My Christmas cobbler is a festive spin on a classic plum cobbler! With orange, almond and allspice, this easy cobbler recipe is perfect for the holidays.
I’m not much of a baker, but lately, I’ve been really into making cobblers!
I started with a basic plum cobbler and ended up with this festive (and delicious!) Christmas cobbler.
What makes it a Christmas cobbler? Well, when I pulled this out of the oven, the first thing that came to my mind was that it smells like Christmas!
The combination of orange, allspice, and almond reminds me of cider and cookies.
Also, I thought since Christmas is going to be a rather small affair this year, a fun and simple dessert for Christmas day might be a good idea.
Usually, I’m an apple crisp person. I’ve been making apple crisp for years, and I love it because it’s easy and delicious.
I had actually never eaten or made a cobbler before this year… I mean, obviously I knew about cobblers, I had just never bothered to try it.
Then, a couple of months ago, a friend dropped off some plums for me. I wanted to make something for her with them, but crisp just didn’t seem right.
So I threw together my first plum cobbler, and fell in love.
It tastes like pie!!! But I don’t have to deal with rolling out dough – perfect!
There are two main components to this Christmas cobbler recipe: the fruit filling and the biscuit topping.
For the fruit filling, I used sliced plums and chopped apples.
While plums are delicious on there own, I’ve found that adding an apple makes the whole thing extra yummy.
I’m pretty sure it has something to do with getting that sweet-tart balance right. You need a bit of sourness to a crumble or it just taste kind of… flat.
Once you’ve sliced and chopped your fruit, it’s just a matter of adding brown sugar, cornstarch, almond extract, Triple Sec and allspice.
If you want to omit the Triple Sec, you can. I just like how it bumps up the orange flavour in this cobbler recipe.
I also opted to use allspice because it tastes like cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. I like using it because I only have to measure one ingredient instead of three.
If you’re not familiar with allspice, it’s actually the dried berry of the Pimenta dioica plant – not a spice blend.
If you don’t have allspice, you can make a blend that tastes similar.
Allspice Substitute: Combine 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves and ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg. This will give you 1 tsp of spice blend, and you can measure the 1/4 tsp for this recipe from there. Put the rest into an airtight container and save it for later.
Making the biscuit topping sounds like it could be tricky, but it’s not difficult at all. The key is to keep your butter cold until you’re ready to grate it in.
Some people cube their cold butter before adding it to the flour, but I prefer to grate it.
Either way will work.
When you get to the part where you rub the butter into the flour mixture, try to work quickly. You don’t want the heat of your hands to melt the butter, and you don’t want to overwork the dough.
If you have a pastry cutter, you could use that instead. Or you could use a fork.
I just like how rubbing the butter into the flour feels, and I think it’s a bit faster.
Regardless, you want to make sure the butter is cold and breaks into tiny pieces. It’s those cold bits of butter that make the biscuit flaky, so you want to preserve them as much as possible.
Once you have a sandy texture, you’re good to move on to the next step.
The combination of orange, allspice and almond is really what makes this a Christmas cobbler to me.
Adding the orange zest is optional, but it does add beautiful orange flecks and bright orange flavour to the biscuit topping.
I’ve seen recipes where milk is used to moisten the biscuit dough, so if you don’t have cream, you can use milk instead.
I found that my biscuit topping turned out much fluffier and softer with cream, though.
Once you add the cream, you need to stir it in just until the dough becomes moistened, and then stop.
Don’t go crazy with mixing the dough, or you’ll end up with tough biscuits.
To assemble this Christmas cobbler, layer the fruit mixture into a cast-iron pan or a heavy baking dish.
Top with loose clumps of the biscuit topping, then sprinkle everything with coarse sugar.
If you don’t have coarse sugar, you can leave it out. I just like that it adds sparkle and crunch to the cobbler topping.
The Christmas cobbler takes 40-45 minutes to cook through.
I found that my biscuit topping browned very quickly, so I like to move it from the middle rack to the bottom rack of the oven for the last 5-10 minutes.
While cobbler is best served warm, I found that the leftovers did heat up well enough the next day.
I enjoy this Christmas Cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but it’s also pretty good with whipped cream the next day if you eat it at room temperature.
I love that this recipe is simple to make, but tastes like Christmas. It’s a super easy dessert to throw together to serve at the end of your holiday meal, or just to enjoy while snuggled up on the couch with your favourite movie.
If you end up making this Christmas cobbler recipe, let me know how it turns out! You can also give it a rating by clicking on the stars below.
Happy Cooking, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Stay Safe!
- Cast Iron Skillet
- 4 cups plums , pitted and sliced
- 1 apple , chopped (use a tart apple, like Nothern Spy)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp Triple Sec , optional
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 tbsp orange zest , grated (optional)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , cold
- 7 tbsp whipping cream , (35% milk fat)
- 1 tbsp coarse sugar
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
Make Fruit Filling:
- In a large bowl, combine sliced plums, chopped apples, brown sugar, Triple Sec, cornstarch, almond extract and allspice. Spoon mixture into a 10" cast iron skillet or heavy baking dish.
Make Biscuit Topping:
- In another large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, almond extract, and orange zest.
- Grate the cold butter into the bowl, and rub in using your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture looks like coarse sand.
- Gently stir in the whipping cream until mixture is just moistened.
Assemble the Cobbler
- Use your hands to gently mound the dough in small islands on top of the fruit mixture in the cast iron skillet. Sprinkle coarse sugar on top.
- Bake in the middle rack of the oven for about 45 minutes. If the top is browning quickly, move the cobbler to the bottom rack for the last 5-10 minutes.
- Serve warm with ice cream, or at room temperature with whipped cream.