Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Tale of Two Cobblers

This is a tale of two cobblers. The first, an indulgent delicious mix of berries topped with a blueberry scone; a creation of one of the three Food Network stars I mentioned in an earlier post, Tyler Florence. The other, my variation of a cobbler I found on the Mayo Clinic website. Again, a delicious mix of fruit but with no white sugar and a 100% whole grain pastry topping. Both were successful desserts but not exactly what I originally intended.

To start with, I made Tyler Florence's "Summer Berry Cobbler" when I was asked to bring a dessert to my daughter Gillian's boyfriend's family's lake cottage. (how's that for a triple possessive???) I would highly recommend the recipe as it bakes up beautifully (as shown in the bottom picture) and the flavors are wonderful! However, I do have a few suggestions. First of all, the recipe calls for way too many berries to fit in a tart pan: one pint each of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries. I had a good sized bowl of berries leftover. Since there is a quart of blueberries mixed right into the scone on top, I would leave the other pint of blueberries right out of the fruit mixture. Secondly, the dessert is meant to be served warm, but I had to bring it somewhere, and needed to cover it for traveling. So by the time I served it, the scone had softened somewhat and was room temperature. Still, it was delicious, especially topped with fresh whipped cream.

Now here is where my plans went awry. I originally wanted to make a healthy version of the same cobbler. And I actually attempted to do this a few nights ago. My plan was to substitute agave nectar for the sugar and whole wheat pastry flour for the white flour. So I went out and spent another small fortune on berries and did some research on the substitutions (apparently you need to use 1/8 cup less of whole grain flour for every cup of white flour, and agave nectar to taste because it is sweeter than sugar and a liquid instead of a solid......). I proudly put it in the oven and ten minutes later I realized that I never put the egg in the scone mixture. YIKES!!! It was really too late to save it and the whole thing went in the trash.

Well. How depressing. And I didn't have the heart to do it all again. So I searched for healthy cobbler recipes instead and stumbled onto this apple-blueberry cobbler from the Mayo Clinic. It is an overall healthy recipe but I did make some changes to suit my preferences (like using whole wheat pastry flour instead of half whole wheat, half white and agave nectar for the sugar, among a few other minor changes). I was very pleased with the result. I served this to three adults and four children, and only one child said "no thanks!" It definitely does not taste like a diet dessert, was plenty sweet and just as pretty as Tyler's cobbler. I loved the cut-out pastry flowers on top and I had a few left over which I baked up with cinnamon as cookies for the little "no thanks" guy! I'm showing two pictures of this because the little cut-outs hid the filling. I'd definitely make this again, and recommend serving it up warm with whipped agave sweetened cream.

I'm leaving you the link to Tyler's cobbler and my adjusted recipe for the Mayo Clinic one. I may someday give the healthy version of Tyler's a try, but for now I am "cobbled out!"

Tyler Florence's summer berry cobbler is at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/summer-berry-cobbler-recipe/index.html

Apple-blueberry cobbler
(based on a recipe from Mayoclinic.com)

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
2 Tbl agave nectar
2 Tbl cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a tart or deep dish pie pan. Pour lemon juice and agave over apples in bowl. Mix to combine. Mix cornstarch and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Sprinkle over apple mixture and combine with your hands. Gently mix in blueberries. Pour fruit into prepared dish.
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbl cold butter cut into pieces
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tbl agave nectar
Extra cinnamon to sprinkle over topping.
In large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Cut in the butter. Add buttermilk, vanilla and agave and mix only until combined. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead a bit with floured hands. Roll out to about 1/2 inch thickness and cut out desired shapes. Place shapes on top of fruit to cover. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake until fruit is bubbly and topping is brown, about 30 minutes. Serve warm with whipped agave sweetened cream.


  1. Thanks for posting these cobbler recipes with the whole wheat/agave nectar twist. The photos are so enticing, I'll need to make a berry run tomorrow!

  2. Thanks Sylvia! I love berries and can't get enough of them in the summer. I just wish they weren't so expensive! I recently read that if you add blueberries to oatmeal it enhances the nutritional value of both. Great news since I love them together.

  3. OK, so I'm making your cobbler this weekend, but using Nectarines, Golden Plums (and maybe some Rhubarb)... one question,,, can diabetics safely eat agave?

  4. Jill- this answer might be coming too late, but from what I have read, agave nectar is safe for diabetics because of its low glycemic index. Let me know how your cobbler turns out!