This week's recipe of Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler was chosen by Amanda of Like Sprinkles on a Cupcake. I was very excited about it as I love fresh cherries! So excited, in fact, I painted my toenails Very Cherry in celebration of the event. I have never used rhubarb for anything, so I didn't know what to expect. As a welcome-to-my-cult gift, Amanda of Beckett Bakes It gave me whole wheat flour, ginger and a pound of cherries. YUM!!
She also went to four different stores to try to buy rhubarb. As it turns out, rhubarb is a tough find in Alabama in July. After thinking of what I could possibly substitute for rhubarb ........ strawberries, apples, blackberries, blueberries, I called four more stores and finally was tipped off that the Publix in Trussville had it (thank you, Peggy!). After cruising the produce section for 20 minutes or so, I finally found it.......it's red celery.
On to my challenge. I halved and pitted the pound of cherries. Martha Stewart suggested I use a metal paper clip to loosen the pits -- total waste of time -- go back to prison and learn some useful tricks, sugar. I used a paring knife and halved the cherries and then twisted them apart and picked out each pit. My hands looked like they had just committed a heinous act. Next time I think I'll wear gloves - my fingernails are still stained. I then had to "peel" the rhubarb. I don't really know exactly what that means, but I am confident I didn't do it correctly. I tasted a piece of raw rhubarb....bleeeeeeck.....what person ate this the first time and said "ahhhhhh, a delicious new vegetable!" Moreover, why the cult following for this plant? I think I could have just cut some weeds out of my yard, "peeled" them and gotten the same effect. Better yet, I could have gone out into the yard and picked wild blackberries and not spent $4.99/pound. To the cherry / rhubarb mixture, I added sugar, ginger and cornstarch. It looked pretty delicious in the bowl all glistening in its syrupy goodness.
The topping for this cobbler is a whole wheat biscuit dough. The recipe provides instructions for preparation in a food processor. I do not yet own a food processor, so I thought I'd try to mix it in the blender. GENIUS! Wrong. After I spent the next 10 minutes trying to scrape pea-sized chunks of butter off the blender blade, I decided it was best to try to make by hand. The instructions stated it should look like most clumps and curds. I got something that looked like oatmeal ...... I think that might be correct. I then formed 20 balls out of the dough and placed in rows on top of the fruit mixture.
I was unimpressed by how little my biscuits rose. Maybe it's time for new baking powder. I think mine expired in 2006. The recipe suggested waiting 20 minutes for the cobbler to cool after cooking before eating. I had my bowl waiting for the 20 minute mark as it smelled pretty delicious. I was delighted in the cherries (not a big shock), but the rhubarb just tasted like a mush of somewhat crunchy nothing - should have gone with a berry. The whole wheat biscuit topping was pretty boring. I guess I have a preference for desserts whose sugar content is so high that you're confident you just rotted out a few teeth. I think I would have adored it if it had a streusel topping. Overall, cherries - YAY!, rhubarb - Boo!, and whole wheat biscuits don't belong on a cobbler.