Cook | Summer pickins make fabulous cobblers and crisps

When invited to a potluck at this time of year, I love to bring dessert. With the rich abundance of available fruit, I can create desserts that are portable, delicious and easy to prepare.

Stone fruit (peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums) and berries are at their peak right now in produce and farmers markets, ready to be used in luscious sweets — from rustic to elegant and everything in between.

Homey cobblers, crisps and crumbles are my favorites and take minimal effort. For me, the hardest part is choosing the fruit. Sometimes I showcase only one, other times it’s a mix-and-match medley. There are no firm rules for the recipes below. The types of fruit are interchangeable, as are the crusts.

When selecting fruit, make sure it is not overripe. Stone fruit should have a smooth skin without

bruises and be just firm to the touch. Berries are fragile and age quickly. When selecting them, make sure they are dry and not crushed or wet.

On a different note, this will be my last column. I have so enjoyed “talking” and sharing recipes with you for almost 15 years. With iPads, iPhones, computers and Google, my recipes and I are only a click away. For now, let me leave you with something sweet.


Nectarine Blackberry Cornmeal Crisp

Serves 8


2 lbs. nectarines, cut into thin wedges

2 cups blackberries

3⁄4 cup sugar or to taste

1 Tbs. flour

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice


3⁄4 cup flour

1⁄4 cup cornmeal

1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts

1⁄2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1 egg

1⁄2 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, combine filling ingredients. Let stand while preparing topping.

In a medium bowl, combine topping ingredients (except butter) until it appears crumbly.

Pour filling into baking pan, sprinkle flour mixture over fruit and then drizzle with melted butter. Bake about 25 minutes, or until top is lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.


Mixed Berry Cobbler

Serves 8


1 cup sugar

2 Tbs. flour or cornstarch

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1⁄2 tsp. salt

3 cups raspberries

3 cups blueberries

2 cups blackberries

grated zest of 1 lemon


2 cups flour

3 Tbs. sugar plus 1 Tbs. to sprinkle

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

3⁄4 cup cold butter cut into small cubes

3⁄4 cup cold buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients and let stand while making topping.

Combine dry ingredients in food processor. Add butter and process until crumbly. Pour in buttermilk and process till dough holds together. Turn out on floured surface and form dough into a 9×13-inch rectangle. Roll out to 1⁄2 inch thick. Cut out circles with 21⁄2-inch cookie cutter.

Pour filling into prepared pan and top with dough. Sprinkle 1 Tbs. sugar over dough. Bake about 50 minutes or until top is golden brown. (When baked, topping will resemble cobblestones, hence the name.) n

Louise Fiszer
is a Palo Alto cooking teacher, author and the co-author of “Jewish Holiday Feasts.” Her columns have alternated with those of Faith Kramer. Questions and recipe ideas can be sent to j. or to [email protected]