Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bread Crumb Cobbler

Our family is more or, as was THIS day, LESS bilingual. On the "less" days, that seventh sense is really important. If someone is tired, this seventh sense is usually out of service and strange things happen.

I was on a bread baking binge this winter. Yes, it is now fall again. Months later, and finally this post is applicable! Finally! My husband KNEW I'd been baking bread. Our minuscule kitchen was covered in flour. He'd been EATING the bread! How could he not have understood me when I gave him the shopping list and asked for...

OK, let me back up a tiny bit and give you a tiny Japanese language lesson so you won't think I was totally crazy! We put the word "ko" before or after things/people/animals to make them small. Like "dog" is "inu". A puppy is..."ko inu." Pretty cool, huh? Many women's last names end in "ko" - like an endearative. (Was that English? Oh well.) In the kitchen we have items that have been ground up and are called "something something 'ko'". Like flour is "mugi ko."

Now, I suppose there are tons of different kinds of flour in the US too, but I never had to feed a family there so never thought about it. But, here the flour that I usually buy here is definitely NOT bread flour. And I needed bread flour. The word for bread is "pan". I asked Ryu to buy me a bag of "pan ko." Now, doesn't that make sense to MOST OF YOU OUT THERE? OK, I know some who speak Japanese are howling in their green tea, so I'll let the rest of you kind folk in on the joke.

Ryu came home with a HUGE bag of Bread Crumbs. Yep. And I KNEW this, of course, the heat of the moment spaced right out - "pan ko" means ground up crumbled bread. Thus began the 1/2 year long search for ways to use up this huge bag of bread crumbs.

I always suspected that they could be used as a topping in dessert but never experimented to figure out how. Then, just yesterday evening - when I was FINALLY down to a mere 3/4 cup of bread crumbs, I ran across this recipe when I was drooling over individual pie slice pans. I made a 1/2 batch of it - see above at the mere 3/4 cup of bread crumbs remaining - and it was so so wonderful!

Let me tell you why it was wonderful. Cobbler is basically a fruit pie filling with no crust on the bottom and one of a few crusts on the top. The first common crust is a standard pie crust. My Grandma Mary used to make this. I couldn't understand why someone would go through the torture of cutting shortening into flour for a mere cobbler! My Mom (she'll surely correct me if I'm wrong), would make the drop biscuit type top crust for cobbler. This is fine if you can actually get the fruit done and the biscuits neither soggy or burnt. The third type of crust that I am familiar with is the oatmeal crust. Frankly it is usually too something. Too sweet, too...something.

So, that is why this crust is so wonderful. It is TRULY crunchy! It was way too sweet, but THAT can be changed in the twinkling of an eye. The recipe states that you can use prepackaged "panko," which I understand is on sale in most supermarkets in the US now, or that you could use fresh bread crumbs. You may be scratching your head at the oxymoron of fresh bread crumbs, mother in law makes them when she makes pork cutlets. Grab your fresh bread and a cheese grater and give it a try! I think a "crunchy" bread with nuts and stuff in it would really add to this topping! Mom - why don't you try it and let me know?


Mom said...

Hmm, looks interesting, and I have lots of blueberries.

I made a delicious French Toast (kind of) the other day. I melted butter in a skillet, tore bread into nickle size pieces and toasted the bread in the butter, then beat 2 eggs mixed in some water, milk, sugar and salt. Poured mixture over the toasted bread. Turned the burner lower, added a lid. Very tasty. Next time I will add some cinnamon.

Mom said...

About the biscuit topping for a cobbler, first you get the filling boiling, then put the biscuit dough on. Presto, no soggy stuff. If you burn this topping, check to see if you have the pan too close to the top element, or baking it at too hot a temp.