Not only is this a recipe, but it is short trip into the working of my mind. Just keep reminding yourself that logic has left the building and we are going to cook with dimension bending measurements and accurate taste buds influenced heavily by not so accurate memories. If lacking taste buds or a little common sense you should just stop here and go buy a cobbler. In the long run you will be better off - 'trust me' says the mouse in my pocket. It is best to read through the recipe to get an idea of the amount of ingredients you might use. Use your best judgement. So let's get started.
What you need (Ingredients and such):
One container of Strawberries (You know the clear plastic clam shell type you can find at almost every super market-I think they are 1 lb boxes but not sure)
4-5 Great smelling but mealy fleshed Peaches. (Bought these to eat but they had little flavor and the ugh flesh so in the pot they went. I guess they could be optional- Welcome to my reality of interior Alaskan fruit)
Ginger Ground (optional)
Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
(I mixed up 4 times this amount for the two 9" x 13" pans I made - the below recipe amounts are for a 2 quart size baking dish. Really how much to make is based on how much topping you want, use your best judgement. This is a biscuit type topping. My husband said it was too much so I am thinking maybe 3 times for two pans...just go with your gut and make how much you want.)
1 Cup Flour
1/4 cup White Sugar
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
6 Tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup Milk
Dash Cinnamon Ground
A couple of bowls for mixing
Measuring cups/spoons for the topping recipe
Cutting boards and a sharp knife
Oven to cook it in -always helpful
And of course LOVE. All recipes need this. There is no exact amount needed; just know that items cooked with love always taste better. Science proven fact I am sure. Of course not even love could have saved the first few years of burnt items I served my husband; sometimes you just have to have a frozen pizza waiting in the wings, but that is a whole other topic.
Whatever else you think you might need to cook- a good tall glass of wine or sense altering beverage might be called for before, during, or after this adventure of cooking with me.
Wash the fruit. This is a given but figure if I don't say it someone might not have the common sense to do it. So here it is - wash the dang fruit.
Slice up the apples into whatever size you prefer, but do not leave them just quartered. Turn it into pie sized slices or chunks. Leave the skins on, just make sure to core em. No need to cook the cores, stems, or that little bottom thing (yuck). Do the same to the peaches (toss the pits), and strawberries- half or quarter each berry (snip and toss the green top).
Toss the fruit into a large mixing bowl. Here is where to make the decision of how much fruit you need. When in doubt add more apples.
Now macerate it! I can hear you now asking, "What is this 'macerate' thing?" Simple, it is when you mix sugar with the fruit and then let it sit to make its own wonderful juice sauce. Make sure to add enough sugar to lightly coat the fruit, not drown it. Other recipes recommend 2 tablespoons sugar per 1 lb container of strawberries (this little tidbit might give you an idea of the amount needed or it might just be an odd fact -your choice).
While I was at it I added about 1 part cinnamon, 1/2 part allspice, 1/4 part cloves, and a dash of ginger. These are all based on taste; so of course I have no idea exactly how much I used but this is approximately the ratio I used in parts. I would figure a good start is one, or better yet a half teaspoon per part. Remember this is based on taste and your personal preferences. If you like more cloves and less cinnamon great; play with it and have fun. Keep in mind you can always add more but it is hard to fix it if you over-spice the mixture. A little spice goes a long ways. I would have also added 1/2 part nutmeg but found I was out. This is a common theme if you keep reading.
Add 2 tablespoons of Tapioca. Why, because a previous recipe I tried for strawberry rhubarb pie called for it and I have a lot left over and needed to use it some where.
Let the fruit macerate for at least 1/2 hour (mine sat around 45 minutes to an hour till I was happy with the amount of juices). You want it be a syrupy sauce, some recipes say you can leave it overnight in the fridge - others say if left too long strawberries will turn to mush. Stir every once in while to mix it up and taste it occasionally. The flavor will change as it sits and you might need more cinnamon or other spice.
At this point I realized I forgot to add lemon juice (which I usually add to fruit mixes-just a squirt or two). This accounts for the odd things listed above. No lemon juice was to be found, I forgot I was out and a month later I am still out. I really need to write that on the list. No lime juice either. Anywho, I noticed the orange juice and remembered my mother in-law using it in fruit salads. I figure it is a citrus like a lemon, so I added a splash. Hmmm, it was okay but could be better (based on taste test). Then I remembered the orange rum marmalade sauce I made for coconut breaded halibut I had left over. Great idea but a no go. One sniff reminded me I put horseradish in it and figured it would not taste so good in cobbler. The horseradish that is. But I had left over marmalade and rum... so I mixed in 3 tablespoons or so marmalade, and approximately 2 tablespoons of spiced rum.
ALWAYS taste it, no not the rum (but a sip won't hurt and might make this process make more sense). I mean the fruit juices, you need to be brave here and adjust it to what you like. If you do not like something I used, fine leave it out. In fact if you have lemon or lime juice you can skip the whole orange/rum section and keep it simple. But I will tell you it turned out great as is.
While the fruit is doing its macerate thing, (toward the end of the time you think it needs) mix up the cobbler topping.
Combine flour, sugars, baking powder, salt, and spice in a mixing bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter. You can use a knife, food processor, or fingers if you do not have a pastry cutter. Work it till the butter is pea or smaller sized chunks just like you would do when making biscuits, a pastry, or pie crust. Now add the milk slowly while mixing. The mixture should be the consistency of chocolate chip cookie dough. You might need to add water to reach the correct consistency (I did). Do this a small amount at a time. You do not want to make it runny or like cake batter. If this happens add a bit of flour and slap the hand that was adding the water. It got carried away and needs a reminder that when you add a 'small amount' it is more like a tablespoon, not a 1/4 cup which is closer to 3 tablespoons.
Ready to Bake!
Preheat the oven to 425'
Place fruit mixture in lightly greased baking dish.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and add the cobbler topping. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture over the hot fruit. Leave as is or smooth out it is your choice. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and sugar.
Return it to the oven and cook another 30 minutes (this is debatable), better yet cook it until the topping is golden brown and cooked all the way through. My oven is very temperamental and I had to cook it for close to an hour.