February 1, 2011

Warming Rustic Winter Cobblers, Crisps and Betty's!

The Maine House will be busy cooking and preparing guest meals for at least the next three months. Texas visitors are here to take in the Winter months in Maine! There is yet another storm heading for New England so I think we will be able to deliver the winter wonderland they had hoped to see! Once they become accustomed to "layered clothing" of coats, sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves and boots, they most likely will be ready to embrace springtime back in Texas! What better way to end a delightful winter nighttime dinner by lingering over the dinner table with good conversation, savoring a cup of coffee and a cozy cobbler!! These are a few of the best from Estelle's!

A Maine House Mosaic

Estelle's Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler
4-1/2 cups rhubarb
 2 Tbsp. white sugar
1-1/2 cups strawberries
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. quick cooking tapioca
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. of grated orange peel
 1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the rhubarb stalks into 1-inch pieces. Trim away the outside stringy layer and remove the poisonous leaves. Trim the ends. Stem and slice the strawberries. In a bowl, mix the rhubarb and the strawberries with the sugar, tapioca, and orange zest. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes to an hour. To create the crust, combine the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in another medium bowl. Cut the butter in with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the milk and egg until just moistened. Pour the fruit into a 2-quart casserole dish. Drop the batter on the fruit. Bake for 35 minutes until the cobbler crust is golden brown. Serves 6. Serve with whipped cream or Vanilla Bean Ice Cream!

Estelle's Cranberry Pear Crisp
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
6 pears, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1 1/2 cups uncooked regular oats
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until cranberries pop and mixture thickens. Spoon evenly into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.Combine oats, flour, and brown sugar in a small bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender until crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit mixture.Bake at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

Estelle's Sweet Tip!
A "Betty" differs from a "Crisp" because the layer of crumbs is on the
 bottom of the baking dish.

Nectarine Betty
6 ripe yet firm nectarines
3 T. lemon juice
2 t. grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups graham crackers
4 T. butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ginger
1/4 t. nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
1/8 t. salt

1/2 cup brown sugar
3 t. butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 2 inch baking dish with butter cooking spray. Place nectarines in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Place the lemon zest and graham cracker crumbs in separate mixing bowl. Add butter and mix thoroughly until the texture appears sandy. Add sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Mix until well combined.

To add the topping, layer half of crumbs in bottom of pan. Layer sliced nectarines on top of crumbs. Sprinkle remaining crumbs over fruit and dot with butter. Bake 30-35 minutes until topping has browned. Let cool. Serve warm with your desired topping.

“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer
when they’re happy.” Anton Chekhov

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