Strawberry Basil Cobbler is a twist on a classic dessert, with fresh basil and juicy strawberries all topped with whole wheat biscuits swirled with homemade strawberry chia jam. It’s a double dose of strawberries and the perfect way to enjoy strawberry season!
Fresh local strawberries are finally in season here, and I’ve been eating them like candy. They’re bright red, juicy and sweet, and once you start eating them, it’s difficult to stop. Luckily, I’ve been saving a few to recipe test this Strawberry Basil Cobbler. Okay, I’ve been saving more than a few. This cobbler has five cups of strawberries in it, plus strawberry jam. So if you’re looking for a way to get your strawberry fix, this cobbler is for you!
What is a cobbler and how does it differ from a crisp or crumble?
This question has been answered many times, but I always find myself googling it for a little refresher. So in case you aren’t sure, here is a quick rundown. And for more details The Kitchn has a helpful article.
Cobblers, crisps and crumbles are all baked desserts with fruit bottoms, but they differ in their types of toppings. Cobblers are normally topped with biscuits or cake batter, while crisps and crumbles both have streusel toppings. The only difference between a crisp and a crumble topping is that a crisp usually includes oats. Since this is only a minor difference, the term crisp and crumble are often used interchangeably.
What ingredients do you need to make this strawberry basil cobbler?
- Fresh strawberries
- Corn starch
- Cane sugar
- Fresh basil
- Whole wheat flour
- Baking powder
- Kosher salt
- Organic unsalted butter
- Dairy milk
- Strawberry chia jam
How do you thicken strawberries for the cobbler filling?
Strawberries are juicier than other berries, so you need to have the right amount of thickener in your fruit bottom to make sure it’s not too watery. If the strawberries are not jammy enough, your biscuits will be soggy on the bottom and will not bake up properly.
For this recipe, I used three tablespoons of cornstarch to thicken the five cups of strawberries. I normally use tapioca flour as a thickener, however, cornstarch is a stronger thickener so it worked well with the strawberries. You can use different thickeners such as tapioca flour, arrowroot or all-purpose flour, but you will need to adjust the quantities and/or baking time for the cobbler. If you’re looking for an alternative, you may find this Health Line article helpful.
To thicken the strawberries, just add them to a large bowl, along with the sugar, basil and cornstarch. Stir the mixture until all of the cornstarch has dissolved and a pink, creamy liquid starts to form around the strawberries. Pour into your prepared baking dish. Now they’re ready to be topped with biscuits.
How do you make the biscuits for this strawberry cobbler?
The biscuit recipe I’m using here is a twist on my recipe for these chocolate hazelnut caramel rolls, except I used whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose and made a few other tweaks.
These biscuits require a few more steps than simple drop biscuits, but I promise they’re not that difficult to make. First, combine your flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut in your cold cubes of butter until a crumbly mixture forms. Keeping the butter cold will help create crispy and flaky biscuits. And don’t worry if there are a few small pieces of butter remaining in the mixture. Next, pour in the milk and stir until a sticky dough starts to form. Fold out onto a well floured surface, and knead for a few minutes, adding additional flour as needed.
To form the biscuits, roll out the dough (about 15 inches long x 10 inches wide), making sure your surface and rolling pin are well floured. Spread out the jam in a thin layer on top of the dough. Roll lengthwise to form a log and cut into 12 biscuits. Add the biscuits to the top of the strawberry mixture in a single layer. Bake for 35-38 minutes in a 425 degree oven and serve warm with ice cream.
Can you use frozen strawberries in a cobbler?
While I think the sweetness of fresh, in-season strawberries works best in this recipe, you can use frozen strawberries. Just be sure to defrost them first and you may wish to add another tablespoon of sugar to the strawberry mixture as frozen strawberries tend to be less sweet than fresh.
Do you need to add fresh basil to this strawberry cobbler?
No, you can leave the basil out if you’re not a fan. Or if you don’t have fresh basil, but would still like to add it, you can substitute two teaspoons of dried basil for the two tablespoons of fresh.
Can you make the biscuits dairy-free?
I have tried many times to make this biscuit recipe dairy-free, but nothing compares to the dairy version with butter and cow’s milk. You can substitute a non-dairy milk, but it will result in less fluffy biscuits.
How do you store strawberry cobbler? Can you re-heat strawberry cobbler?
While berry cobblers are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven, you can still enjoy leftovers. Just store them covered in the refrigerator and eat within 2-3 days. To re-heat, just add the desired amount to a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 30 seconds, or until heated through. The topping will not be as crispy, but it will still taste great.
Can you freeze strawberry cobbler?
I wouldn’t recommend freezing this strawberry basil cobbler. I froze a few pieces, de-frosted them in the refrigerator overnight and re-heated them in the microwave, and the biscuits were soggy and the strawberries were mushy.
Can you use store-bought jam in the biscuit recipe?
Absolutely. While I use the strawberry chia jam recipe from these oat bars for the biscuit filling, you can use whatever kind of strawberry jam you have on hand. Just keep in mind that store-bought jam will make the biscuits sweeter.
Some additional tips for making this strawberry basil cobbler:
- I like to mix it up and have some whole strawberries and some halved strawberries in the filling. You should definitely cut large strawberries in half.
- Don’t knead the biscuits too much as they will get tough. And don’t add all the flour at once. After you add the first two cups of flour, reserve the remainder and add a little bit at a time. If the dough is too sticky, it’s easier to add more flour but you can’t take it away if you add too much.
- This cobbler isn’t overly sweet, so I like to sprinkle cane sugar on top of the biscuits before baking. This is optional, but it adds sweetness and makes the tops of the biscuits extra crispy.
- If you don’t have cane sugar, you can substitute granulated sugar in this recipe. But you will still want to use a course sugar, such as turbinado sugar, to sprinkle on top of the biscuits. Granulated sugar will not work well for this.
- The strawberry mixture will start to bubble up around the edges when it is baking, so make sure you use a rimmed pie plate or casserole dish that’s over two inches high.
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Strawberry Basil Cobbler is a twist on a classic dessert, with fresh basil and juicy strawberries all topped with whole wheat biscuits swirled with homemade strawberry chia jam!
For the strawberry filling:
- 5 cups fresh strawberries, mix of whole and halved
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
For the biscuits:
- 2 + 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, divided
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon cane sugar, divided
- 4 heaping teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup organic, unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 cup dairy milk (I use 1% milk fat)
- 1/2 cup strawberry chia jam, or jam of choice (recipe for chia jam in notes)
- Pre-heat oven to 425F and grease a deep dish 9-inch pie plate or casserole dish.
- In a large bowl, add the strawberries, cornstarch, sugar and basil. Stir until the cornstarch is dissolved and a pink, creamy liquid starts to form around the strawberries. Pour into your prepared dish and arrange the strawberries in a single layer.
- In a large bowl, add 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt, and stir to combine. Add the butter and use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until a crumbly mixture forms. Don’t worry if some small bits of butter remain.
- Pour in the milk and stir until a sticky dough forms.
- Fold the dough out onto a well floured surface and start kneading, adding the remaining 1/2 cup of flour a little bit at a time until the dough becomes firmer and less sticky. You may not use all of the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, but if the dough is too sticky, just add a little bit more flour.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough so that it’s 15″ long, 10″ wide and 1/4″ thick. As you’re doing this, you may need to add more flour to the work surface and the rolling pin to ensure the dough doesn’t stick.
- Once rolled out, spread the jam onto the surface of the dough. From the long edge, roll the dough into a log, folding the ends once it’s rolled to ensure the jam doesn’t come out. Cut into 12 even pieces and arrange in a single layer on top of the strawberries. Sprinkle on the remaining 1 tablespoon of cane sugar.
- Bake for 35-38 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown and crispy and the strawberries are bubbling around the edges.
- Remove from oven and serve warm with ice cream. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy within 2-3 days.
- You can substitute 2 teaspoons of dried basil for the 2 tablespoons of fresh.
- If you don’t have cane sugar, you can substitute granulated sugar. But you will still want a course sugar, such as turbinado sugar, to sprinkle on top of the biscuits. Granulated sugar will not work well for this.
- To make your own strawberry chia jam, in a small sauce pan, combine 1 1/2 cups of chopped strawberries with 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup. Bring to a low boil and let simmer until the strawberries have softened. Mash with a fork or potato masher. Remove from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of chia seeds. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes to allow the chia seeds to plump.
- You can use store-bought strawberry jam instead of homemade chia jam.
- When the cobbler is baking, the strawberry mixture will start to bubble up around the edges, so make sure you use a rimmed pie plate or casserole dish that is over 2 inches high.
Keywords: berry cobbler, strawberry dessert