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Pear and Cranberry Cobbler with Citrus-Infused Custard Sauce
Prep Time: 1 1/2 hours

2 pounds firm Bartlett pears, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 2/3 cups fresh cranberries (6 ounces)
1 cup sugar
2 (1- by 3-inch) strips orange zest, finely chopped
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits

Biscuit topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream, divided
1 teaspoon sugar

Make filling:
Preheat oven to 425 F with rack in lower third. Butter baking dish. Stir together pears, cranberries, sugar, orange zest, brandy and allspice in a large bowl. Transfer filling to baking dish and dot with butter. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until cranberries burst and pears are just tender, 15 to 20 minutes more.

While filling is cooking, make biscuits:
Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, then add 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons cream and stir just until a dough forms. Gather dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly floured surface (dough will feel dense and heavy). Gently knead dough 6 times, then pat out into an 8-inch round (about 1/3-inch thick). Cut out as many rounds as possible with lightly floured cutter, transferring to a sheet of wax paper. Gather scraps and pat out once more, then cut out more rounds. (You will have about 16). Carefully but quickly, top hot fruit with biscuits, arranging in 1 layer. Brush biscuits with remaining tablespoon cream and sprinkle with sugar.

Continue to bake cobbler until biscuits are puffed and golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool 15 minutes before serving. Top with Citrus-Infused Custard Sauce.

Cobbler can be made 3 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. Reheat in a 350 F oven, 20 to 30 minutes.

Citrus-Infused Custard Sauce

1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 (3- by 1-inch) strips orange zest removed with a vegetable peeler
4 (3- by 1/2-inch) strips lemon zest removed with a vegetable peeler
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
pinch salt

Bring milk and cream to a simmer with citrus zests in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk together eggs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl, then whisk in hot cream mixture. Return mixture to pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard is thick enough to coat back of spoon (160 to 165 F on an instant read thermometer), about 2 minutes. Immediately remove pan from heat and strain custard through a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding zests. Serve warm, or at room temperature, or chill to thicken.

Custard keeps, chilled, 3 days.
If your sauce creeps up above 165 F and looks like it's beginning to curdle, quickly remove from heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons cold milk, then strain.

Source: Gourmet Live | November 2011

Recipe Comments

Nov 17th 2013
Brandy, custard, biscuits...what's not to like
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