Sunday, September 11, 2011

~Tomato Cobbler~

picture from

Martha Stewart Living, July 2011


  • For the filling
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 pounds cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • For the biscuit topping
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese (2 1/4 ounces), plus 1 tablespoon, for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, plus more for brushing


  1. Make the filling: Heat oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Toss onion mixture, tomatoes, flour, and red-pepper flakes with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and some pepper.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the biscuit topping: Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until small clumps form. Stir in cheese, then add cream, stirring with a fork to combine until dough forms. (Dough will be slightly sticky.)
  4. Transfer tomato mixture to
    a 2-quart baking dish (2 inches deep). Spoon 7 clumps of biscuit dough (about 1/2 cup each) over top in a circle, leaving center open. Brush dough with cream, and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon cheese. Bake until tomatoes are bubbling in the center and biscuits are golden brown, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Let cool for 20 minutes.
A tomato cobbler?  Uh, no I've never attempted that one before.  What do you think?  I think it sounds interesting myself.

When I had first laid eyes on this very unusual recipe in July, my tomatoes were still hung like big, green apples on their vines.  No Red Delicious here, that's for sure. So, I carefully tucked this recipe into my stash of other 'round-to-its until the "ripe" opportunity presented itself.  Now, in mid September, I have found myself in Tomatoville and I'm ready to boil up, simmer down and bake anything tomato-related.  You can often find me on my back patio with a spatula in hand as I call to Ben, "honey, can you pick more tomatoes?  I'm ready for more of these things!"  Then, a few minutes later, a basket gets slipped by the back porch door.  And then....I'm off to find yet another recipe for these good ol' boys. 

This particular dish was fun to make, especially since I've never made anything like it.  You could compare the feeling that I get when I'm working on a new recipe to something like going shopping- it's always a good thing! 

As you can see from the yellow tomatoes that I used, one could have followed the recipe precisely and used the cherry tomatoes, or whatever other varieties that are growing on your vine (or in your supermarket).  However, I think it would have been more visually appealing if I would have used the red cherries.  But with all that I have growing here, I would have felt foolish to go out and buy more tomatoes.  Plus, yellow pear tomatoes are one of my personal faves!  The two yellow tomato varieties that I used for this recipe were sweet enough, I think.  I suppose that if one wanted it to be sweeter, then a simple sprinkling of sugar would do the trick.  Happy baking!

Photo Gallery

These are some of our Yellow Lemon tomatoes.
Here are the Yellow Lemon and Yellow Pear tomatoes.
I only had one onion so I decided to substitute the MIA onion with some shallots.  Here is what I found.  The substitution tasted ok, but do not cook them both together.  Here's why.  The shallots cook much more quickly than the onions.  Therefore, the shallots nearly burned while I was waiting for the onions to finish cooking down. 
This was my favorite part- the biscuit making.  The pastry blender is used to break up and mix in the butter.
Another interesting, make-do substitution.  I happened to have some brie instead of the suggested Gruyere.  So, I used the brie instead.  It was out of this world!  I think it made the biscuits more creamy.
After the brie was added to the flour mixture, in went the addition of heavy cream. 
The onions and shallots were placed on the bottom of the dish and then the tomato mixture went on top.  
The cobbler went into a 375 degree oven for an hour and ten minutes.  This was plenty of time to clean up the kitchen.  I even had some time to play outside with the kids while we waited for dinner.   
Hot, bubbling tomato cobbler!
 Fresh, heirloom tomato slices with an orange muscat champagne vinegar were served alongside the tomato cobbler.  For a garnish, I added a few sprigs of purple opal basil.
Simple tomato salad with a champagne vinegar.
Gabriel was pleased. 
 I just get a kick out of how good everything was!  I am continually amazed at the affordable recipes that I'm finding on Martha's website.  Cooking with the seasons, as much as possible, is the way to go.  The cost is much less and the flavors of the produce are much more intense.  

 The tomato cobbler was a little sour, but the sweet-brie biscuits balanced it out perfectly.  The tomato salad was delicious too, especially with the basil.  The champagne vinegar somehow chemically altered the flavor of the tomato and made them even more sweet and juicy. 

~Dinner Was Served~

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