Sunday, August 11, 2013

Cantaloupe creativity - cobbler bars

This year has brought a bumper crop of cantaloupe to our garden.  My neighbors have each been gifted a melon on their doorstep, my coworkers have eaten heaps of cubed melon and I've juiced a mountain of them...yet there are more!

Prize melon

Being a resourceful cookie, I've gotten creative with a few recipes and substituted cantaloupe for various other fruits and vegetables with good results.  I'd highly recommend this easy cobbler bar recipe using whatever fruit or squash that is in season.  These are great for a potluck and are elegant enough for guests.  They would be nice warm out of the oven with a dollop of whipped cream or scoop of vanilla ice cream.   I replaced some of the butter with juices from the fruit filling and reduced the amount of sugar from the original recipe for zucchini cobbler bars that were my inspiration (the original recipe can be found here.).

Cobbler bars

makes 9

4 cups chopped seeded, peeled fruit or squash (apples, peaches, pears, zucchini, cantaloupe!)
2 lemons, juiced and zest of one (about 1/3 cup) 
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups + 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour (or unbleached)
2/3 cup raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed

Preheat the over to 375F.  Spray a 9x9 baking pan with cooking spray.

For the filling:
Combine the fruit or squash with the lemon juice and zest in a medium pan and cook over medium-high heat until about 10-15 minutes or until soft.  Stir in 1/3 cup of the sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and the nutmeg.  Cook for an additional minute to blend in the spices and remove from heat. Set aside 1/4 cup of the juices from the cooked mixture to use in the crumb mixture.  Stir in 2 tablespoons of flour into the cooked mixture and set aside to cool while mixing the crumbs.

To make the crumbs:
In a food processor or a mixing bowl, mix together the 2 cups of flour, remaining 1 /2 teaspoon cinnamon and 2/3 cup sugar.  Cut in butter and 1/4 cup reserved juice from the filling by pulsing the food processor or using a fork or pastry cutter until you have large crumbs.

Press half of the crumb mixture into the prepared pan to make a crust.  Spread the filling across the crust.  Sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture across the filling.  

Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until the top is golden brown.  Cool before cutting.  

The bars freeze well separated by waxed paper.  

The melons are still coming in and I'm looking forward to getting creative with a few more recipes.

Thanks for reading!

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Garden harvest

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