Sour Cherry and Black Pepper Cobbler: wartime recipe with an outlandish twist.
My grandmother was a master of survival. During the Second World War she sewed clothes for her children using material cut from parachutes. My mother was one of those children, that is how I know the story.
Being very careful with resources, grandmother would pick sour cherries for winter stocks, praying the armies passing by would not find them. If there was any sugar, she would make this quick dessert. I doubt that she would have known the word ‘cobbler’, but I am sure the word ‘pudding’ would ring a bell.
My mother is dedicated to maintaining the heirloom varieties, so there is a sour cherry tree growing in her backyard; the same as she remembers from her childhood. I visited her last weekend, and after we had coffee I started to climb the tree to get some fruits for the weekend meal. My first idea was a creamy, thick, cold soup, but then the cobbler occurred to me, as I had not made one for over a year.
Don’t be surprised now : I added some ground black pepper to the pastry. You should give it a try. It is amazingly good!
- 4 cups sour cherries, pitted
- 2 cups flour
- 10 Tbsp sugar
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- pinch of salt
- 4 Tbsp sour cream
- 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 egg yolk + 2 Tbsp water for egg wash
- Ground black pepper to sprinkle on the batter, optional
- Preheat the oven to 180° C / 356° F.
- Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, black pepper and salt.
- Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and mix until well combined.
- Butter two baking pans.
- Mix the egg yolk and water for the egg wash.
- Place the cherries on the bottom of the pans.
- Using a tablespoon, divide the batter into both pans to cover the sour cherries.
- Egg wash the batter.
- Sprinkle with ground black pepper (optional).
- Bake for 28 minutes or until golden on top.
- Serve with whipped cream and mint leaves to taste.