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This easy cherry cobbler is infused with a fruit froward red wine that makes for a decadent and exciting cherry cobbler filling. The topping is golden brown, sweet, and a perfect balance of crisp and soft. Enjoy cherry season with this sweet dark cherry cobbler.
Here is the East Bay of California I am quite literally surrounded by cherry orchards. With dozens of orchards within 5 minutes, it makes it easy to go WAY overboard and pick something like 12 pounds of cherries. Thankfully, it also means delicious cherry recipes like rhubarb cherry pie, vanilla cherry jam, and of course, this cherry cobbler!
Wine and cherries are made for each other. Cherry is often a flavor note in wine itself, and sweetened up, thickened into a syrupy delectable dessert with a crunchy topping? It’s heaven guys, seriously.
What is a Cobbler?
It’s been a goal to learn the exact differences between crisps, cobblers, crumbles and everything else in between. But it’s a rather complicated topic to be honest!
Who you ask and where they’re from can easily affect the answer to this question. Here’s mine, a cobbler is a baked dessert consisting of a bottom layer of fruit and a topping of biscuit, cookie, or cake batter. The end result is a dessert that has a ‘cobbled’ appearance on the top, often studded with the fruit bubbling through.
So which topping does this cherry cobbler recipe use? No creaming or cutting in butter here. Mix a few ingredients and pour over melted butter, bam, crisp, cobbled cake-like topping.
Alright, let’s get to the good stuff, the delicious components that come together to make this red wine cherry cobbler a possibility in your kitchen. Most of these ingredients are familiar, but there are a few specific tips I want to share.
The magic concoction to sweet, syrupy cherry cobbler filling is a mixture of cherries, red wine, water, sugar, and cornstarch.
- Cherries – You want a pound of plump, dark sweet cherries. I don’t recommend rainier or tart cherries for this particular recipe.
- Cornstarch – The all important thickener for the filling! Don’t leave this one out!
- Sugar – The simplest of sugars, plain white, transforms the red wine and cherries to a sweet fruity cobbler filling.
- Red Wine – As a major component, be sure to choose a wine you like to drink. I chose one of my favorite wines, a Sangiovese from from Moonstone Cellars in Cambria, California. It’s a fruit forward, easy drinking wine and I recommend something similar for your choice. Pinot Noir or Merlot are great options, and don’t worry, use a cheapie bottle if you like, so long as you like the flavor!
- Water – Remember all those tests I did? Well despite my urge to use wine alone, the balance of water and wine is essential to a dessert that is easy to eat without the overpowering burn of wine on your tongue.
Pro Tip: Pitting cherries can be a pain, but if you love cherries in cooking, investing in a cherry pitter is definitely worth it. I use this cherry pitter, it takes care of 6 cherries at once and catches the pits underneath so I know for sure I didn’t miss any (no broken teeth please!).
For the Cobbler Topping you’ve got a similarly simple combination of ingredients, but it isn’t a combo I feel right taking all the credit for! This style of topping uses a technique I’ve never seen before. At least I hadn’t until I cam across an heirloom, general recipe for ‘Fruit Cobbler’ from my Grandma Karen. With some tinkering to figure out some vague measurements, I had this amazing and truly simple cobbler topping. It’s my go to topping, for this and other cobblers like my Loquat Cobbler. I know she would have loved this one!
- Flour – Just all purpose, white flour for this cobbler.
- Sugar – White sugar doesn’t interfere with the red wine cherry filling, and it creates this nice sugary crispness in the topping.
- Baking Powder – This is what creates the cake-like fluffiness under the crisp topping.
- Salt – Just a pinch to elevate the other flavors.
- Egg – The binding ingredient here.
- Butter – Melted and poured over to provide moisture, flavor, and fat. Go for unsalted!
Making Cherry Cobbler
Ingredients in hand and stomach growling, you are less than an hour away from red wine cherry decadence. The process is as simple as the ingredients!
- First we need to cook all those lovely cherries with red wine. Once they’re pitted you’re ready.Start by whisking the sugar and cornstarch together in a wide, deep saucepan.
- Next whisk in the wine and water until smooth. Be sure to get into the edges of the pan to avoid any dry spots of cornstarch in your finished cobbler. It’s important you do this in a COLD pan, before it gets placed over a burner. This allows the cornstarch to dissolve and thicken properly later.
- Then add your cherries and place it over medium heat. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching or clumping and bring to a gentle boil. Once it boils it will begin to thicken, remove it from the heat immediately and set aside.
- Next dump your flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and whisk it together. Then lightly beat the egg and pour it right in.
- With a fork or a spoon, or even your fingers, combine the egg in the flour. It will create a shaggy, crumbly mixture, very similar to pie or biscuit dough before the water. When you have coarse bread crumbs, it’s ready. Melt your butter and set aside.
- Using a little melted butter (just a dab), lightly grease either a 9 inch pie plate, or an 8×8 baking dish. Pour in your thickened cherry mixture.
- Sprinkle the flour egg mixture over the top. Try to be even but don’t worry about thin spots, that’s where the gorgeous red cherry cobbler filling will bubble through and create that lovely cobbler appearance.
- Pour the butter over as evenly as possible. Again, don’t worry about the occasional dry spot, they will bake just fine!
- Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes, or until the top is crisp and golden brown.
Yes, just be sure they are NOT tart cherries. Otherwise replace one for one. Be advised that your filling can take longer to come to a boil with frozen cherries.
Yes, coconut sugar, brown sugar, or natural sugar will work as a replacement in both the cobbler filling and the topping. Sugar alternatives such as stevia are not tested and I can’t guarantee they’ll work.
I would suggest prepping the filling, then you could mix the cobbler topping up to the point of adding the egg. I would wait until I was ready to bake to mix in the egg, and then assemble as directed from there.
It has never made it that far in my house, but my instinct says yes, though you may lose some of the crispness in the topping. To reheat, placing in a hot 350°F oven until hot throughout should do. If you try it, let me know!
Can’t Wait? Eat it Warm!
This is one of those dig your spoon into, happily burn your tongue desserts. Okay…don’t burn your tongue, but don’t worry about waiting for it to cool too much. When I make this cherry cobbler recipe, I prefer it fresh out the oven with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream or a good bit of whipped cream.
It can also be enjoyed at room temperature, and that’s how it’s best stored as well. Just cover and keep for up to 3 days.
It won’t make it that long.
In any case really hope you love this red wine cherry cobbler recipe, it’s already become a favorite around my place. Have fun in the kitchen and as always, Happy Eating!
If you liked this cobbler, check out these other fruit desserts!
- Peach Hand Pies
- Blackberry Coffee Cake with Pecan Crumble
- Blueberry Buckle
- Cherry Rhubarb Pie
- Loquat Cobbler
- Apricot and Cream Cheese Pastry
- Plum and Blueberry Cobbler
Red Wine Cherry Filling
- 1 lb cherries dark sweet varieties
- 1/2 cup red wine pinot noir or merlot
- 1/2 cup water
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 2 tbs cornstarch
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt a healthy pinch
- 1 large egg
- 4 ounces butter, unsalted 1/2 cup
- Start by stemming and pitting your cherries. Set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F. In a wide, deep saute pan whisk together cornstarch and sugar until no clumps remain.
- Stir in wine and water until smooth, being sure to scrape any cornstarch lumps from the corners of the pan. Add in cherries and place on stovetop over medium heat.
- Cook until mixture just comes to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once mixture comes to a boil and has begun to thicken, remove from heat and set aside.
- While cherries are heating up combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt for the topping in a medium bowl. Beat one egg and add to flour.
- Use a fork or your fingers to mix the egg into the flour, until it resembles coarse bread crumbs.
- In a small bowl melt your butter then use a small amount to lightly coat the inside of an 8 x 8 baking dish.
- Add cooked cherry mixture to the dish, then spread cobbler topping evenly over the top. Pour the remaining butter over the top as evenly as possible.*
- Bake in oven for 30 – 35 minutes, or until top is golden brown and crisp.
- Serve warm or room temperature, and store leftovers covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.