Strawberry Rhubarb Bourbon Cobbler with Ginger Oat Scones

Please note: if you go to Trader Joe’s alone at noon on a Tuesday and get in the express lane with nothing but a bottle of bourbon, the checker will give you a disconcerting and somewhat sassy look that says, “I know an alcoholic when I see one.” It doesn’t matter that it’s not the cheapest or biggest bottle in the store. Don’t try to dissuade her by smiling extra bright, or acting really friendly. Don’t babble wildly while fumbling for your wallet, saying something like, “Oh that bottle of bourbon? That’s just for a strawberry rhubarb cobbler. I’m not going to duck around the corner and guzzle the whole bottle on my lunch break. I’m a baker, not an alcoholic, haha!” She will just sigh and ask if you need a bag, and the people behind you will shift uncomfortably and avoid eye contact as you slink away, back to your apartment to not guzzle a bottle of bourbon.

Trust me: you’re better off going to BevMo where the checkers won’t bat an eye if you show up in line midday with two jugs of whiskey and a bottle of Everclear. (The Everclear was for making these bergamot bitters. Honest!)

I used to be really anti-cobbler. The few I made had a disproportionate fruit-to-crust ratio, with soggy-bottomed biscuits perching atop steamed fruit. But then I saw this gorgeous post on Sprouted Kitchen which made me realize that if cobbler were more crisp-like, I might change my mind about the whole business.

I got the idea to combine my favorite spring fruit/veg combo with a splash of bourbon from this delicious-looking pie (and very sweet blog). I read up on cobblers from the folks at Cook’s Illustrated, who recommended roasting the fruit by itself before topping it with sturdy drop biscuits.

I cobbled together this recipe, and to my delight, it baked into the cobbler of my dreams: thick fruit compote under a fleet of crunchy, tender biscuits. I’ve made it twice since, and I think I need to make a fourth, just to use up the excess ice cream in the freezer. It’s the responsible thing to do.

The topping, made with whole grain flour, oats, candied ginger, and greek yogurt, bakes up into a bunch of nubby biscuits that stand up to the juicy fruit. Their craggy, bronzed tops give way to pillowy centers that are closer in texture to creamy, crumbly scones than to biscuits – “cobblescones,” if you will.

The rhubarb retains its puckery tartness while kicking it with its sweet friend, the strawberry. The bourbon adds a whiff of tangy spice that plays off the ginger in the biscuits. A swirl of melty vanilla ice cream is always welcome on fruit desserts, and this one is no exception. A bowl of this loveliness – cool ice cream, tender biscuits and jammy fruit – reminds me of a really excellent strawberry shortcake.

If I lived in a cruel world in where I were forced to choose between crisps and cobblers, I still can’t say I’d choose the cobbler. Maybe I would. Luckily, there can be room in my life for both of these heaven-sent fruit desserts. And for now, this one makes me really happy.

If you love rhubarb as much as I do, you might also enjoy ogling my Rhubarb Love pinboard.

Rhubarb Berry Bliss:

Strawberry Rhubarb Crème Fraîche Crumble Pie
Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
Plum, Rhubarb and Raspberry Cardamom Crisp

One year ago:

Rhubarb Chutney (on goat cheese crostini)

Two years ago:

Apple Rhubarb Pandowdy
with Honey Yogurt Ice Cream

Three years ago:

Panela Rum Buttercrunch Toffee

Strawberry Rhubarb Bourbon Cobbler with Ginger Oat Scones

With inspiration from Sprouted Kitchen and Foodologie

The fruit in this cobbler gets baked twice; once by itself, and once with the biscuits. This ensures a properly thickened filling, and it prevents the biscuits from getting soggy. If you don’t wish to use bourbon, substitute an equal amount of orange or blood orange juice. I think this would also be superb made with peaches. I baked this in an oval dish that measures 10″ long, 6 1/2″ wide, and 1 1/2″ high, but it should also work in an 8 or 9″ round pie plate or 8″ square pan. You want the uncooked fruit to come just to the top of whatever pan you use.

The cobbler is best when it has been out of the oven for 30-60 minutes (a short rest helps the fruit juices thicken), but leftovers keep pretty well in the fridge and reheat well in an oven or toaster oven. The biscuit dough can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for a day, and the fruit can be prepared and given its first bake ahead of time, too. Be sure to have some high quality store-bought or homemade vanilla ice cream on hand for serving. All ounce measurements here are by weight.

Makes 5-6 servings, enough to fill a 10″ oval baking dish

12 ounces trimmed rhubarb, sliced 1/2″ thick (3 cups)
8 ounces hulled strawberries, quartered if large (halved if small – 2 cups)

3 tablespoons bourbon whiskey
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch salt

Ginger Oat Scones:
1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1 ounce) whole spelt (or whole wheat pastry, or barley) flour
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons (3/4 ounces) finely chopped candied ginger
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) cold, unsalted butter, in 1/4″ dice
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) greek yogurt (whole milk)
coarse (turbinado) sugar for sprinkling
vanilla ice cream, for serving

Make the filling:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425ºF.

Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, bourbon, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl, and toss until combined. Scrape the fruit and any juices into a 10×7″ oval baking dish or the equivalent, and place the dish on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake the fruit until it is somewhat broken down and bubbling, 15-20 minutes. While the fruit bakes…

Make the scone dough:
In a large bowl, combine the flours, oats, sugar, baking powder, salt and ginger. Add the butter, and rub with your fingertips or cut in with a pastry blender until the mixture looks like gravel with some pea-sized butter bits. Add the yogurt and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to come together, kneading a few times with your hands to form a loose ball. Chill the dough while the fruit bakes.

Bake the cobbler:
When the fruit is bubbling, remove the dish from the oven. Divide the biscuit dough into 12 rough balls (rustic looks good), about an inch in diameter, and place them evenly over the hot fruit, spacing them about 1″ apart. Sprinkle the tops with a dusting of coarse sugar.

Bake the cobbler until the biscuits are golden on top and the fruit is bubbling thickly, 15-20 more minutes. Let the cobbler cool at least 20 minutes to allow the fruit to thicken up. Serve the cobbler warm, topped with scoops of vanilla ice cream. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for a day or two and reheated in an oven or toaster oven.

40 thoughts on “Strawberry Rhubarb Bourbon Cobbler with Ginger Oat Scones”

  1. I just went on a rhubarb recipe binge…I just pinned your rhubarb page, and the rest of your pages (what am I NUTS that I would miss out on a single recipe?!!!) and am going to shamelessly share you around with all of my friends…sorry…can't help it…addicted…

    1. Ooh, good idea! I was concerned that it might dry out the biscuits, but a tablespoon or so would probably be great. Let me know if you give it a go, and thanks for the lovely inspiration. Love your site!

    1. Hi Mihai, thank you for the kind words! I would hate not having rhubarb, too. I hope they figure out how to grow it in your neck of the woods. You could definitely make this with mixed berries, peaches, cherries or apricots, though.

  2. I wish I could've been in your shoes in Trader Joes, awkward sighs and all! It was a sad day when I found out that wine and liquors have to be sold separately here in New York. (I used to live in San Francisco.)

    Also, the topping sounds incredible! I love ginger-flavored anything. Must experiment with the combination of strawberry, rhubarb, and ginger once rhubarb hits the markets. (so excited!)

    1. Harsh! All the more reason to stay on the left coast. :) I'm completely obsessed with rhubarb and ginger – put them together and I haven't a prayer. Let me know what you end up making! Ps. I'm majorly in love with your site!

  3. It's funny, we talk so much through email that I find myself forgetting to comment on posts sometimes! But this sounds so ridiculously good. Ice cream on top of gingery scones on top of strawberry-rhubarby deliciousness. And there's bourbon too!!

    I've definitely had similar liquor-buying experiences, deciding to swing by the liquor store at 10am on a Sunday pick up a bottle for some sort of dessert creation. We can only get the hard stuff in actual distributors in VT, so they probably assume I'm an alcoholic, but they don't get all snotty and judgmental about it. :P

    1. I know, I do that too. :)

      I guess there are some hidden perks to archaic prohibitionist laws after all! Thanks for the sweet link love.

      I'm going to spread the strawberry rhubarb balsamic shrub love at a rehearsal in a couple hours – woot!

  4. Alanna, I just adore your blog. I especially appreciate that you include who/what recipes you've adapted your creation (because I am a cookbook addict and have many that you mention). Tonight I made this recipe with one variation. I couldn't find whole milk Greek yogurt, so I had to substitute with 2% Greek. I have a large family (5 children) and every single child devoured every single bite. This is a fabulous recipe. I am a rhubarb fanatic and look forward to seeing my rhubarb shoots poking through the soil each Spring. We still have snow here in Anchorage but our local grocery store received it's first shipment of rhubarb last week. Lucky me! Will definitely make this again and again!c Thank you!

    1. My name is Alanna and I'm a cookbook addict, too. ;)

      Thank you for this sweetest note! I'm psyched that you tried this recipe, and even more psyched that you and your family (5 kids?!?! you go!) liked it. Wishing you a ton of homegrown rhubarb this spring. Thank you so much for reading!

  5. You made me laugh and you gave me a great recipe—-personally I love cobblers. So since I think rhubarb doesn't get enough respect, this works for me. And Good Golly Miss Molly, just running over your recipe titles I am with Gerry, I am glad I found your blog.

  6. Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.

    I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back
    later in life. I want to encourage you continue your great
    posts, have a nice day!

  7. This sounds wonderful, love rhubarb. This year the strawberries in VT have not fared well, and the berries in she shops are not vreat either. I’m thinking of using frozen, unsugared ones, and adding them to the baked rhubarb filling after it comes out of the oven. Should work, no? Am making the honey yogurt ice cream with it.

    1. Sounds like a good plan, though I think you can just add the frozen berries to the filling from the start! Let me know how you like it. :)

  8. Hi Alanna, I have been enjoying the recipes from your book. I enjoy baking for work and family gatherings and I was wondering if it would be possible to double the scone recipes? I wasn’t sure where to post comments/questions about the book.
    Thanks so much, I love your gf recipes. Looking forward to your next book 🤗

    1. I’m so glad you’re enjoying Alternative Baker – that means so much to me! You can definitely double the scone recipes. Just form the dough into 2 separate rounds.

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