August 16, 2013
Recently, I hosted a baby shower for a dear friend. I can’t wait to share all the beautiful photos (thank you, Evan Janke) and recipes from the day. Well, actually, I can wait, because right now we are away on our last family vacation of the summer.
However, I had to share this recipe for tomato cobbler today. Tomato season is in full swing and this recipe is a must-try. The caramelized onions, matched with the brightly flavored tomatoes and the flaky gruyere nuzzled biscuit are pretty much as good as summer gets.
The original recipe is for a family-style version, but for the shower, I made them in individual ramekins for a more elegant serving option. This also ensured that each guest had her own personal portion of biscuit topping to dig into.
Individual Tomato Cobbler
Makes 6 individual portions in shallow ramekins or one 2-quart casserole
For the filling:
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2-4 sprigs of fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 pounds cherry tomatoes any color – a mix is beautiful
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
For the biscuit topping:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese (2 1/4 ounces), plus 1 tablespoon, for sprinkling
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, plus more for brushing
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onions and thyme, stirring occasionally,until caramelized, about 25 minutes. Fish out thyme stalks/twigs and add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let cool.
Toss onion mixture, tomatoes, flour, and red pepper flakes with teaspoon of salt and some pepper.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until small clumps form. Stir in cheese, and then add cream, stirring with a fork to combine until dough forms – it will be slightly sticky.
For the ramekins: Evenly distribute the tomato mixture into the ramekins – start by scooping 1 heaping cup of the tomato mixture into each of the ramekins and continue adding more to each until all of the tomatoes have been used. Using a large tablespoon or a small ice cream scooper, scoop three balls onto the top of the tomato mixture leaving the center open. Brush dough with cream, and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon cheese. Bake until tomatoes are bubbling in the center and biscuits are golden brown, about 45 minutes. Use a wet kitchen towel to wipe away any crusty browning on the lip when you take them out. Cool about 10 minutes before serving.
Alternatively, if using the 2-quart baking dish (2 inches deep). After scooping in all the tomatoes, spoon 7 clumps of biscuit dough (about 1/2 cup each) over the top in a circle, leaving center open. Brush dough with cream, and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon cheese. Bake until tomatoes are bubbling in the center and biscuits are golden brown, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Let cool for 20 minutes.