Serious Sweets: Plum-Blackberry Cobbler

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[Photograph: María del Mar Sacasa]

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When I'm in a bind and need a last-minute dessert, a fresh fruit cobbler is a lifesaver. It takes minutes to prepare, but is met with big smiles and great appreciation. Its rustic, honest-to-goodness homemade look and the fact that it must be served warm make cobblers an effortless crowd-pleasing success.

For this recipe, I've started with a mixture of ripe (yet firm) plums and blackberries. The plums are cooked with butter and brown sugar until they ooze out garnet juices, at which point I add the berries. I like to add these towards the end of cooking since they'll have a chance to cook in the oven—I like to preserve their integrity as much as possible.

I've added minced crystallized ginger for sharp pinpricks of spice that jolt the fruit flavors. For the topping, I opted for a favorite biscuit recipe and added sugar and spice to complement the filling. Nothing like a fluffy biscuit to sop up all the fruit juices.

This is a comforting summertime dessert, especially when served with a creamy scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of fresh cream.