What Is Plum Cobbler?

Kathy Levine

Plum cobbler is a dish that typically consists of plums and a baked topping. While there are many variations to the recipe, the plum filling is usually comprised of plums, sugar, and cornstarch. The topping is most often made of flour, sugar, butter, milk, and baking powder. Unlike a pie, cobbler does not usually have a bottom crust, and its top is not prepared in a single sheet. Instead, the topping is simply spooned over the fruit and allowed to spread out as it cooks.

Cornstarch is often used to thicken the filling in plum cobbler.
Cornstarch is often used to thicken the filling in plum cobbler.

Relatively easy to make, plum cobbler relies more on taste than on fancy pastry preparation. After being mixed well, the plum filling is placed directly into a pan or baking dish. Some variations allow for a bottom crust; most recipes do not. Once all ingredients are combined for the topping, it is spooned onto the fruit, spreading out over the fruit and creating a cobble-type effect as it cooks.

Dried plums may be used to make the filling for plum cobbler.
Dried plums may be used to make the filling for plum cobbler.

Cobbler is usually made in a deep-dish pan, and it is most often baked; it can also be prepared on a stovetop, however. The dish is most popular during the months of May to October, when stone fruit such as plums are readily available. Although fresh fruit is preferred, frozen, canned, and even dried plums may be used. It is similar to, and often confused with, a fruit crumble or crisp.

Plum cobbler is simply spooned out of its baking pan and placed in individual bowls to serve. Each serving usually includes a bit of plums, topping, and juice. It is most often enjoyed while still warm and with a scoop of ice cream on top. The plums create a juice as they cook, which makes for a pleasant combination of fruit, juice, and baked topping when the dish is finished.

A popular fruit to use in cobbler, plums may be sweet and juicy, but also acidic and tart. The fruit comes in a variety of colors, and any variety may be used for cobbler. While plum cobbler is most known as a dessert item, it was originally served as a main course or for breakfast.

Other names for cobbler include slumps, grunts, tart, and bird's nest pudding. Cobbler was first introduced by the early settlers to America who created it as an alternative to the dishes they enjoyed in their native land. This summertime treat is especially popular with Americans and the British. In addition to plums, a variety of other fruits can be used to make cobbler.

A cobbler can be made from fresh plums.
A cobbler can be made from fresh plums.

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