Sweet rice flour is a new-to-me ingredient that I first tried in a dessert at The Green Elephant vegetarian bistro in Portland, Maine. The flour encapsulated a sphere of coconut-milk based ice cream, creating a donut-hole sized dessert that was impossibly fluffy, poofy and airy on the outside. Each bite of this dessert was heaven, and yielded a taste and texture I’d never had before.
After finding a small bag of sweet rice flour in Chinatown, I decided to use it in a simpler application, and got to work figuring out how to make a cobbler with a crust that was similar to that dessert I had in Maine.
After a few tries, I hit the jackpot: the crust here is incredibly light, crispy and crunchy on the top while being slightly soft and pillowy towards the bottom. When topped with vegan ice cream (I love Tofutti vanilla), everything kind of melts and mingles together, creating a warm and cozy dessert that’s perfect for tucking into on a cold winter night.
Cherry and Blackberry Skillet Cobbler
Yield 2 servings
for the topping
- 1/4 cup superfine sweet rice flour
- 1 TB sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 2 TB cold coconut oil
- 1/8 cup rice or cashew milk
for the filling*
- 1 TB Earth Balance
- 1/2 cup frozen cherries
- 1/2 cup frozen blackberries
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp cornstarch, blended with 2 TB cold water
- 1 tsp lime juice
*any frozen, small sized fruit will work here, like peaches, raspberries or blueberries
- 1 TB brown sugar
- vanilla ice cream, for serving (I used Tofutti vanilla)
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- To make the topping, combine the sweet white rice flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
- Using a strong spoon, scrape off flakes of cold coconut oil from the jar, eyeballing out about 2 tablespoons. You don’t want to pack it into a scoop; rather, you want to scatter the flakes into the flour mixture and stir gently. Add the rice or cashew milk and stir until crumbly. Set aside.
- To make the filling, melt the vegan butter in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add in the cherries and blackberries until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add in the salt and stir in the cornstarch slurry, stirring until thickened slightly, about 15-20 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice.
- Divide the filling mixture in half and spoon into 2, 3 1/2-inch mini cast iron skillets. Next, divide the topping mixture in half, and dot over the tops of each skillet, leaving a little of the filling showing through.
Place the skillets on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle brown sugar over the tops and bake for 2-3 minutes more.
* This recipe can also be easily doubled to create 4 servings by using a 5-inch cast iron pan. Simply cook the fruit directly in the cast iron pan, then add on the topping. Increase the bake time to 17-19 minutes, sprinkle with brown sugar, then bake for 2-3 minutes more.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then serve straight out the skillet, topped with vanilla ice cream.