Claudia Fleming's Rhubarb Cobbler
Guess what I found tucked in a corner of the produce section in The Fresh Market the other day? Rhubarb! No doubt hothouse rhubarb, but any rhubarb this time of year will do. It's my favorite. To quote Alice Waters: cooked rhubarb has a “subtle character, which reminds us of the smell of the earth in the spring.”
My mother always had some growing in her garden; I remember it well from my childhood. Often, she just stewed it and served it as a dessert for lunch. (We actually came home for lunch! Poor mom.) But her rhubarb pies were divine. My grandmother and great aunt owned a bakery in their youth and my mother learned her way around a pie crust at an early age.
Anyway, this recipe was a real winner. And there are boiled egg yolks in the biscuit. Strange, so I looked it up. Here's what I found: To make biscuits richer, some shortcake recipes (and some biscuit recipes) call for cream as a liquid instead of milk or buttermilk. And some recipes—both biscuit and shortcake--call for cooked egg yolks, an innovation of James Beard.
We never stop learning, do we? Anyway...you're going to love this and the biscuits were exactly as advertised.
From Claudia Fleming via New York Magazine
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 hard-boiled egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
2 pounds rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
1-inch piece of vanilla bean, split lengthwise, pulp scraped
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, egg yolks, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the flour resembles coarse meal. Add 2/3 cup of cream and pulse until the dough comes together. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently pat it together, incorporating any stray crumbs.
Using a small ice cream scoop or a large spoon, form the dough into 2-inch balls, then flatten them slightly into thick rounds. Chill for 20 minutes (and up to 2 hours). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the rhubarb in a shallow 21/2- quart casserole dish and toss with sugar, vanilla, and cornstarch. Allow to macerate 15 minutes.
Arrange the biscuit rounds on top, leaving about an inch between them. Brush the biscuits with cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake the cobbler until the rhubarb is bubbling and the biscuits are golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes. Serve with ice cream or crème fraîche.