Pepper Jelly's Grown-Up Cousin
If you, like me, are a fan of the sweet heat from pepper jelly then I have a treat for you. Pepper jelly often gets relegated to a cracker topping and not much else. But for those of us who relish the taste, here is another way to bring that flavor profile to life. This pepper jelly inspired cherry cobbler is both sweet and a little spicy, crunchy and juicy.
This twist on a traditional cherry cobbler is a fantastic use for fresh seasonal cherries. It uses less overall sugar for a healthier dessert while delivering all the goodness you expect. The peppers add an unexpected flash of heat and layer of flavor. The unexpected pairing may pleasantly surprise you.
Any hot or sweet pepper work in this recipe, but I prefer the excellent flavor and crispy flesh of Hungarian hot peppers. This recipe was designed for fleshier semi-sweet, semi-hot peppers, so jalapenos are also a good substitute.
If you choose to use very hot and small peppers such as Thai chilis or scotch bonnets, finely dice the peppers and aim for less than ¼ cup but adjust to your own taste.
Served alone or with ice cream, chili heads won’t be able to get enough. Move over chili pepper brownies, a new spicy sweet is in town.
Cherry Pitters Make This Recipe a Snap
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For the Filling:
- 5 cups cherries, pitted
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon dairy or vegan butter
- 1 cup Hungarian hot peppers, diced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
For the Streusel:
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom, optional
- 6 tablespoons dairy or vegan butter, softened
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 2-quart baking dish and set aside.
- In a large bowl, the mix cherries, cornstarch, and flour.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in pan over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the diced peppers and cook until they are crisp tender, roughly 5 minutes.
- Once the peppers are cooked, remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, vanilla, salt, and cayenne if using. Let this sit until slightly cooled, then mix into the cherry filling. If your filling is too runny, add in additional flour until you've achieved a consistency close to pudding.
- In another bowl, mix all of the dry streusel ingredients together. Cut in the softened butter with a fork and mash it until you incorporate it into the topping. It should resemble little pebbles of topping.
- Pour and smooth the filling into a baking dish. Cover with the streusel topping.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Start checking after 20 minutes. The cobbler is ready with the filling is bubbling hot and the topping is golden brown.
- *Note* To use frozen cherries, measure the fruit after it has defrosted. Strain off the extra juices to avoid extra liquid. You may also need to use more corn starch if you find the mixture too runny.
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