Strawberry Cobbler with Black Pepper Biscuit Crust

You know when you see those tarts at cheap bakeries that have a strawberry on top covered in the most artificial looking red glaze? I’m about to teach you how to make that glaze and SURPRISE it’s totally non-artificial and also really tasty.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a plain strawberry pie before. Strawberries always seem to be adorned with rhubarb or jello or baked into cakes or uncooked in shortcakes, so I was excited to try this one out, especially because strawberries in Edinburgh right now are really good… And most of all, because I FINALLY GOT A DOUBLE-BOILER! No more faking it with the bowl of my scale over a boiling pot or just turning the burner to the lowest possible flame and hoping for the best, or microwaving things in short bursts to try to catch the chocolate before it scorches, because I have a double-boiler (and this is really pedantic but I’m most excited that it matches the rest of my pots).

So last weekend, when it was far too hot to actually turn on the stove in our sans-AC apartment, I whipped up this pie… er, cobbler… pobbler? And the results were… confusing.

Look how shiny!

Look how shiny!

Pros:

  • This pobbler is delicious. I would stir the strawberry filling into yoghurt or vanilla ice cream or cream cheese for spreading on the most decadent crumpet or eat it straight off the spoon.
  • It’s easy: if you have a well-stocked pantry, you probably only need to buy one or maximum two ingredients to make this (the strawberries and crust or biscuits to make a crust).
  • It’s personalisable: have some raspberries about to go off? Throw ‘em in with the strawberries, or add a grind or two of fresh black pepper to your strawberry mix. Garnish with mint leaves instead of whipped cream if you’re trying to take it to a picnic.
  • It involves whipped cream, and we all know how I feel about that.

Cons:

  • The crust is so crumbly that it just kind of sticks to the berries and you kind of have to spoon it out (not slive it) which is why I am hesitant to truly call it a pie. While this doesn’t affect the flavour, it does make it a bit messier.
  • As originally written, the recipe didn’t make as much filling as I’d want to fill my standard-sized pie dish, and even though I ‘double-boiled’ the filling for close to 30 minutes until it was very thick, it still didn’t ‘slice’ into neat slices, but rather heaped onto the plate.

Overall, though, I’m not complaining too much: this dessert slumped its way into my heart with its colourful filling, crispy crust and whipped cream garnish, and anything that makes use of seasonal produce is always a plus in my book.

The verdict:

3 spoons out of five. I would 100% make this again, but I feel like the fact that it’s trying to masquerade as a pie when it clearly is not a pie is probably enough to knock it down a couple of spoons.

One year ago: Hungarian Chocolate cake

Two years ago: Sugar crisps

The recipe:

Strawberry Cobbler with Black Pepper Biscuit Crust

The directions:

Preheat oven to 175C/350F.
Combine butter, biscuit crumbs and pepper and press into an 8-inch pie dish.
Bake crust for 7 minutes until golden, then set aside.
Slice stems off of berries, then place berries, sugar and lemon juice in double-boiler.
Dissolve cornflour in water, add to mixture in double-boiler and and cook until very thick (this will take up to 20 minutes, depending on the size of your double-boiler and berries.
Place filling in refrigerator and allow to cool to room temperature.
Pour filling into prepared shell and cover with whipped cream.
Decorate with reserved berries, refrigerate until well-chilled, then serve- probably in bowls.

The ingredients:

2 tbsp butter, melted
½ c digestive biscuit crumbs
¼ tsp black pepper
2 c strawberries, plus additional berries for garnish
1 c sugar
Juice from 1 lemon
3 drops almond extract
2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch if you're in the US)
¼ c water
2 c whipping cream
1 tbsp powdered sugar