How do you make a cobbler even better? Use a soft, sugar cookie like pastry and sandwich a layer of custard between the fruit and topping! My strawberry rhubarb cobbler has it all and you need to try its sweet, tart, creamy, golden-brown yumminess.
Are you someone who likes to spend a weekend in the kitchen? Yes? Good, then I have a dessert for you! (And I know I’ve found a kindred spirit. 🙂 )
It’s not easy, but it’s also not professional level hard either. What this dessert takes is some time and some technique.
Today I have for you a cobbler which has been fancied up with a custard filling and a pastry topping which is a lot like a sugar cookie. I found this recipe years ago on the British Larder, where she calls this a Rhubarb and Custard Pie-Pudding.
Over the years I’ve changed various parts of the recipe (since we always need more bourbon in our desserts), loosened up the custard a bit (since I like to serve it bowls instead of sliced), and added strawberries (because why not??); but the basic shape and concept of the dessert has stayed the same. It’s not something I’ve ever seen before, and I totally need to share my version of the recipe because y’all need to make this soon!
How to Make Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler
To be successful in making this recipe, I have few tips to start:
- For the amounts given you will need to use either a 9 inch round baking dish or an 8 inch square dish. Using a large dish will make the layers too thin and they can overcook easily.
- This recipe is best made in a cool house since the pastry gets soft quickly at higher temperatures. (Think low 70s F/low 20s C.)
- The custard should be thick, but not fully set when you take it off the heat. It will cook more in the oven.
Making the Pastry Topping
The first part of making this strawberry rhubarb cobbler is to prepare the pastry topping. This needs to be done at least 4 hours ahead, and is best done the day before since the pastry is very soft and needs to be fully chilled.
For the pastry you will need superfine sugar (also known as castor sugar). This is expensive and difficult to find in many US supermarkets, so I make my own by putting granulated sugar in the blender and pulsing it until the sugar is finely ground. You will also need superfine sugar for the pastry cream, so make enough for both.
Once you have sugar, cream the sugar and butter together. Then add the egg and bourbon and mix that in before adding the dry ingredients.
Take the dough and wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours, though best done overnight.
Making the Custard Filling
The next day, when you are ready to make the cobbler, it’s time to make the pastry cream.
First, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, and egg yolks until they are smooth.
Then heat up the milk until it’s steaming. Little by little pour the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking. You need to add about half the milk. Then pour the milk + egg back into the pot and gently heat it up to thicken the custard.
Assembling the Cobbler
Cook the rhubarb in a sugar syrup until it’s a little soft, then fold in the strawberries. Drain out the syrup – but don’t toss it!
Spread out the fruit in the bottom on the baking dish and add a couple of tablespoons of the syrup. Then top the fruit with the custard, smoothing it out.
Next, roll out the crust. I like to make it just a little bigger than the dish and trim it to fit. (Take the dish and press it lightly down on the pastry to give you a guide.) Put the pastry on top, give it some vents, and bake the cobbler until it is cooked through, bubbling, and browned on top.
Let cool a bit, and serve either warm or at room temperature.
Other Strawberry Rhubarb Recipes
Since strawberry and rhubarb are so great together (and they are in season together), I have a few other yummy strawberry rhubarb recipes on the site which you might want to try.
Now it’s time to dig into a bowl creamy custard, sweet-tart and tender fruit and crisp topping! Maybe with a little whipped cream on top. Yum!
If you try my recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler with Custard Filling, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! You can connect with me by subscribing to my emails (see the form in the sidebar or below the recipe card), liking my FACEBOOK page, or by following me on PINTEREST.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler with Custard Filling
- 4 tbsp (2 oz, 60 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (3.5 oz, 100 g) superfine sugar, castor sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- 1 cup (4.4 oz, 125 g) all-purpose flour, spoon flour into cup then sweep off excess
- 1/4 cup (.75 oz, 25 g) almond flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp table salt
Strawberry Rhubarb Layer
- 1/4 cup (1.75 oz, 50 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (4 oz, 100 ml) water
- 3/4 lb (2.5 cups, 375 g) rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 3/4 lb (2.5 cups, 375 g) strawberries, halved or quartered if large
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- dash table salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup (2.5 oz, 75 gm) superfine sugar, castor sugar
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 1/4 cup ( 1.25, 32 g) cornstarch
- 2 cups (500 ml) whole milk
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- The dough needs to rest for at least 4 hours! Keep this in mind in your planning.
- Using a stand mixer, or a handheld mixer, cream together the softened butter and superfine sugar until it is light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes with the stand mixer or about 5 minutes with the hand mixer.
- Add the egg and bourbon and mix in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. The mixture will look a little grainy at this point.
- Sift the flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt into the bowl using a mesh strainer. Mix on the lowest speed until almost incorporated. Then take the bowl and fold the flour the rest of the way in with a large silicone spatula.
- Once the flour is fully mixed in, turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the dough tightly and put it into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to overnight.
Strawberry Rhubarb Layer
- Bring the sugar, cinnamon, and water to a boil over high heat in a medium saucepan (one large enough to fit 5 cups of fruit). Boil for one minute to fully dissolve the sugar.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the rhubarb. Partially cover the saucepan and gently cook the rhubarb for 4-5 minutes, or until starting to soften but not fully cooked. Take the pot off the heat, and add the strawberries, vanilla, and a dash of salt.
- Set your mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the fruit into the strainer. Reserve the syrup.
- Spread out the fruit in the bottom of a 9-inch (24 cm) round, deep baking dish. If the fruit seems a little dry, add a couple of tablespoons of the syrup.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, superfine sugar, salt, and cornstarch until smooth.
- Cook the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it has just started to boil. Then remove it from the heat.
- While whisking the egg mixture, slowly pour the hot milk into the eggs. Start by drops for the first ladle-full, then you can pour more quickly. Add about half of the milk to the eggs. Then pour the eggs and milk back into the saucepan while now whisking in the pot.
- Cook the custard, whisking constantly, over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the custard has thickened and is steaming and maybe bubbling a bit. Whisk in the bourbon and vanilla.
- Spoon the custard over the fruit in the baking dish and smooth it out.
Assemble the Cobbler
- Take the pastry out of the refrigerator and put it on a lightly floured board. Roll it out to about 9 inches around. Trim the pastry to fit into the baking dish and place it carefully over the custard. Add several steam vents to the pastry.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.
- Let cool for at 15 minutes, then brush the top with some of the fruit syrup. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Adapted from/Inspired By: Rhubarb and Custard Pie-Pudding by The British Larder.
- Baking Dish: You will need either a 9-inch round deep baking dish or an 8x8 square deep baking dish. Making the recipe in a wider dish without increasing the amounts throws off the baking time and I haven't tested the timing. And note that the dish must be deep. It is a thick cobbler and will overwhelm a shallow dish.
- Trimming the Pastry: I use the bottom of the baking dish as a guide to trim the pastry. Once you have the pastry rolled out to a little bigger than you need, gently press the baking dish onto pastry and cut it according to the marks.
- Pastry Temperature: The pastry is quite soft and can be sticky when warm. Dust with flour as needed and I would recommend rolling the pastry in a cool house. Unless you are very quick, don't even bother if your kitchen is above 75F (24 C) because it will be a frustrating experience.
- Making Ahead: This dessert is best the day it is made since the custard is softer and the pastry is more crisp. However, the pastry can be made one or two days ahead and the fruit can also be made the day before.
- Superfine Sugar: To make your own superfine sugar, put granulated sugar in the blender and pulse until finely ground. (about 30 seconds total)