If it’s Thursday, it’s time for Crock Pot Buddies with me and my cooking-partner-in-crime Cristina over at centraljerseyworkingmoms.com! Have you tried any of our Crock Pot recipes? How did it turn out? Please make sure to comment below to let me know how it went, or if you have any tips/suggestions for the recipe. This week Cristina and I made the same dish and with a twist, instead of making an entrée we decided on making a dessert, Triple Berry Cobbler!
Normally when I look thru cookbooks I head straight for the main course or entrée section and focus on dishes that feature chicken, beef or lamb as the star ingredient. After all, the whole point of a crock pot is to make dinner easy, right? But occasionally, I’ll thumb through the appetizer or side dish sections and find something that catches my eye – like my favorite vegetable or grain of the moment (right now I’m obsessed with baby squash and quinoa). I never look at the dessert portions of these books, not even to drool over the photos of amazing after-dinner treats. Why? It’s certainly not because I hate sweets, but normally I wouldn’t eat one that I had a hand in making. I consider myself a pretty decent cook, but I am a HORRIBLE baker. Whether it is made from scratch or out of a box, if I’m baking it, it’s nearly guaranteed to be a total food fail! My pound cakes could be used as a doorstop and even pre-made cookie dough turns out burnt or raw results, usually on the same cookie sheet! Cake, breads and other baked desserts in our house always from someone else’s kitchen!
So why not try making a dessert in the Crock Pot? It’s not really “baking,” right? All I would have to do is add all the precisely measured ingredients, follow the directions and let the Crock Pot “bake” it into a masterpiece. How could it go wrong?!
Cristina was down with the idea, and even had a dessert recipe in mind: Triple Berry Cobbler, which she found on the Better Homes And Gardens website. The description promised “for an extraordinary ending to any meal, bring out bowls full of bubbling blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries set off with a sweet-and-spicy topper.” A fruit-based dessert sounded good to me and this one was especially good since it didn’t include strawberries, which I personally love, but am seriously allergic to.
My four-year old son helped me with some of the prep work. He dumped all the dry ingredients into a big metal bowl and then mixed up the wet ingredients with a big wooden spoon for the “cobbler” part of this recipe.
I was able to prep most of this dessert all in my “Cadillac” of Crock Pots, the Cusinart Multi-Cooker. On the sauté setting, I heated up the berries with the tapioca and sugar and then switched over to the slow cook option and spread the cobbler mixture over the berries and then let the whole dish cook.
The ‘cobbler’ topping spread on top of the berries
I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it was delicious: the fruit was not too sweet, and not too tarty. However, the mixture on top didn’t really come out as a cobbler. It was closer to a spongy, albeit tasty, cake on top. My guess is that the Crock Pot never got hot enough to caramelize the sugar and crisp up the topping. Cooking it covered made it steam, keeping in all of the moisture.
I would strongly recommend that you use FRESH fruit. I used a frozen fruit mix I bought in a large bag from Costco. Between the reconstituted frozen fruit and the 1 cup of water you added the final product was a little too watery. However, when I put the leftover dessert in a Pyrex dish I was able to drain it a bit. After a night in the fridge it firmed up a bit and tasted even better the second day, (some Redi-Whip also helped).
I don’t think I’ll be trying another dessert in the Crock Pot any time soon-I’ll stick to main courses or side dishes for now. If you’d like to give it a shot, here’s the recipe, taken from Better Homes & Gardens website:
Prep time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6 people
Slow Cook Time: 1 Hour and 45 minutes on HIGH
Cool: 1 hr
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons milk
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, half-and-half, or light cream (optional)
1. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a small bowl, combine eggs, oil, and milk. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, combine blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, 1 cup sugar, the water, and tapioca. Bring to boiling. Pour hot fruit mixture into a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Immediately spoon the batter over fruit mixture.
3. Cover and cook on high-heat setting for 1 3/4 to 2 hours or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the topper comes out clean.
4. Remove liner from cooker, if possible, or turn off cooker. Let stand, uncovered, for 1 hour to cool slightly. To serve, spoon warm cobbler into dessert dishes. If desired, top with ice cream, whipped cream, half-and-half or light cream.
Now it’s your turn. Please link up below your favorite crock-pot recipe below and don’t forget to share your shortcuts or improvements to your dish! Remember, there’s always time for a home cooked meal with your crock-pot!
Crock Pot Buddies – Triple Berry Cobbler by The Harried Mom, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.