19 July 2010

building neighbors, one fruit dessert at a time...

 Hi folks! First of all, thank you all SO MUCH for your sweet comments on my last post.  They really meant a lot to us.  xo

My mom is currently on the plane on her way to visit me for the week, so posting may be light these next few days, even though I have a whole slew of posts up my sleeve!  We'll see what I can do...

So, what I really want to tell you about today is apricot cherry cobbler.  Last summer I shared the story of my neighbor Jeff, and how he wasn't picking his fruit trees (which I just happened to notice as I walked the dog past his house every day), and how I left him a nice note saying that if he was so inclined, I would be more than happy to take all that pesky fruit off his hands, and how he so generously agreed, and how I subsequently ended up with about forty pounds of apricots and a few pounds of cherries.  

Since we moved last fall, I wasn't sure that I'd be able to pick Jeff's fruit again this summer.  I mean, we only moved five blocks, but last summer I was just across the street.  And would he remember me?  What if he hated the apricot butter I gave him?  Over July 4th weekend, I headed over there to leave him a note that I would love to come pick his apricots and cherries again and there he was standing on his porch when I walked up.  Oh hey, you gonna pick some fruit again this year? Well of course I was.  The next day, I packed up my radioflyer with a couple of buckets and bungee-corded my ladder to the wagon and walked over there.  Getting more than a couple of strange looks along the way.  

Last year I didn't pick the cherries until later in July and by then, many of them had already gone bad on the tree, and I didn't get very many that were useable.  This year, I went earlier in an effort to pick more perfectly ripe cherries, but again they were bad already!  I'm not sure if it was the funky weather we've had this spring/early summer (super hot in April, cold May, super rainy June) but I was surprised.  The apricots, on the other hand, were in much better shape this year than they were last year, and I'm sure that had to do with the timing. 

Earlier this spring, my friend Lee came to visit and of course we talked about preserves and gardening and generous neighbors who let you pick their fruit trees.  I had a couple of bags of frozen apricots and cherries left and she recommended that I make a cherry-apricot crisp.  And damn was that good.  A week or two ago, when I was once again swimming in fruit, I decided to go for a cherry-apricot cobbler.  And damn, was that good too.  

I'll tell you that apricots don't have a very strong flavor, and when paired with something as overpowering as sour cherries, they have a tendency to get lost,
but every once in a while, you'll be eating that cobbler and get a mouthful of delicious apricots, and you'll remember that those apricots are not just a filler fruit.  They are lovely.  Especially when they build neighborhoods. 

Cherry-Apricot Cobbler

for the filling...
1 cup sugar
2 Tbl arrowroot powder
2 cups pitted sour cherries
2 cups pitted, quartered, apricots
1/4 tsp. almond extract

for the topping...
1 cup flour
1 Tbl sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbl vegetable shortening
1/2 cup nondairy milk
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 400.  In a medium saucepan, combine all filling ingredients.  Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens and boils.  Boil for 1 minute.  Pour the mixture into a casserole dish or pie plate or any other appropriately sized baking dish you can find.  Put it in the oven while you prepare the topping.  Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl.  Add shortening and milk.  Stir until dough forms a ball.  Remove filling mixture from the oven.  Drop dough in 6-8 spoonfuls on top of fruit.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Enjoy!


  1. yum! lucky you to have such a neighbor. and to have found a tree that produces apricots in minnesota!

  2. just had to share, I just spent a bit of time looking for your email addy so that I could send you the link to this apricot recipe! I thought I was reading a different blog, so glad I realized it was your own recipe before I sent you the link. :)

  3. i might make this for hubby. if i weren't allergic to these fruits, i'd eat it, myself.

  4. YUM! I love this post and everything you wrote. Amen sister!