As I continue to explore cooking and baking, I realize the best inspiration is drawn from what foods are in season and freshest to one’s locale. I’m not to the point where I only ‘buy local’ or ‘eat organic’ because, frankly, those are sometimes more expensive (especially the organic options) but as spring approaches, I am excited to head to the Farmer’s Market during my lunch and see what my menu will consist of that week. And, let’s be honest, how many of us make a special stop at McLeod's Farms on the way to or from the beach to pick up a peck of peaches because we know no peaches in a grocery store will ever taste that good?
Sandy’s Cherry Cobbler
Adapted from Food Network, Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
One of the things I liked about this recipe is that you use a cast iron skillet. That seemed like it would up my street cred in the baking world so I tried it out. And, I learned all about seasoning your skillet once you are done using it. Thanks, Joy.
1 1/2 cups baking mix (I used Hungry Jack)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon almond extract (next time I make this I would up it a bit because I really like almond extract)
¾ a stick of butter (the original recipe says an entire stick but I think that was too much)
1 (21 ounces) can cherry pie filling
1 cup frozen cherries, thawed
These last two ingredients are where I would add some fresh fruit next time and try to find the proper amount and type of liquid to make up for the lost juice in the pie filling.
Vanilla Ice Cream for topping
Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet (this is important – I think mine was bigger and it was a bit too low on the topping to fruit ratio) over medium heat and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine baking mix, sugar, evaporated milk, and almond extract. Whisk until smooth. Set aside. Add the butter to the skillet and melt. Stir in the pie filling and thawed cherries. Pour batter over top. Bake until golden and toothpick inserted into batter comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Mine was done right at 35 minutes and may have been a bit overdone but this also could’ve been due to the wider skillet as well. Remove from oven and let cool 1 hour before serving. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.