Let’s Play “Telephone!”

July 15, 2009

I don’t know about you, but I loved playing “Telephone” as a child, sitting around a friend’s party table while eating birthday cake and ice cream. While I laughed hysterically to hear the evolution of a rhyme, piece of gossip, or saying, I think my laughter was greatest because of my secret knowledge of how I “tweaked” what I had heard to help with the metamorphosis of the original message. Did I really mishear my friend when she said, “Laurie is lucky to have so many toys” which I mysteriously translated to “Laurie will always be lucky with the boys”? I remember giving myself permission to dream as I took in sounds in my left ear and shared these newly created words with my friend on the right.

 I realized that food blogging or creating recipes could be very much like this childhood game. Last week, while perusing my 10 favorite food blogs, I came across Zoe Francois’ recent recipe for Blueberry Cobbler with White Peach Ice Cream. The pictures were beautiful and luscious, the story of her July 4th trip to Avon armed with her cobbler was evocative, and yet no matter how much I tried to recreate her recipe exactly, I was inspired to make something else. I realize she took recipes from Dorie Greenspan and David Lebovitz and allowed those recipes to speak to her. Every element of her story said “Sour Cherry Cobbler with Goat Cheese Ice Cream” to me and no matter how much I tried, the voice in my head repeated those words. So, last weekend, with the sole aim of finding the ingredients for my cobbler, I went to the Saint Paul Farmer’s Market and bought two beautiful quarts of sour cherries and some large sprigs of organic rosemary (more on that later). I continued on to the Mill City Farmer’s Market and unexpectedly bought whole wheat flour from the women at Sunrise Flour Mill and finally, to Whole Foods Market for milk from Cedar Summit Farm and a large log of fresh goat cheese. I was ready.

I hope as you read my creation, you will allow these recipes to speak to you and create your own dessert. Who knows where we’ll end up once we’ve made it all around the table!


 Sour Cherry Cobbler adapted from zoebakes.com  who adapted it from Dorie Greenspan. As a TWD baker, I can’t say enough good things about both women’s cookbooks!

 For the filling:

5 cups fresh sour cherries, pitted

5-6 tablespoons sugar (I used 5)

1 3/4 tablespoon cornstarch

Zest of 1/2 lemon

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


For the topping:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoons salt (I actually thought this was a bit much and I might use a slightly smaller amount next time)

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped (again, rosemary spoke to me and it was PERFECT)

6 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, placed in the freezer for 30 minutes

1/2 cup half and half


Cherries Ready to be Pitted

Cherries Ready to be Pitted

To prepare the filling, mix together the pitted cherries, sugar, cornstarch, zest, and black pepper. Put them into a ceramic baking dish. Set aside.

 I love Zoe’s technique for creating the topping. Mix together the flours, sugar, baking powder and rosemary. Grate the butter into the flour mixture and rub together until it looks like coarse meal. Add the half-and-half and stir with a fork (she uses a spoon, but I hear something different) until just combined. Try not to overmix. I used a small ice cream scoop and placed 9-10 golf ball sized pieces of biscuit batter over the top of the cherries. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 50 minutes until the mixture is bubbling and beautiful. Set it aside to cool as you make the ice cream.

Finished Cobbler

Finished Cobbler


Goat Cheese Ice Cream (pretty much taken verbatim from David Lebovitz’s beautiful book, The Perfect Scoop [buy this book if you don’t have it!!!!!])

 1 1/2 cups whole milk

2/3 cup sugar

8 ounces fresh goat cheese

6 large egg yolks

 Warm the milk and the sugar in a medium saucepan. While the milk is warming, crumble the goat cheese into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. Whisk together the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks (I do it 1/4-1/2 cups at a time). Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (about 170-180 degrees). Do not let the mixture boil. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the goat cheese. Keep stirring until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth. Cool over an ice bath. At this point I allow the mixture to stay over the ice bath until it is cold and then freeze it in my ice cream maker as directed. Scoop over sour cherry cobbler for best results.

The rosemary, cherries and goat cheese are perfect together!

The rosemary, cherries and goat cheese are perfect together!


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