Roasted Rhubarb Cobbler
In this buttery cobbler, slices of rhubarb are roasted with sugar before rounds of biscuit dough are added to the pan. This extra step allows the rhubarb juices to condense into a sweet-tart syrup and eliminates the need for a thickener like cornstarch or tapioca, which can muddy the flavors. The result is a bright-tasting, flaky cobbler that’s gently scented with vanilla and a little orange zest. Topped with a drizzle of heavy cream or a scoop of ice cream, it makes a rose-tinged dessert that’s both lighter and bolder than others of its kind.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 1vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or use 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)
- 2pounds rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
- ¾cup/150 grams granulated sugar
- 1teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- Pinch of kosher salt
- ¾cups/96 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
- 2tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 ¼teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 3tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- ⅓cup/79 milliliters plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream, plus more for serving, if you like
- Demerara sugar, for sprinkling
- Ice cream, for serving (optional)
Step 1Heat oven to 425 degrees. Using the tip of a paring knife, scrape the pulp out of the vanilla bean halves and add the pulp to a 1 1/2 quart gratin or baking dish or 9-by-9-inch pan along with the scraped-out pods. (Alternatively, add the paste or extract to the pan.) Add the rhubarb, sugar, zest and salt, and toss well. Let sit at room temperature to macerate while preparing the biscuit dough.
Step 2Make the biscuit dough: Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add cubed butter, then pulse until the mixture has formed lime bean-size pieces. Drizzle in 1/3 cup heavy cream and pulse until everything just clumps together, taking care not to overprocess. (To make the dough by hand, put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add cubed butter, then mix it in with your hands, pinching and squeezing with your fingers — or use a pastry blender — until the largest pieces are the size of peas. Drizzle in 1/3 cup heavy cream a little at a time, mixing until the dough comes together.)
Step 3Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and gently pat it together until it’s a cohesive lump. Using a small ice cream scoop or a large spoon, form dough into 6 evenly sized balls. Slightly flatten dough balls into thick rounds. Cover rounds with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes (and up to 6 hours).
Step 4Put the rhubarb in the oven and roast, stirring halfway through, until the rhubarb has softened and the liquid has formed a syrup, about 30 minutes.
Step 5Remove pan from oven and use tongs to remove the vanilla bean pods.
Step 6Lower oven temperature to 375 degrees. Arrange biscuit rounds on top of the rhubarb, leaving space in between them. Brush biscuits with remaining tablespoon of heavy cream and sprinkle with Demerara sugar.
Step 7Bake cobbler until biscuits are golden brown, about 25 to 35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, with cream or ice cream, if you like.