Sugar-Free Berry Cobbler

Forgive me, as this is far from the most refined photo I’ve taken. It seems to have slipped my mind lately that I have a blog that might benefit from an updated post every now and then. When my mom asked me if I could make a dessert with the frozen blueberries she was looking to get rid of, my mind didn’t immediately go to blog recipe. I baked what I thought would be an adequate, but not memorable, cobbler. But halfway through eating it, I had an idea. Hey, Beth, why don’t you post this recipe to your blog? You know, that website you used to update on a somewhat regular basis with new recipes? And so, I ran to get my camera (which has been gathering dust in my bedroom as of late) and snapped a few shots of this half-eaten cobbler as if it would be gone if I waited any longer (which it almost was).

In the spirit of my upcoming trip to L.A. for my nephew’s baptism (!!!), I made this cobbler entirely with stevia (a zero calorie sweetener), used only 2 tablespoons of oil, and made this with whole grain brown rice flour. Not to mention this dessert is, by definition, comprised mostly of fruit. I know it’s a little early for fresh berries (not to mention STILL too cold around here to begin even dreaming of such a thing), but I love the fact that frozen berries mean never having to wait until July to make a good cobbler.

Berry Cobbler:

I’ll remind those looking to make this dessert that NuNaturals stevia is sort of one of those non-negotiables. If substitutions with the stevia are made, it’s highly likely the end product will taste much different than it should. This recipe was inspired by Susan O’Brien’s Blackberry Cobbler recipe in Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Cooking.

Berry Filling:

4 cups frozen blueberries

3 cups frozen raspberries

1/4 teaspoon NuNaturals liquid vanilla stevia

zest of one lemon

2 1/2 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill Brown Rice Flour

Topping:

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Brown Rice Flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon Ener-G egg replacer

1/2 cup Wholesoy & Co. plain, unsweetened soy yogurt

1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon NuNaturals liquid vanilla stevia

2 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a 9×13″ baking dish, toss ingredients for berry filling and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, egg replacer and baking soda. Add remaining ingredients and stir until incorporated. Add dollops of batter evenly over top of berries.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until very bubbly and top is golden brown. Let cool for 15-20 minutes before serving, so berry filling can set. Serve with your favorite vegan vanilla ice cream for an especially delicious treat!

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Rhubarb Cobbler

Please forgive yet another week’s lapse in posting. I was struck — rather swiftly, actually, so the word is appropriate — with a fierce case of food poisoning. Or the flu. Or food poisoning. Or the flu. Well, I still haven’t been able to figure out what it was, and I guess I’ll never know. But the point is my kitchen got a nice break from me for the week, as I only passed through a few times a day to refill my cup of ice chips. And by passed, I mean stumbled. Yep, I was pretty much a zombie; a scary sight, indeed. But now that my appetite’s (just about) back and better than ever, I’m starting up where I left off last week. I’m experimenting with rhubarb recipes.

As a side note — and as someone who does not like waste — I must say it was quite disheartening discarding the rotting food I had bought during the beginning of last week — food that was left to waste away in the fridge, as I was wasting away in bed. Of course, I could have instructed Gennaro on how to prepare my intended meals for himself only, but that would have required energy, of which I had none.

I made this cobbler tonight for my family (my parents and grandparents are in town for my graduation). Actually, I prepared and baked it earlier today and tested some of it myself (not wanting to make my family members guinea pigs yet again). I thought it was delicious, and I’m not always easy to please with desserts. It was crispy on top and the filling was nice and sweet and flavorful. Plus, the cardamom really goes nicely with it. I was so pleased with the final result that I couldn’t wait to serve it to my family. But being that by the time we were done with dinner and getting home, it was getting a bit late for certain members of our constituency to be eating dessert. So I did something stupid. I heated the oven to 300 and stuck the cobbler in there to heat up, trying to speed up the process. When I went to check it again about 15 minutes later, it was dry and, it seemed, overcooked (as I had not undercooked it the first time around). Despite my assurances that “it was soooo good when I tried it earlier,” I feared every one’s endorsement of my new dish would be less-than-enthusiastic. Still, I received generally good remarks and thumbs-up. I guess, in the end, I figured an overcooked and dry version of the cobbler being still pretty tasty would mean the cobbler-at-its-full potential was worthy of a full posting.

Cobbler Filling:

5 cups rhubarb, chopped (about a pound, give or take a few stalks)

2 teaspoons NuNaturals vanilla liquid stevia (use 1 1/2 teaspoons if you like a more tart filling)

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

2 tablespoons potato starch

Cobbler Topping:

3/4 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup potato starch

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/3 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening

1/2 cup light coconut milk

1/4 teaspoon NuNaturals vanilla stevia

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a large bowl, toss rhubarb, stevia, cardamom and potato starch until combined. Turn out into 2-qt. baking dish and set aside.

3. In another medium-large bowl, whish together flour, potato starch, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and cardamom. Add shortening and, using fingers, break up into flour mixture. In a small bowl, whisk together coconut milk and stevia and add mixture to contents of larger bowl. Stir to combine. When topping comes together, drop in equally sized pieces, a few inches apart, over the filling.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, until filling is bubbly and topping is golden-brown.

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Blackberry Peach Cornmeal Cobbler

Spring came a few days early. Today, the sun was shining. The weather was warm. People were out and about. The robin I spotted a few days ago must have been a sign. The streets were fittingly speckled with green. I know St. Patty’s day was the source of the green, but it might as well have been a symbol: spring has arrived. In that spirit, I may have jumped the gun seasonally with this recipe. In deciding what sweet treat to try out tonight, my mind went straight to summer. And to my mind, nothing says summer like peaches, berries and cobbler.

robinThe nice thing about frozen fruit is that your cravings don’t have to be in season for you to enjoy them. Having figured out my fruit of choice, I referenced my Joy of Cooking for some biscuit inspiration. Even though Joy is inconspicuously lacking many things gluten, dairy, egg or sugar free, it’s my go-to reference when I’m trying out new dishes. It’s just a great starting point for figuring out proportions, flavors or additions to any dessert. Joy‘s cobbler topping recipe had a variation for a cornmeal topping. I love cornmeal in sweet dishes, so that idea stuck with me as I was preparing this tonight. And when I’m baking with cornmeal, I almost always add some lemon zest. Before long, a gluten free, agave sweetened, vegan fruit cobbler was bubbling in my oven, and I was enjoying it not too long after that.

What would I do different next time? While I love Bob’s Red Mill for soooo many reasons, their cornmeal is a bit grainy for my taste (and for my teeth — I bit down on a few pieces that had a distinct, hard crunch). I think I might use a bit of a finer grind of cornmeal next time around. The middle of the cobbler was also just slightly underdone on the bottom part of the biscuit, though the top came out perfectly golden brown. I actually happen to like the biscuits this way, so I probably wouldn’t change the recipe next time around, but if you like your top a bit crisper, you may want to reduce the coconut milk to 1/4 cup. If you happen to have really ripe, fresh peaches on hand, feel free to use those. You can adjust the cooking time accordingly. I think this recipe would be great with just about any type of juicy fruit filling. The amount of agave can be adjusted depending on the type of fruit and its sweetness.

I made this in my Le Creuset Dutch Oven just because I’ve always wanted to bake a cobbler in that thing, really (don’t ask me why). But I imagine this could work in just about any casserole dish or even a deep pie dish.

Serves: 4-6

Blackberry Peach Filling:

20 oz. (about 4 cups) frozen sliced peaches

10 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) frozen blackberries

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons potato starch

2 tablespoons agave nectar

Cornmeal Topping:

1 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup potato starch

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup light coconut milk (shake can before using)

1/3 cup grapeseed oil

1/2 cup agave nectar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

zest of one lemon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Toss ingredients for filling in a 3 quart baking dish or oven safe enameled Dutch Oven. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredient for topping (sorghum flour through baking soda). Whisk in coconut milk, grapeseed oil, agave, lemon juice and zest. Mix until incorporated. Drop batter in large spoonfuls over filling to cover fairly evenly.

4. Bake cobbler, uncovered, in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, until top is golden brown and fruit is bubbly. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

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