We are swimming in strawberries.
Okay, well, technically these cream cheese swirled biscuits are swimming in strawberries. But so are we. They’re popping up everywhere. In Maine, it’s just a few days before the strawberry festival, before I go to the farm and load up a box with enough strawberries to fill a vault. In late June, I am the Scrooge McDuck of strawberries.
It’s been a long week- feverish and frenetic and pitched with moments of deep, tremendous sadness (but down south and close to home). My bones are still rattling.
One of my best and dearest and most loved friends is coming to visit this weekend. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve been holding on to the idea of This Visit for the last four full days. I am wading through work and sadness and humid air, caught halfway between the now and two days from now, when I can pick up my friend from the airport, give her a gigantic hug and then parade her through Maine. Strawberries everywhere.
Wishing you quiet moments and heavy skillets of summery comfort.
Skillet Strawberry Cobbler with Cream Cheese Swirled Biscuits
FOR THE COBBLER:
5 Cups (about 3 pounds) of fresh or frozen strawberries, hulled + halved if large
1/3 Cup of sugar (brown sugar or granulated sugar)
2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
2 Teaspoons of vanilla extract + one vanilla bean (optional), seeds removed
Pinch of sea salt (about 1/4 teaspoon)
FOR THE BISCUITS:
3 Cups of all-purpose flour
2 Teaspoons of baking powder
1 and 1/2 Sticks (12 tablespoons) cold salted butted (or unsalted with a pinch of salt)
3/4 Cup of buttermilk
1/4 Cup of honey
8 Ounces of cream cheese, cubed
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Prep a 12-inch cast iron skillet with butter or cooking spray.
3. In the skillet, combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, vanilla bean and a pinch of sea salt. Toss well to combine.
4. In a large bowl, whisk flour and baking powder together. Using a pastry blender or your hands, add butter pieces to the flour and mix until coarse pea-sized crumbles remain.
5. Whisk together the buttermilk and honey and pour into the flour mixture. Stir with a spoon until just combined, trying not to overmix. Use your hands if needed to bring the dough together. Fold in the cream cheese.
6. Use a 1/4 cup measure to drop batter onto the strawberries or press dough on a sheet of parchment paper or cutting board, then use a biscuit cutter to shape the dough into rounds. Place the rounds on top of the cobbler. (You will have leftover biscuit dough which can be baked on a sheet with parchment and eaten warm, slathered with butter and jam.
8. Bake the cobbler for 40-45 minutes or until the strawberries are bubbling and the biscuits lightly golden. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.