Summer is the perfect time to dive into relaxed, unpretentious Americana desserts to feed a family or a crowd. With nothing fussy in the preparation, there is no wonder cobblers are a favorite. Ripe, juicy fruits, lightly sweetened and covered with a cakey topping? What’s not to love.
I have not turned on my oven for a few weeks now, preparing fresh salads and grilling most of the protein the Boulder Locavore family has been eating. We still love a summer dessert so I decided to give the slow cooker a whirl and make a cobbler. I love the idea of keeping the kitchen cool not using the oven and mixing everything in the slow cooker insert itself. I don’t have to watch it and can plan for exactly when it will be done.
I decided to change it up however and instead of creating the traditional lightly sweetened biscuit topping I substituted an unprepared cake mix. Again simplifying the recipe preparation further, as well as turning the cobbler into a sweeter more cake-like dessert. The beauty of slow cooking is the little moisture required in the recipe and no evaporation. That can affect a recipe like cobbler by making the dough sticky. I add a paper towel underneath the lid for a portion of the cooking which soaks up some of the condensation, leaving the cobbler topping closer to what one would experience when it’s cooked in the oven (though it doesn’t have the same crispness).
As my first run at the recipe was underway I learned that the cake mix topping approach is a tried and trusted Boy Scout method when making a cobbler in a Dutch oven on cook outs. Though the cooking methods differ, that seemed like a pretty good endorsement to me! This cobbler does not disappoint!
Everyone loves a taste fruit cobbler especially in the summer when so many fruits are available. This peach blueberry cobbler doesn't disappoint and has a slightly sweeter flavor with dry cake mix used for for the topping!
- 3 cups Peach slices (fresh or frozen and thawed)
- 1 cup Blueberries (fresh or frozen and thawed)
- 2 tablespoon Cornstarch
- ¼ cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1-15.25 ounce Vanilla Cake Mix (I used Pamela’s Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake Mix and weighed the mix to be 15.25 ounces which is a standard cake mix)
- ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon*
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg*
- 4 ounces Unsalted Butter, cold cut into tablespoons then each tablespoon quartered, plus 4 tablespoons melted Unsalted Butter (not needed until 3 hours cooking so wait to prepare)
- Spray the insert of a 4 quart (or larger) slow cooker liberally with no stick spray (alternatively it can be greased with unsalted butter).
- Add the peaches and blueberries; toss with the cornstarch. Sprinkle with the brown sugar.
- Stir the spices (cinnamon and nutmeg OR Chinese five spice) into the unprepared/dry cake mix. Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the top of the fruit mixture.
- Evenly distribute the small pieces of cold butter on the top of the cake mix.
- Place one paper towel on top of the slow cooker insert (fully covering the opening) and seat the lid on top of it (this helps absorb condensation from the cobbler to allow the top to become crisper). Cook on HIGH for 3 hours.
- At 3 hours, drizzle the melted butter evenly over the top of the cake mixture and using a dining fork gently turn the butter into the dry cake mixture on the top. Remove the paper towel and continue to cook on HIGH for 30 minutes or until the top is cooked (no dry ingredients showing).
- Serve with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!
For spices in the same family as the traditional cobbler spices of cinnamon and nutmeg, Chinese Five Spice may be substituted (*½ teaspoon Chinese Five Spice). I've made it both ways and it's delicious.