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Savory Tomato Cobbler with Cheddar Cream Biscuits

Renée Robinson

A Cobbler That’s Not Dessert? Oh, Yeah, It is a Very Good Thing.

I’ve run across a couple of recipes for tomato cobbler throughout the years and I’ve always been intrigued.  I mean, come on. Doesn’t the thought of biscuits sitting on top of baked tomatoes sound good? I had visions of the bottoms being a little gooey and dumpling-like from the tomato juices, while the tops would be nice and crusty. But I’ve never been particularly impressed by any recipe I’ve seen, so I got my hands on a bunch of nice grape tomatoes and went to work. 

I liked the idea of having some of the tomatoes cut in half and others left whole. This way some of the tomatoes would cook down more than others and it would be a little saucy, but also fresh tasting. Wanting to amp up the flavor of the tomatoes, I added scallions, olive oil, tomato vinegar *, a little sugar, flour (for viscosity), salt and pepper. Now, I also added some ajwain *, but this is optional. Ajwain is a seed-like spice used often in Indian, Middle Eastern, and North African cooking, but I use it in other foods, too. It looks very similar to cumin seed, but it’s flavor is closer to oregano, with a little bit of an anise character. It’s also very aromatic and I thought it would be lovely in the tomatoes. As I mentioned, it’s only optional.

With the tomatoes taken care of it was time to concentrate on the biscuits. I rubbed cold pieces of butter into the flour, sugar, salt, and nigella seed * dry ingredients. I then tossed in plenty of shredded aged English cheddar. After adding the heavy cream and using a rubber spatula to fold and gently stir it into the flour it was time to get my hands into the mix. Using the heel of my hand I pushed and rubbed the dough to the edges of the bowl, folded the dough over itself and repeated the process a few times until the dough had mostly come together. After turning it out onto a lightly floured work surface I repeated the rubbing, pushing, and folding procedure a couple more times until the dough had come together. 

I rolled it out into a rough square that was a little over a half inch thick. I always cut my biscuits into squares using a bench scraper or large sharp knife. I don’t use round cutters because I don’t like having to reshape the leftover pieces of dough. Those are never as tender and good as the ones that are originally cut. By cutting them into squares I don’t have any leftover dough. You can trim the edges nicely if you’d like, but I don’t. I like the craggy corner edges. Check out my video below for more detailed information on making the biscuits. 

After placing the biscuits on top of the tomatoes, I brushed the tops with more cream, sprinkled on flaky salt * and put them in the oven to bake. As anyone who’s followed me knows, I like my baked goods to have plenty of color. No pale biscuits in this house. 

Cobbler is ready to bake.

As these were baking, the aroma was killing me. Between the cheese and all the good stuff going on with the tomatoes, I just knew this was going to be good. It was hard to wait a little while before serving this up, but it would have scalded our mouths if I didn’t give it a 10 or 15 minute rest when it came out of the oven. I sprinkled on some snipped fresh chives and we dug in. Oh, man, was this delicious. It was exactly as I’d hoped. Those biscuits were good and crisp with beautiful layers, but the bottoms had soaked up some of the tomato juices and were luscious. So, a tomato cobbler is now off my bucket list, but will be returning soon. My family concurs. 

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, may pay me a small commission and help support the costs of this website. Read full privacy policy here.

Play Video

Savory Tomato Cobbler with Cheddar Cream Biscuits

Recipe by Renée Robinson
Servings

8

servings

Cheddar filled biscuits are baked on top of cherry tomatoes that are seasoned with olive oil, tomato vinegar, and scallions. What a glorious way to enjoy both the biscuits and the tomatoes.

Cook Mode

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Ingredients

  • 3 pounds 3 grape or cherry tomatoes, or a mix of both, half of them cut in half

  • 4 4 scallions, sliced into 1/4 inch slices

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons 2 tomato vinegar *

  • 1 tablespoon 1 granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons 2 unbleached all purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons 1 1/2 ajwain seeds *, optional

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons 1 1/2 Morton kosher salt

  • Black pepper

  • 276 g 276 (2 cups) unbleached all purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon 1 granulated sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon 3/4 table salt

  • 1 tablespoon 1 baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons 2 nigella seeds *

  • 1 cup 1 (110g) shredded aged English cheddar cheese, packed

  • 6 tablespoons 6 salted butter, chilled and sliced into 6 pieces

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 heavy cream, plus 2 tablespoons for brushing on top of the biscuits

  • flaky salt *

  • 1 tablespoon 1 snipped chives

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400° with a rack in the center. In a large bowl, stir together the tomatoes, scallions, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, ajwain seeds, 1 1/2 teaspoons Morton kosher salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
  • Stir flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder, and nigella seeds together in a medium bowl. Add the butter and using your fingers, rub the pieces of butter into the flour until it resembles very coarse crumbs. Add the shredded cheese and toss until combined. Pour in the heavy cream and using a rubber spatula, stir and gently fold the dough over itself until you no longer have pockets of the cream. There will still be big pockets of flour.
  • Using the heel of your hand, with a pressing and pushing motion, rub the dough to the edges of the bowl. Fold the dough over itself and continue using this technique until the dough has almost come together. Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and continue with the rubbing and folding technique until you have a cohesive dough. Shape the dough into a square that is a little over a half inch thick. You can use your hands to pat it out, or use a rolling pin. I prefer a rolling pin so that the butter stays cold and doesn’t start melting. Using a large knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into 9 squares/rectangles. Don’t worry about getting the edges perfect.
  • Pour the tomatoes into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish, evenly distributing them. Place the biscuits on top of the tomatoes, leaving space on all sides of each biscuit. Brush the tops of the biscuits with 2 tablespoons heavy cream and sprinkle with a little flaky salt. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, until the biscuits are nicely browned and the tomatoes are bubbly. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool for 10 - 15 minutes. Top with the chives and Enjoy!

4 Responses

  1. I made this dish for dinner last night and it was a definite hit. The flavor was outstanding! I did end up with a bit more liquid that I would have liked. I think because my biscuits were cooking a bit fast so I had to put a loose piece of tin foil over them to stop any burning. I have lots of ideas for how to reduce the amount of liquid I end up with, but if you have ideas I would be very interested.

    1. Hi, Julia! So happy to hear you enjoyed the cobbler. As to the amount of liquid, I’m curious about your tomatoes. Did you use grape tomatoes? They only give off a certain amount of liquid. Mine wasn’t too soupy at all. That being said, my intention for this dish was for the tomatoes to be saucy. I didn’t want them to be dried out. I wanted the juices to be intensely flavored and for there to be plenty of them to sop up with the biscuits, but I wanted the juice to be thickened. That’s why I added the 2 tablespoons of flour to the tomatoes. If you had too much liquid, I would recommend you first place your sliced tomatoes in a colander, sprinkle them with salt and toss them. Let them sit and drain for 30 minutes, tossing a couple of times. This should rid you of any extra liquid. Then you can proceed with the recipe as written. Hope this answers your question!

      1. Thank you Renee! I did use grape tomatoes. I am also thinking I might need to let it cool a bit longer, so the flour can work its magic. Boy can those tomatoes hold on to heat! 🙂 I will definitely try to let the tomatoes drain in a colander with some salt the next time. I don’t want to reduce the liquid too much, just a little, and that might do the trick! Thank you for all your delicious recipe’s!

        1. You’re so very welcome, Julia! Yes, it is important to let it cool for awhile because it definitely thickens up as it cools. Please let me know if draining the tomatoes works for you!!

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