Sunday, March 16, 2008

An American Pie

The summer sun is shining and fresh organic fruit is everywhere. Eat it off the tree or vine or try it in a favorite American dish: cobbler. While the local selection may vary, this dessert suits fruits from all regions. A classic American sweet that dates back to Colonial times, the cobbler is a deep-dish upside-down fruit pie with a biscuit-like crust. Although peach, berry, cherry and apple are the most popular, cobblers can be made with any fruit.

Preparing a cobbler with your child (and waiting for the sweet reward) can be a delicious event and a fun learning experience, too!

Geography: Look at a map of the U.S. and ask your child to find your state on the map.

Science: How does the weather vary in each region of the U.S. and, in turn, affect the produce?

Music: Listen to the sounds of American music. Beat a drum to a Native American rhythm or play some southern jazz or blues. Or, you can play Jazz for Kids: Sing, Clap, Wiggle and Shake, Putumayo Kids New Orleans Playground or The Peasall Sisters’ Home to You.

Food: Talk about the local fruits for each region.

The Pacific Northwest: Cherries, berries, apples, pears and grapes.
The West (mainly California): Strawberries, peaches, grapes and oranges.
The Southwest: This area grows many of the same fruits as the West.
The Midwest: Vegetables are more common than fruit, but you’ll find blackberries, strawberries and apples.
The South: Peaches, citrus, berries, tomatoes and melons.
The Mid-Atlantic: Rhubarb, cherries, plums and apples.
The Northeast: Apples and all berries.

Fruit Cobbler

4 cups fruit (berries or peaches, sliced)
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp.vanilla
2 Tbsp. butter, cubed

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional) 6 Tbsp. chilled butter, diced
2/3 cup and 1 Tbsp. cream

PARENT: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease glass baking dish.
CHILD: Use plastic knife to cut butter into small cubes, and place in baking dish.
CHILD AND PARENT: In large bowl, add fruit, cornstarch, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix together. Pour into glass baking dish and set aside.
CHILD AND PARENT: In another large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, 2 Tbsp. sugar and cinnamon.
CHILD: Add butter to flour mixture, and use fingers to mix until it looks like cornmeal.
CHILD: Add 2/3 cup cream and stir until smooth.
PARENT: Lightly flour a clean surface, and place dough onto flour.
CHILD: Roll dough to ½-inch thickness.
CHILD: Use a round cookie cutter to cut circles out of dough.
CHILD AND PARENT: Arrange rounds of dough on top of fruit mixture.
CHILD: Brush dough with remaining Tbsp. of cream, and sprinkle with remaining sugar.
PARENT: Bake 25 minutes or until fruit is tender and crust is golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 10

Per serving: calories 307, fat 16g, protein 3g, carbohydrate 39g, dietary fiber 2g

*As always, KIWI recommends using organic ingredients as much as possible.

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