Strawberries season is just coming to an end in California, and the harvest this year is on track to hit a record volume. On my recent visit to San Francisco, I took advantage of the prolific season by making a favorite summer recipe: strawberry cobbler.
As many dessert lovers know, strawberry cobbler is a huge crowd pleaser that requires very little effort to prepare. After making this dessert for many years, I was surprised to hear of a potentially better version of this old classic: add a fresh herb - lemon verbena.
The idea was introduced by Sherry Page of Culinary Getaways, who testifies that lemon verbena and strawberries are a match made in heaven.
The result? It was a hit! A spectacular hit that made it out of the ballpark, way out! Lemon verbena exudes an intoxicating sweet, sharp and citrusy lemon fragrance that is an amazing complement to strawberries. Simple, ambrosial and lusciously refreshing, lemon verbena strawberry cobbler is an ingenious twist on the old classic, not to be missed.
If you are not as fortunate as Sherry to have bushes of this enticing herb growing wildly at home, lemon verbena can be found at the Union Square Farmers' Market as a potted plant. Also, lemon verbena sugar can be requested from Allstar Organics and used as a substitute for the white sugar in this recipe.
Thanks Sherry for sharing this ingenious idea!
LEMON VERBENA STRAWBERRY COBBLER RECIPE
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 3-4 lemon verbena leaves, mince or slice very finely
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- extra lemon verbena for garnishing (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- In bowl, stir the cornstarch into the orange juice until it is well blended. Mix in the 4 tablespoons of sugar, strawberry and lemon verbena. Pour the berry mixture into a 9x12 inch baking dish. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, thoroughly mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and 1/2 cup sugar until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Gradually add spoonfuls of the flour mixture, stirring just until the ingredients are combined. Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons over the strawberry mixture, taking care to cover as much of filling as possible.
- Bake in a preheated oven for roughly 35 to 40 minutes or until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Allow the cobbler to cool down at room temperature for 2 hours and refrigerate for a cold treat. Garnish with tender lemon verbena leaves and serve with vanilla ice cream.