easier than pie

Cuddle up with a cobbler and savor the season.

Sometimes the simple things make us happiest. A leaf falling on a crisp autumn day, a warm fire, a good laugh. And what better time than now, when your nesting instincts are in full swing, to enjoy a little simplicity in your life? One way is with a cobbler like Grandma used to make.

Cobblers come from a long line of fruit desserts that focus more on flavor and less on technique, the guiding principles being the use of fresh fruit and an easy-to-make crust. Providing a healthy dose of vitamin C, our pear-and-cranberry cobbler is loaded with firm, juicy Anjou pears and sweet dried cranberries. Vanilla, fresh orange juice and cardamom round out the flavors. Eat the cobbler in a bowl to capture all the savory juices, and if you’re feeling indulgent, add a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt. Now curl up and enjoy a slice of the simple life — if only for a moment.

Pear-Cranberry Cobbler

Serves 8


2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

2 teaspoons finely chopped orange zest

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup low-fat buttermilk


4 large, semi-firm Anjou pears

Juice from one medium orange

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon light brown sugar, for sprinkling on top

Low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt (optional)

Preheat oven to 375° F. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom and orange zest. Mix well and set aside. Melt butter over low heat; then whisk into buttermilk. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir until they form a sticky dough.

Peel, halve and core pears; then cut into small chunks. Toss with orange juice, cranberries, vanilla and sugar. Place in a 9-inch pie plate and drop spoonfuls of batter on top. Do not completely cover pears (you may even have some batter left over). Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over top.

Bake cobbler 30–35 minutes, or until top is golden brown and juices are bubbling. Serve immediately with a dollop of frozen yogurt, if desired.

Nutritional information per serving (1/8 of recipe): 300 calories, 11 percent fat (4 grams), 82 percent carbohydrate, 8 percent protein, 90 milligrams calcium, 2 milligrams iron, 20 micrograms folic acid, 10 milligrams vitamin C.