Don’t bogart that cranberry cobbler

November 22, 2006



Cranberries + cobbler = Happy

Face it: Cranberries are a requisite ingredient in the upcoming holiday gorging event. As my husband (mockingly) describes below, I enjoy me some canned cranberry sauce. Preferably Ocean Spray, still bearing the telltale cylindrical marks on its wobbly sides, delicately sliced straight from the can.

As much as I enjoy that cranberrified-jelly-goop, I realize it’s not the apex of cranberries’ culinary potential. And my husband has opened my eyes to still better uses for that red gem… cobbler, for instance.

Cobbler is delicious, particularly when the biscuit topping is crumbly and delicate — and perfect for mopping up any escaping sweet syrup from the hostage fruit filling. Cranberry cobbler is no exception. The berries’ tart flavor yields to a long roasting in sugar, juice and spices — and the resultant heat from that cooking helps to cook the undersides of those crumbly biscuits. It’s a culinary masterpiece, and not that hard to make, to boot.

So, fellow canned cranberry sauce lovers, I urge you to branch out and sample a berry that’s never seen the inside of a can. You won’t be sorry.



My wife loves cranberries. Well, no, that’s not quite right. My wife loves cranberry sauce. No, that’s not quite right either. My wife loves cranberry sauce that comes in a can. The type that when you turn it out onto the plate, it still has the marks from the lining of the can. So, it wasn’t a shock when my wife said to me from the living room as I was designing this recipe, “I don’t think I’e ever had a fresh cranberry.”

If you haven’t either, then you aren’t alone. Fresh cranberries are incredibly tart. They have lots of flavor, but to serve them unadulterated in a dessert is likely not the best way to go. They have enough tartness in them that my mouth instinctively puckers at just the thought of eating them raw. In fact, I do wonder how the first people who ate them got past it. But thank goodness they did. They have real depth that when manipulated can yield really great results. As a result, I wanted to incorporate this holiday staple into something new to me.

Therefore, instead of trying to create or recreate the classic side dish, I wanted to make a dessert from the tart fruit. So I took a berry I knew well, blueberries (my wife’s favorite), and adapted. I designed this cobbler using the same ideas as a blueberry cobbler, but I increased the sugar and added a few more holiday familiar spices. I recommend serving this along with vanilla ice cream and while still warm. I hope you enjoy the results and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Cobbler


3 cups fresh cranberries

2 oranges (zest & juice)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. corn starch

1 tbsp. bourbon (optional)

1 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. all spice

1/2 tsp. clove

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt



1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. baking soda



1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup butter (melted)

1. Preheat your oven to 375F.

2. In a large bowl, add the cranberries and the juice and zest of the oranges. Add the remaining filling ingredients.

3. Place the filling in a 8 x 8 baking dish. Let bake for 30 min.

4. In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients for the topping. Add the wet ingredients and mix completely. The result should be a thick mass that is similar in consistency to cookie dough.

5. Remove the filling from the oven. Increase the heat of the oven to 425F.

6. Using a cookie scoop or large spoon, spread the topping evenly across the top of the cranberry mixture. Slightly press it into the berries. Return to the oven and cook for 425F. Bake for 20-25 min or until the topping has turned golden brown.

7. Remove from the oven. Let cool for 10-20 min. Serve along with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!


  1. Hi there. Thanks for your very enlightening comment. I hope you have a great holiday, which I don´t doubt for a second, seeing that amazing cobbler.

  2. That looks fabulous — cranberry and orange is one of my favorite fall flavor combinations. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Wow, well, if I hadn’t just had my second slice of my Cranberry Triple Almond Coffee Cake, I’d be trying your cobbler! That looks excellent. Perhaps I can do yours between now and Christmas!!
    And me thinks I might have to do a little orange zest in the next coffee cake.
    Have a wonderful Thansgiving.

  4. Thanks everyone. Sorry I was slow to respond.

    Lobstersquad, you are more than welcome. I’m flattered you commented here. For those of you who don’t know, Lobstersquad has one of the best food blogs around. Her art is gorgeous! So please click her comment and check her out if you aren’t already an addict like I am.

    Jennifer, you are absolutely dead on about cranberries and oranges. I’m going to do some playing around with clementines for a bit now that they are in every store I go to these days. I’m curious to see how the intense sweetness of the clementine might play with the cranberries.

    Tanna, I just went and looked at your cake. I have to say I’m jealous of that. It looks delicious. If you try mine, let me know how it goes. My wife and I were debating the tartness versus the sweetness.

  5. I just am cooking it today, It looks wonderful. I have a group of folks (between 30 & 40) and it is my pleasure to make the yummy stuff for after supper. I am making 2 pans of this plus 2 lemon pies. I always like to try something new.

  6. Is there no place to print these recipes???

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: