Food Issue: Fruit cobbler

This recipe is courtesy of chef Jennifer McLagen, author of "Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, With Recipes" (Ten Speed Press).

Fruit Cobbler
Serves 6 to 8

2 pounds peaches
1 pound raspberries
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
A squeeze of lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt

Suet Biscuits:
2 cups (8 3/4 ounces) flour
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups (4 ounces) finely grated suet
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp. whipping (35 percent fat) cream
1 1/2 Tbsp. Demerara sugar


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

To make the filling, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Drop in the peaches and leave for 1 minute, then transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water. Using a paring knife, remove the skin from the peaches; it should peel off easily. If it doesn't, drop the peaches back into the boiling water for another 30 seconds.

Cut each peach into sixths or eighths, depending on its size, and discard the pit. Place the peach slices in a large bowl with the raspberries and sugar and toss gently to combine. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with about 2 tablespoons of the juice released by the fruit, add the lemon juice and salt, and pour over the fruit. Stir to mix and then place the fruit mixture in a 9 by 12-inch baking dish.

To make the biscuits, sift the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl and stir in the suet. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk and add to the flour mixture. Stir with a fork to make a soft dough. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead gently, just until the dough comes together.

Pat the dough out to a thickness of 1/2 inch and, using a 2 3/4-inch biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of dough. Press any leftover dough together and cut again; you should have about eight rounds. Arrange the rounds evenly on top of the fruit; there will be space between them. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the cream and sprinkle the Demerara sugar on top. Bake until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Let cool and serve at room temperature.

Reprinted with permission from "Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes" by Jennifer McLagan, copyright 2008. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House.

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