Summertime in southern Missouri where I live is packed FULL of so many good things, including: days spent on the lake, long sunlight hours, fireflies in the evenings, and hot/humid days (yes, I count this as good so long as it’s not an extended heat wave as those can get dangerous for some). I love summer foods too like watermelon and freshly picked berries. I usually go berry picking with my mom at least once every summer.
Growing up, in the summer (once the air conditioner got turned on) we were no longer allowed to use the oven. My dad felt (and I must admit, is probably right, although I no longer stick to this rule 100%) that it didn’t make sense to run the air conditioner AND the oven at the same time. So, baking cookies, cobblers, or really anything in the oven was out for the summer. This is probably what led to my deep love of no-bake cookies (and here’s a no-grain version). And I still love a good dessert that does not require the use of the oven for summer month sweet tooth cravings.
So, that’s part of what prompted me to start dreaming about a stovetop cobbler or cobbler variation.
And that is essentially what this is, a cobbler. It’s cooked fruit with a sweet bread that is both rustic and totally delicious without being overly sweet…so that you can add what every cobbler should get topped with—a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. If you want a more traditional (baked) version, I love this cobbler recipe, and also this version which gets baked in ramekins. Yum!
Other than just being a stovetop version, another “weird” thing about this recipe is it’s usually a traditionally savory dish, spaetzle (or sometimes spelled spatzle), turned into a dessert option. And if you’ve never had spaetzle before, they are basically like small, golden dumplings. The process is like making very easy, rustic noodles. They are chewy, delicious, and this version gets sweetened just a little. They are also pretty fun to make if you never have, but fair warning—a bit messy. Totally worth it though as these alongside warm berries and ice cream are just divine!
Stovetop Double Berry Dumplings, serves 4
For the dumplings (spaetzle):
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
For the berry filling:
22-25 oz. fresh berries (I used blueberries and raspberries)
1/4 cup sugar, divided
In a mixing bowl combine the flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, eggs, and milk. Stir until well combined. Cover and allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
Fill a small bowl with cold water and add a few ice cubes, set aside.
Bring a large pot with about 2 inches of salted water to a boil. Use a rubber spatula to press about 1/4 cup of the dumpling dough through the holes of a colander into the boiling water. See the above photo for the colander I used; you want one with larger sized holes. You want to press the dough through the holes in a spreading motion, using the spatula to also kind of cut the dough so it will release from the colander into the water. You’ll get the hang of it after trying it a little bit. I promise it is pretty easy!
Allow the dough to cook for about 1 minute in the boiling water, then strain out and transfer to the cold water bath. Repeat until you’ve cooked all the batter.
Here’s what the dumplings look like after boiling. Strain from the cold water and toss in a very small amount of oil so they don’t stick to each other. You can use immediately or place in a covered bowl and refrigerate overnight if you want to make these ahead.
Once you are ready to assemble the entire dessert, heat a tablespoon of sugar in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until it melts and begins to brown. Add the dumplings and cook, tossing every now and again, until they begin to brown in spots (8-10 minutes).
During that time, in a pot combine the berries and 3 tablespoons of sugar over medium hight heat. Cook, stirring now and again so the sugar doesn’t stick to the pan and coats all the berries. They will begin to naturally break down, and if they do, that’s OK. But your main goal here is to simply warm the berries while the dumplings brown.
Once the dumplings have browned some, remove from the heat and toss the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar over them making sure they all get a little coated.
Now you’re ready to assemble and serve! Just divide the berry filling among four small bowls, then the dumplings over that.
Just before serving, add a scoop of ice cream! That’s it, pretty simple once the dumplings are made. This a fun one, friends! Enjoy. xo. Emma
Notes: Spaetzle recipe adapted from The Balthazar Cookbook via Smitten Kitchen.