Sunday, September 18, 2011

Plum Cobbler with Rosemary Cornbread Topping

walking to the party


Jess on the left...



Oh you potent heart. Big love. Deep sorrow. Angst. Anger. Frustration. Euphoria. Passion.

Sometimes I feel like these things will topple me over. My hand trembled while giving them their invitations. Then getting ripped open to let the light in.

I go out into the world and find others may shield themselves from life’s potency. Buttoned-up lives like seatbelts. Buckled down for life’s big turns, no wind on their face.

You don’t have to distract yourself I say in a whisper. But, I know they are on their perfect road. Come closer discomfort so I can love you more.

All of the blindness in our hearts pushes us into corners, making for our half way experiences.  I can’t go back now. I took off the blinders.

So I was there last night in the wine bar with all of that.
Where are my people who would rather not?
Do that.
But do this.

                                                                                                                                                                    I wanted to dive right into the fall season that is quickly descending upon us, and thought a baked fruit dessert was a proper choice. The light is changing, and the air is starting to bring what is coming next. I find myself continually taken by surprise and filled with some uneasiness when seasons change. The change pushes me out of my illusion that there is steadiness in life.  Beginnings and endings of nature's cycles show us in a macro way, how we too have these starts and finishes. Some easy, some joyful, some painful. But always there. So alas, a recipe for my appreciation of the flux in life. All of it delicate like only life can be.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                                                    I brought this cobbler to a going away dinner for my friend Jess. I not so secretly hope she will move from Ohio to our little town. She spent a good part of her summer here with her sister Sarah who is a dear friend. Jess was behind the purchase of a certain pair of silver high heels M bought while with her at a costume store, and they have become legendary in my house. M pulls them out almost daily wishing she were 16 (the age I told her she has to be to wear them out of the house). She parades around clanking on the wood floors hoping I will change my mind and let her wear them out sooner.
                                                                                                                                                             Jess's going away party was themed "comfort food". Roasted chicken, nachos, ribs, potato salad and cobbler. I thought this recipe up one night thinking about the french plums that were in my first grain share of the season. A big bowl of purplish plump jewels on my counter; special fruit I wanted to make something a bit different with. Once I had decided rosemary and cornbread would be a nice departure from biscuit toppings on traditional cobbler, I got to work. I decided to let the rosemary steep in the hot melted butter for 15 minutes to ensure the cornbread would be full of rosemary flavor. I also opted not to use any thickeners in the fruit filling so that the cornbread would soak up any extra juice. I love the caramel flavor that lots of butter mixed with sugar in the fruit imparts. I am loving the savory flavor in sweet things trend, so tried this recipe with that in mind. The first try with this recipe I used french plums, but the cornbread topping was too thick. Next try, I doubled the fruit (and substituted pluots for plums).  I halved the cornbread recipe topping and it turned out great. Buttery, full of rosemary flavor and very easy. I cooked the pluots on the stove first to start the caramelizing. Poured the hot buttery mixture into a dish and gently spooned the cornbread topping on top.
                                                                                                                                                             Plum Cobbler with Rosemary Cornbread Topping
                                                                                                                                                                    5 cups roughly diced plums (I used Pluots)
2/3 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp. fresh chopped rosemary
 In a skillet, saute plums with one stick of butter and 2/3 cup sugar. On med-low heat occasionally stir, cook for 20 min.
Melt one half stick of butter in sauce pan over low heat with two teaspoons of rosemary. Add 1/4 cup sugar and stir. Set aside for 15 minutes.  Whisk egg in a bowl. 
In another bowl, mix salt, flour and cornmeal. Add melted butter rosemary mixture. Add egg to wet mixture. In a cup mix buttermilk and baking soda. Mix with a fork. Add to the flour mixture.
In an 9x12 pan (or a round casserole dish close in size) pour plums. Spoon the cornbread mixture on top. 
Bake for 30 min at 375.


Anonymous said...

you are fucking amazing. that's all i can say. from pluets to poetry. i love all of you. this is an exquisite post.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That's all I've got right now. Beautiful poem.

ke said...

beautiful and courageous, jess! love that you are my you.


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