Ingredients you will need for the Fruit Filling:
2 Pounds of fresh pitted cherries if they are in season, or use
2- 16 ounce cans of cherry pie filling if they are not.
1 Cup of sugar only to be used if you are using the fresh pitted cherries.
** If you are not using the fresh cherries do not use the sugar it will be, too sweet**
1/4 Cup of cold water
1-2 Tablespoons of cornstarch for desired thickness
1/4 Teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
Now you will need to assemble your fruit filling:
Fresh Cherry Filling: You will need to add the water, cornstarch and mix in a mixing bowl. You will then add the vanilla extract, and mix with the cornstarch slurry. Add your cherries, and sugar, and mix all of the ingredients together. The cornstarch will thicken the fruit filling during cooking. There are many different recipes I have seen that require you to boil the fruit mixture before you add it to the pan. It is not necessary to do this, it will still do the same while baking. And your fresh cherries will not get overcooked during the boiling process. This is a much better method, and it saves you time.
Canned Cherry Filling: If you are going to use canned cherries these are the steps you will follow. First you will add some water to a mixing bowl. You will not use all of the water listed above. I would use about half of that, or about 2-3 ounces of cold water. I would then add my cornstarch and mix well. Then you add the vanilla bean paste. Remember if you are using the canned cherry filling you will not use the sugar.
Ingredients for the dough topping:
1 Cup of all purpose flour
2 Teaspoons of baking powder
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1/4 Teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of butter
1/2 Cup of milk
1 Large egg
Lets make our dough:
First you will need to preheat your oven to 375 if it is a gas oven, and about 400 if it is an electric oven. I have a Kitchen Aid Professional mixer with a dough hook, and this is what I use while making my bread doughs. I know that there are many different types of equipment out there for making doughs, so just use one that will work for you. You can always do it the old fashioned way like my grandma, I just can't part with that much time these days.
You will need to combine your flour( I always sift mine, it was how I learned to do all of my baking) sugar, and baking powder, and salt into your mixer. I would get the machine ready to go, and start adding small amounts butter to start cutting in your fat. In another bowl I would add the egg, and milk and whisk until frothy. After they are both mixed in separate bowls you will start to add the wet to your dry ingredients. You will need a spatula to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. Mix until the ingredients are starting to combine, but don't over mix.
Now it is time to put it all together: Add your cherry filling to an 8-10 baking pan. You will need to find something to scoop out your dough mixture into small dough balls. A spoon will work fine, but I like to use a small ice cream scoop, it just makes for a little better presentation. After you start scooping out the dough you will place the balls on top of the cobbler. You can make a design, or do a random drop.
You will need to turn half way through baking to insure even cooking. The approximate cook time is 25-30 minutes. The reason for the approximate cook time is due to everyone's oven is different, so make sure you keep an eye out on you wonderful dessert. Enjoy!
Chef Shelley Pogue, a Cum Laude, Le Cordon Blue graduate and Executive Research and Development Chef, for Vertical Sales and Marketing, San Ramon, CA