I know I already kind of mentioned this, but we aren't living at home these days. Home was ripped apart in anticipation of the baby's arrival, and is slowly coming back together. Slowly being the key word. So, in the meantime, we are living up in Truro, at Alex's parents' house, which just so happens to be right smack on the bay, in an absolute stunner of a spot.
It's only three miles away, but—laugh if you want—I get homesick. I would like to blame it on some sort of nesting instinct, but the truth is, I've always been this way. I am a homebody through and through, and when I'm not home, I ache for it. Home has changed over the years—it was Harpswell Neck forever, but it's gradually switched to Wellfleet—and when I'm not there, I miss it in some sort of deep, primeval place.
To try and counter this, I go by and visit our house when I can—check the progress, grab the mail, see who needs water or repotting or weeding. Yesterday, Alex and I spent the whole day there—planting trees and roses and literally watching the asparagus grow. Before we left, I picked another handful of Meyer lemons from our little tree and almost a pound of rhubarb! It made me very, very happy.
When it started to get late, we came back up to Truro, and I did something that made me even happier: I put dinner on the stove—pot roast—and baked a Meyer lemon and rhubarb cobbler with a cornmeal biscuit topping. It was absolutely, positively amazing.
I wasn't sure, when I came up with it, if it would be too Holy Zing! or tart or sour or something, but actually, I think it was a little sweet. I used this as a base recipe, but swapped out the blackberries and peaches for all rhubarb, added a little lemon zest, and swapped in a little extra sugar for the honey. Oh! and I used yogurt and whole wheat flour in the topping. Some people don't like whole wheat anything in desserts, I know, but with the exception of pie crusts, I don't really mind it. I think it makes things nice and moist, and keeps them homey.
Which, you know, is something I appreciate a little extra these days.
RHUBARB & MEYER LEMON COBBLER WITH A CORNMEAL BISCUIT TOPPING
I won't go into it again, but you can find the whole history of my original adaptation of this recipe over here. What you need to know for this version is that 1) Meyer lemon trees make excellent indoor house plants and if you have a birthday coming up I highly recommend requesting one and 2) in a Cape Cod window their fruit gets ripe right around this time of year and 3) you can use plain old lemons and this cobbler will be good, very good even, but definitely not quite the same. So there you go—find some Meyer lemons if you can, if not, cut your rhubarb anyhow and fire the oven up.
for the fruit:
4 heaping cups rhubarb, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2-2/3 cup granulated sugar (I used 3/4 cup and it was a bit too much)
juice and zest of 1 Meyer lemon or 1 smallish regular lemon
2 tablespoons flour (whole wheat or all-purpose is fine)
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of salt
for the cornmeal biscuit topping:
1/2 cup flour (again, whole wheat or all-purpose is fine)
1/2 cup stone ground cornmeal
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup buttermilk or heavy cream or yogurt
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Combine the rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a bowl and stir to mix. Add the flour, cinnamon, and salt and toss until fruit is coated. Spoon this mixture into the bottom of a 1 and 1/2 quart baking dish.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into the dry mixture, add the buttermilk or cream, and mix until a wet dough comes together.
Spoon dollops of the biscuit dough over the filling—it won't cover the entire surface; that's fine. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the biscuit topping is golden brown and the fruit is syrupy and bubbling. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream.