CHERRY COBBLER: Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye !!!!

Its Diwali again !! The festival of lights which truly lights up our spirits. No matter how tired we are, we make sure we squeeze in some sort of Diwali celebration, wherever we are. Our apartments get a bit of festive decking up, along with us, as we doll up. More importantly, every year, Diwali is a trip down memory lane. Shopping for fireworks a few days prior to Diwali and getting them all toasty before the main day.The customary lighting of the Choddo Pradeep(14 lamps), on Bhoot Chaturdashi(the eve of Kali Puja/Diwali), along with Bhai. It was always many more lamps and candles than the customary 14. We are always a family who lives life a bit larger than life. Finally the D-day came, and we had to wear cotton clothes. A strict directive from my grand parents, as they wanted us to be safe, while we went crazy with the fireworks. Bhai liked his share of fireworks, which were loads of sound, and I preferred the ones, which had more of a light show. So we both complimented each other, and Diwali was never marked with sibling rivalry. Cut to the years, when Diwali meant, donning up in sarees, and reporting till late night, while the world enjoyed. And almost every year, for almost five years in a  row, every Diwali might, when we had decided to pack up, there would be a fire in some part of Delhi or Kolkata(the two cities I worked in). That just meant, that Diwali night would be a bad bad night of loads of work. I recently heard from some of my former colleagues, that the trend is still on. They still have to spend Diwali night co-ordinating on fire updates. And to think, now  I spend a pretty quiet Diwali for the last few years, with Hubby. Kali Pujo and Diwali parties take place with full gutso, and we do participate. But the main day, is usually a homely affair with lights, food and usually a movie marathon with the man.

Enough of nostalgia ! Time to indulge in everything sweet without a single ounce of guilt. All the Gujias, Kalakands, Barfis and Ladooos and even the chocolates. Something sweet has to be on the menu on this day. I have happily taken a few days off from gym, as I really want to indulge myself. Did I mention, that I even convinced Hubby to do the same. Needed my partner for all my sweet cravings.Just a few days before Diwali, Garbita, a very sweet neighbor of mine, presented me with quite a stash of lovely homemade Kalakands and Laddus. Needless to say, I polished them off so fast, that I broke my own record. Yet yeh dil maange more. So why not something which can be whipped up pretty quickly. Cobblers came to my mind, when I thought of writing on something sweet for Diwali.

Cobblers can be made with a variety of fruits, from peaches to cherries.The best part of a making a cobbler is that it has so less prep work. And one usually never goes wrong while churning up this beauty. Everyone was so excited(including me), when I was about to serve dessert, that I forgot to take pictures of how decadent a slice of Cherry Cobbler looked like, on the plate. As I got requested to re-create it again, I knew, that sometimes the easiest of recipes, pack in the biggest of punches.

I used Rainier Cherries, when I made this Cherry Cobbler. I must say, that they work the best. I used Fresh cherries, but feel free to use pitted or preserved ones, if you do not have access to fresh cherries. The preserved ones, will also save you a step, in the recipe, though the taste might be a tad different. But overall, the dish is so decadent, that no one will bother, in the end. As I had used fresh cherries, I did have to sit and pit each one. Not a great idea, for days, when I want to rush through things, but somehow I did manage. I macerated the cherries a bit, but made sure that they did not turn totally mushy. The idea is to get them a bit soft. You can even add a dash of dry red wine, while you are macerating the cherries, or if you are using peaches.

Its so easy, that you will all love to whip up some Cobbler for yourself. I must say,that this sugary pick-me- up, also works wonders for me, on days, when I am down and gloomy.

Recipe adapted from : A Decade of Cooking: The Costco Way by Tim Talevich 

Fresh Rainier Cherries: 2 1/4 cups
Golden Raisins: 1/4 cups
Powdered Sugar: 3/4 cup
Warm water: 3/4 cup

Powdered Sugar:  1 cup
Butter: 6 tbsp
All Purpose Flour: 1 cup
Baking Powder: 1 tsp
Milk: 1 cup

Ice-Cream(Optional) : For Serving

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

Soak the raisins in some water for at least an hour, so that they plump up. Discard the water, and keep the raisins aside.

If you are using fresh cherries, then make sure you pit them carefully  using a small paring knife.

In a microwave safe bowl, mix cherries, sugar and water. Microwave on high heat for around 3 minutes, so that the cherries are macerated a bit. You can also do this on the stove top, and can also add a dash of dry red wine, at this time. Remove from heat and keep aside. Do not discard the liquid.

To prepare the batter, melt butter and swirl in the bottom of 9 inch by 9 inch round spring form pan. If you do not have a  spring form pan, then you can use any oven proof pan.

In another bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and milk and mix well.

Pour this batter over the molten butter. Spread the macerated cherries with their liquid  and the plumped up raisins, evenly over the batter.

Bake for about an hour, or until slightly browned. Check once, at the 45 minute mark, as ovens vary in their strength.

Serve warm !! You can serve Cherry Cobbler with some Ice-cream, if you want some extra decadence.

Bon Appetit !!!

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