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Cobble together rhubarb, strawberries and ginger

Recipe: Fresh fruits in a delicious spring dessert or brunch dish

Cobbler on a yellow plate with a spoon
A fruit cobbler makes a fresh addition to brunch; add ice cream for serving as
dessert. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

Strawberries, rhubarb and raspberries
Trio of red: Strawberries, rhubarb and raspberries blend
well in the cobbler.

Spring's fresh fruit parade has begun, and right up front are strawberries and rhubarb, very different yet so complementary.  This easy (and not-too-sweet) cobbler features them beautifully, and the little biscuits, accented with bits of candied ginger, make the perfect topping.

The biscuits can be made with all-purpose flour, spelt flour, or a combination. Spelt is my new ingredient to play with, so my biscuits included 1/3 cup spelt.  Like anything baked with whole-wheat flour, they will be a little denser than ones made with white flour. The ginger bits I used come premade from a spice company, eliminating the sticky chopping, but use what's available.

The amounts of fruit here are flexible, depending on the size or shape of your baking dish. I used a 9-by-9-inch glass dish, and wound up adding a few more strawberries after the amounts listed below.

Inspired by the original , I also tossed some raspberries in with the other fruit, but they're not required. They do, however, mask some of the color of the cooked strawberries, which are not as bright as uncooked ones. The liquid in the dish might seem to be too much and too thin, but it is ideal for balancing the starchiness of the biscuits.

Enjoy as is or with some ice cream on the side.

Candied ginger in a tablespoons
Candied-ginger bits this size work in the cobbler
biscuits.

Strawberry-rhubarb cobbler with ginger biscuits

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

4 stalks rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch chunks

2 cups (or more) hulled and halved strawberries

1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (optional)

2 to 3 tablespoons maple syrup, honey or agave nectar (or a combination)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided

Biscuit topping:

1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, spelt flour or a combination

2 tablespoons granulated sugar or coconut sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Biscuits on fruit
Cobblers leave some fruit exposed. Brush the biscuits with a
little milk.

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

3 tablespoons diced candied ginger or premade ginger bits

2 tablespoons coconut oil (solid) or margarine

1/2 cup oat milk, nut milk or dairy milk, plus more for brushing

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put all the fruit in the chosen baking dish. Sprinkle the maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla over the fruit, stir well and even out the fruit in the dish.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the solid coconut oil or margarine, rubbing it into the flour mixture with your hands, a fork or a small spatula. The coconut oil pieces should be no larger than peas.

Stir in the candied-ginger pieces.

Stir in the milk and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla just until flour mixture is moistened.

Baked cobbler with serving spoon
Bright red fruit sauce is a feature of this cobbler.

Scoop out a rounded mound of dough with a tablespoon, shape and flatten it slightly, and place on top of the fruit. Repeat until all the dough is used, leaving some of the fruit exposed. Brush the tops of the biscuits with a little more milk.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling all over and the biscuits are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.

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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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