I will be the first to admit that the South is another country, especially Texas. People can joke about Texas all they want, but when a Northerner steps onto Texan soil, they can feel it. They feel nervous that an angry cowboy is going to lasso them, or that they’ll get run over by a horse, or get caught in a gunfight, or some other type of stereotypical, yet totally unrealistic, redneck danger is going to come there way upon entry.
Frankly, I find it hilarious. However, on occasion, some of these outsiders stay long enough to realize that even though we do things a bit different, and that we love to combine words that don’t need combining like y’all and sumbitch, it can actually be a nice place to exist with welcoming inhabitants. And the food’s not too shabby either.
My yankee dad was one of those people. Born in Chicago and raised in Cleveland, he came to Texas at the sparkling age of 21 looking for work, as the industry of the North was waining and the Texas economy was booming. May I just say, best decision he ever made.
He took to Texas like a crackhead to, well, crack. He picked up the Southern drawl and figured out how to cook properly. You will NEVER find beans in his chili. ‘Cause that’s something a yankee would do.
He also learned how to make the best cobbler. When we were kids, he would make vats of it for church functions. I’d come around the church kitchen hours before the event to sneak a spoonful of filling or whatever I could get my hands on. Most of the time it was peach, all bubbly and gooey, with a thick slightly sweet pastry crust. It was heaven on earth.
So as a salute to my yankee-turned-Texan dad, I took advantage of another summer stone fruit and made an insanely scrumptious plum cobbler. A mix of tart and sweet plums are baked until bubbly under a moist pastry crust and finished with a dollop of cream. Of course, real Texans finish it with Blue Bell.
Plum Cobbler Recipe
3 lbs plums, pitted cut into 1 1/2″ segments
1/2 c (100g) plus 1/2 c (100g) sugar, separated
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
4 tbsp (60g) butter
2 tbsp baking powder
2 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 c (220g) heavy cream or buttermilk or half and half
Stir together 1/2 c sugar with cornstarch, then toss in the plums. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375F.
With a mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg and mix to combine. Add remaining egg and mix to combine. In a separate bowl, stir together baking powder, flour, nutmeg and salt. Add flour mixture to egg, butter and sugar. Mix until barely combined. While mixing, stream in the cream until combined. Should be a thick batter.
Pour fruit and juices into a 9″ x 9″ pan. Top evenly with batter. Personally, I like to sprinkle sugar on top of the batter which gives a nice sweet crust, but you do what you like. Bake for 35-40m until bubbly and the crust is golden brown.