A Frederick Food Garden

Growing (and eating) fruit and veggies in a little downtown garden

TWD—Johnny Cake Cobbler AND Raspberry-Fig Crostata


combo-imageYes. I made both. I'm glad I did. One was a big pain in the butt, but a big success. One was easy, but disappointing. Which was which? Read on and find out. But first, the Johnny Cake Cobbler video is here and the Raspberry-Fig Crostata recipe is here. I couldn't find a copy of the Cobbler recipe online. Did anyone else have any luck?

Let's talk about the Crostata first. It was delicious, but also a lot of work. First of all, I had a hard time finding fresh figs. According to the produce manager at Wegman's, the fig season is almost over. They've been ordering figs, but none show up. I ended up finding them (for $4.99/lb) at Whole Foods in DC near my workplace. They were beautiful, though.


The dough recipe was a little strange. It called for grinding the toasted almonds and sesame seeds in the food processor. But then you were supposed to beat the butter into the dry ingredients with a stand mixer.

IMG_2537cutinbutterWhy couldn't we have just mixed the whole thing in the food processor? It turned into a sticky, difficult-to-work-with, mess anyway. At least there would've been fewer dishes. Just in case you're keeping track: that's a nonstick frying pan to toast the almonds and sesame, the food processor, the stand mixer and bowl. The dishes are piling up, and we haven't even started the filling yet! Just for the record, I really do like the crust. I think I'll streamline the process next time, though. Divide the dough into a "smaller half" and a "larger half" and put them in the refrigerator to chill.


Moving on, I rinsed the fruit and quartered the figs. I put half the raspberries and figs in a pot along with the sugars, flour, butter and lemon zest. You cook it down and then add the reserved fruit. This makes the texture particularly interesting. I hate it when pies have a "baby-food" texture. I like a little contrast.


You roll out the "smaller half" of the dough and cut it into strips. This stuff was awful to roll. It's the consistency of soft cookie dough. I put a huge amount of flour on the parchment and put a piece of plastic wrap over top of the dough. Otherwise, it just stuck to my pin. I put the strips in the freezer, so they'd be firm enough to pull apart.


Let's not talk about my bottom layer. I will tell you that it's easy to piece it together in the pan. And I'll also say that once the  filling is in, you can't see how awful the crust looked. It'll be our secret.


Thanks to my frozen strips the lattice went better. Nice, right?


A 30-minute rest in the fridge, 50 minutes in a 350°F oven, and 2 hours to cool, and it was ready to slice! Don't rush the cooling. Several TWDers commented that the filling oozed out if it was cut too soon. I thought it was very tasty. Worth the work? Maybe if you really like raspberries and figs.  Otherwise, you might be better off with one of the other fruit suggestions. Did I mention the dishes? Here's my sink, post-crostata production.


The next night I made the Johnny-Cake Cobbler. It couldn't have been easier. Cut up the fruit (I used 5 cups of peaches and 1 cup of blueberries), cook it in a skillet until it gave up some of its juice, and spoon the fruit into 5 ramekins.

IMG_2555portionedI mixed up the dough by hand (it's a sweetened biscuit recipe) and divided it between the five servings. I sprinkled the topping with turbinado sugar and baked them until the tops were brown.

IMG_2558-ovenreadyWe let them cool a bit and served them with vanilla ice cream. They were "meh." How could that be? Good fruit, yummy carbs, ice cream(!), and still just okay—not awesome? My husband and I talked about it. Here's what we think.

IMG_2565-icecreamThese two recipes are both about proportions. The Crostata had a really rich, flavorful filling sandwiched between two thin layers of really tasty crust. The Cobbler had a thin layer of flavorful filling that was overwhelmed by too much biscuit topping. We really liked the biscuit , but I think it needed at least 8 cups of fruit (maybe 10 cups?) to balance it out. What did you guys think of these recipes? Were they worth the effort?


Author: cathybruce

I'm a graphic designer, cook, gardener, geek, wife, and mom. Not necessarily in that order.


  1. yeah, there was way too much biscuit in the cobbler recipe. I cut out a third of it, and liked it much better that way. the crostata is stunning! I didn’t do it this week, but may try to snag some figs while they’re still around.

  2. Your peach blueberry combination sounds delicious. I thought the cobbler needed something in the fruit filling to give it a little punch. As for the crostata, I liked it much better the following day cold. I ended up rolling the dough between two pieces of parchment to keep it from sticking. You can’t tell you had any issues by looking at those perfectly symmetrical strips! I really enjoyed the flavor of the crust. Of course after purchasing figs and making this dessert, my husband brings home 12 beautiful figs, and my sister will be bringing me more today! Hmm.. maybe newtons?
    cathleen recently posted..TWD: Johnnycake Cobblers | Raspberry-Fig Crostata

  3. Great post, I thought for sure you were going to like the cobbler more. I played around with the pastry on the crostata using almond meal instead of whole blanched almonds and skipping the sesame seeds so I ended up eliminating that first step with the food processor – Mr LG still commented on the amount of dishes I used :)
    Karen @ Lemon Grove Cake Diaries recently posted..Raspberry and Apple Crostata – Baking with Julia

  4. I made the cobbler and wasn’t a fan. I agree, too much topping for the amount of fruit.
    Your crostata looks wonderful. I wish I had tried that instead.

  5. Nice post – liked the compare and contrast between the 2 recipes. I had a go at the crostata. I liked the crust – it was interesting.
    smarkies recently posted..TWD: (Apple & Raisin) Crostata

  6. I did not have to much biscuit for the cobbler, probably because I made one BIG cobbler :-)
    You were so brave to make them both.
    I’d like to bake the crostata in the “near future”. I love the combo: sesam&almonds in the dough: never tried it before.
    And I love your nice pictures.
    Ckay recently posted..Apple & Plum Cobbler – Cobbler alle Mele e Prugne

  7. I’m so impressed you made both! The fruit fillings in both the crostata and cobbler look stunning, gorgeous colours. Thanks for the tip about the fruit/topping ratio in the cobbler, I made the crostata this week but definitely want to give the cobbler a go soon!
    saucy gander recently posted..A Winter’s Tale: sesame-almond, fig-raspberry tartlets

  8. So ambitious, making both recipes. We only made the cobbler this time around, and quite liked it. Our choice of gluten free flours, changes things up a little bit from the original recipe. Given the amount of fruit, we reduced the amount of flour by half a cup, and also substituted the corn meal for almond meal due to allergies, which worked well.

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