Are you a cobbler or a crisper?

The Ingredient: A basket of bruised nectarines verging on greatness or a slow compost demise (such a fine line, really).

The Challenge: To transform these diamonds in the rough into something worthy of sharing a bowl with the Madagascar Vanilla Bean ice cream in your freezer.

The Question: Do you cobble or crisp?

For me, the decision between cobbler and crisp is fruit-dependent. Having spent the better part of my teenage years consuming a weekly (or more) dose of apple crisp and vanilla ice cream, the thought of apples in anything but a crisp evokes a severe case of cognitive dissonance. But hand me some peaches or -- in this case -- nectarines, and a cobbler I am.

Simple Nectarine Cobbler

8 small nectarines, sliced into thin wedges
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
cinnamon, to taste

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a 9-inch square baking pan or 2-quart baking dish, toss sliced nectarines with sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, whip up the cobbler topping. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender, blend in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the boiling water just until combined. The batter will be quite thick, but should still be moist. Add additional water if necessary, but be careful not to overmix.

Remove the nectarines from the oven and drop spoonfuls of the cobbler batter on top. The batter will expand a bit as it bakes.

Bake until topping is golden brown (about 25 minutes).

Notes: Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Best eaten the first day when the cobbler topping still has its crunch intact.

Source: The Casual Baker.