Don’t let the long ingredient list fool you, this savory cobbler is simplicity at its best. Confession time: I had never had cobbler before. I am French after all. I had a vague idea of what it was, but I’m not that big on cooked fruit really, so I always dismissed any recipe that I came across. But baked tomato and cheese? Yes please. And that’s not even considering my theoretical passion for biscuits, which I’ve only had once I think, no, twice. The first time was at a Popeye’s, at a mall, in Honolulu: they were pure heaven, even out of a paper box. The second time was last year, with gravy on top, at a diner somewhere in Iowa. Both times, it was just so comforting and spot-on, it was like the biscuits knew exactly what I needed right then.
This time they worked their magic as well. Except it’s even better when it’s homemade, of course.
See, we don’t have biscuits in France; in France “un biscuit” is a cookie. Since we don’t have cobblers either, how do you go about explaining that you made a “tomato beeeeeep with cheese beeeeeeeps on top”? Let me tell you, it was hard. But anyone who took one look at this dish didn’t really need an explanation of what was inside: they just wanted to try it. And yes, I decided to use “comté” for the French touch –but don’t worry, Swiss cheese will do the trick.
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 50-60 minutes
For the filling:
- 1 lb (500 g) cherry tomatoes
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp (15 g) butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
- 2 tbsp (30 g) flour
- salt and pepper
For the biscuit topping:
- 2 cups (250 g) flour
- 2 tbsp (10 g) baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 tbsp (115 g) cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1 1/2 cup (110g) grated comté cheese (or gruyere, or swiss cheese)
- 1 1/2 cup (30 cl) heavy cream
1. For the filling, add oil and butter in a pan over medium heat. Add sliced onions and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until caramelized. Add garlic and thyme, and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. While the onions cook, prepare the biscuit topping: in a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add butter and blend with a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your hand, until it resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in 1 cup (80 g) cheese. Stir in heavy cream with a fork until all the dry ingredients are wet and the dough is sticky.
3. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, onions, flour, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Spread the mixture in a baking dish. Drop large spoonful of the biscuit mixture on top (you may use of ice cream scoop or a measuring cup.) Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup (30 g) cheese. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- To get back to that cheese issue: comté is a type of gruyere, so if you use any gruyere it will work perfectly. You can also substitute Swiss cheese for it.
- I adapted the tomato-to-biscuit ratio a bit: this recipe yields a lot of topping. If you’d rather have more filling, use 3 lb of tomatoes, and keep all the other measurements.
- The baking time depends on your oven: it’s ready when the biscuits are golden brown and the tomatoes have lost some of their juices.
Source: slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats