A cobbler means that juicy, sweet strawberries are topped with a layer of biscuit dough to produce a scrumptious dessert. One of those delicious recipe with simple ingredients that can be made ahead.
As far as easy berry desserts go, cobblers are one of my favorites, together with crisps and crumbles. They consist of a layer of fruit and a topping that can vary in consistency and crunchiness. I regularly made this Old-fashioned Peach Cobbler recipe, but I can now honestly say that any fruit cobbler with seasonal fruit is one of my favorite things to bake on a sunny day. You can also use leftover pie dough like in the Plum Cobbler recipe.
They come together fast, are loved by everyone (at least in my house) and are super versatile. Use different fruit, different types of sugar (brown sugar is amazing), a touch of lemon or lime in the filling, different toppings and serve it plain or warm with some ice cream. As I said, easy and versatile. And so delicious! This I mention that?
- Strawberries: use fresh fruit if possible, as they will be in season and sweeter. And also cheaper, since a ton of fresh berries appear, and you can grab amazingly red, juicy strawberries for a great price. But frozen ones also work. Don't refrain from eating this great dessert year round!
- White and Brown sugar: I use the first one for the filling and the second one for the biscuit topping because it adds a caramel flavor that is amazing. But feel free to use all white or all brown for both layers.
- Butter: unsalted is the best, but, if you have salted you should decrease the amount of salt in the recipe to compensate or it will probably be too salty.
- Buttermilk: the tanginess gives balance to the dessert and makes the topping softer.
- Cream: it adds richness, and though I like heavy cream, you can use double or even whipping.
- Salt: it brings out all the other flavors. All baking needs a pinch of salt.
- Lime or lemon: whichever you choose, it will add some needed acid to this dessert.
How to make it
This is an easy cobbler recipe, one of those fruit desserts that comes together quickly, is simple to make and uses everyday ingredients.
I like biscuit dough because it's soft and fluffy and still turns golden brown and crisp on top. But there are small details, usually in ingredients, that can result in quite different toppings.
- This recipe today makes a flatter, richer (it has cream), more even biscuit that, for example, the one I use for the Pear Cobbler recipe which is more like a drop scone and uses melted butter.
- I encourage you to check out the other cobblers in this blog (like the Peach Cobbler recipe that uses yogurt and melted butter) and choose the topping you feel is more what you might like in terms of amount of biscuit dough. They are all similar with subtle changes in the ingredients so they bake differently.
In a large bowl put the dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder) and add the cold butter pieces. The next step is to integrate the butter into the flour mixture and this means that it has to be broken in small pieces but it should stay as cold as possible. So touching it lightly, as little as possible, and getting the job done as quickly as possible is important. We have 3 choices:
- By hand: it's how I do it because I like to feel the ingredients and also because it's a small quantity. The key is not to overwork the dough as it will start to melt the cold butter and that is not good if we want a tender dough. If you normally have very hot hands this is probably not the best option.
- Pastry cutter: this is where you cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter (also called pastry blender) in a large bowl (don't use a small one as it will be more constricting and difficult to work). This way you avoid the messy butter and have little chance of touching it too much with warm hands.
- Food processor: you can use this gadget to make the first part of the flour mixture, just before adding the wet ingredients (step 2 below). The key here is to use quick on/off pulses, just enough to cut the butter and integrate the dry ingredients. You don't want to process the whole thing and make a dough. Not at all! So you might want to try this method if you don't have much success with doughs (they end up being tough because you over work them).
No matter what method you use to integrate the butter with the flour mixture, the next step, adding the wet ingredients, should be done in a large bowl.
It's as easy as adding the cream and the buttermilk and mixing with a fork (images 3 and 4). Again, don't over do it. There's no need to make a smooth mixture. The more you mix, the highest chance of getting a tougher topping, so light strokes until we have no dry spots. Then we stop mixing.
There are several ways you can go about this:
1. Macerate the strawberries with some sugar before mixing in the cornstarch and putting together the dessert. Just a little while to soften them as they start to release liquids.
2. Simply mix the filling ingredients in the pan where you're baking it (and not have to wash yet another bowl!). It will bubble and release juices when it bakes. This way is how the strawberries remain firmer.
3. Berry sauce or pie filling. I have used this recipe for Strawberry Sauce (and the Blueberry Sauce recipe also) more than once to make cobblers. But keep in mind that pie fillings or toppings are usually thick and sometimes can lack juice after it's baked.
Baking the cobbler
- Make sure you have the right pan size. This is important if you don't want the filling to overflow before the biscuit topping is fully baked. If it does overflow (it happens) put a piece of foil on the bottom of the oven to catch the spilled juices.
- When is it done? The top will get golden brown and the strawberry layer bubbling. But always lift the dough here and there with a fork to check that it's completely baked inside. There should be no wet parts at all.
My top tips
- Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
- Pan size: don't be tempted to use a smaller one because the filling will probably overflow before the topping is baked through. Trust me, it happened.
- Strawberries: being this a fresh strawberry cobbler, this recipe of course uses seasonal berries, but if you only have frozen ones they can work also. Use them directly from the freezer, without thawing.
- Cobbled topping: if you don't want an even, flatter topping as the one in the image above, drop the biscuit dough in mounds, leaving space between them, and not spreading them out with a spoon. Similar to the blueberry cobbler recipe, steps 7 & 8 of the video.
- Serving it: I like it warm with fresh strawberries added, because the difference in textures and temperatures makes for a great bite. A dollop of sweet whipped cream, or the popular scoop of vanilla ice cream are a great way to serve this cobbler, one of our favorite summer desserts!
Frequently asked questions
As a rule, a cobbler has a biscuit dough as a topping, while a crisp or crumble have a streusel, a mixture of flour, sugar and butter but no liquid. Crisps and crumbles are used interchangeably, but one should have oats and the other one not. Another debate for a different post.
A cobbler has a dough topping and a pie has a bottom one, and many times both, top dough also. Though there might be a debate as to whether there are cobblers with a bottom dough, that would be a pie. There are cobblers that use pie dough, like the Cinnamon Plum Cobbler, but it's used as the topping.
It lasts a day or two at room temperature, covered so that it doesn't dry out. After that I recommend wrapping and refrigerating it, and warming it lightly before eating. Especially if the kitchen is hot, because it's a fruit dessert and you don't want it to go wrong.
Other recipes you might like:
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This cobbler with fresh strawberries is an easy recipe that brings out the best of this favorite fruit and involves little time in the kitchen. A cobbler means that juicy, sweet strawberries are topped with a layer of biscuit dough to produce a scrumptious dessert.
This recipe uses a 9-inch round pan.
For the fruit layer:
- 1 pound fresh strawberries (or frozen)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Lime or lemon juice and zest, optional
For the topping:
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup cold buttermilk
- ¼ cup cold heavy cream
For serving (optional):
- Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream
- Extra fresh strawberries
For the fruit layer:
- Wash, dry, stem and cut strawberries into pieces.
- Mix half the strawberries with the sugar and cornstarch in a bowl, mix, and leave aside for 15 minutes to macerate. They will start to release some juice. If using frozen strawberries mix all of them with sugar and cornstarch. Follow rest of the recipe as written.
- Put this mixture in the pan and scatter the rest of the strawberries on top.
- Add lime or lemon zest on top and lightly mix. Reserve while making topping.
- Preheat the oven at 350°F/180°C
For the topping:
- Put flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.
- Add cold butter pieces and integrate them with your hands or pastry cutter until the butter is the size of peas. Don't over work it! The butter should be as cold as possible.
- Food processor: you can use it to mix dry ingredients with the butter. Put flour, salt, and baking powder and pulse one or twice to mix. Scatter butter pieces on top and pulse just a few times to cut butter in, just until it's roughly the size of peas. Don't over process or be tempted to mix everything until it's uniform. There should be pieces of butter. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and continue with recipe as written below.
- Add the cream and milk to the flour and butter mix, and lightly mix with a fork until it's all wet. Do this lightly, don't beat or mix too much. It doesn't have to be smooth at all, it only needs to be integrated.
- Drop mounds of this mixture on top of the strawberries
- Spread lightly with the back of a spoon, leaving some spaces with no batter. The strawberry layer needs to bubble up.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, until it's bubbling and the top golden brown.
- Check that the dough is fully baked. This is important! Lift it here and there carefully and make sure it's dry and not wet. Sometimes the top is beautifully baked but the inside still needs more time.
- Let cool on a wire rack.
- Eat warm with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream and some extra fresh strawberries.
- Keep leftovers refrigerated, covered.
always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
Pan size: don't be tempted to use a smaller one because the filling will probably overflow before the topping is baked through. Trust me, it happened.
Strawberries: the recipe uses fresh fruit, but if you only have frozen strawberries they work well. Use them directly from the freezer, without thawing.
Cobbled topping: if you don't want an even, flatter topping as the one in the image above, drop the biscuit dough in mounds, leaving space between them, and not spreading them out with a spoon. Similar to the blueberry cobbler recipe, steps 7 & 8 of the video.
Keywords: strawberry cobbler