You can’t beat a cast-iron skillet for corn bread and fried chicken, but those aren’t the only reasons to haul it out. I love the crispy edges it creates in this simple, buttery, down-home cobbler, inspired by one in Rebecca Lang’s outstanding volume, Around the Southern Table: Coming Home to Comforting Meals and Treasured Memories (Oxmoor House, 2012). It’s incredibly fuss-free, calling for only one mixing bowl. The hint of cornmeal adds an appealingly rustic layer of flavor and texture. Hers calls for a combination of half blueberries and half peeled and sliced peaches (cut in 1/4-inch-thick slices.) Since fresh, ripe peaches weren’t available at the market, I used a mixture of summer berries instead. When peaches come into season, you can bet I’ll make it her way. Serve this with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Leftovers are great warmed up for breakfast.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup plain yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
4 to 5 cups mixed fresh summer berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven as it preheats. Remove from oven when melted.
Whisk together flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add milk and almond extract, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over melted butter in hot skillet.
Sprinkle berries over batter.
Bake in preheated oven for 55 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
8 to 10 servings