Have you noticed how food blogs go through phases of given ingredients? Brown butter and Bourbon seem to be pretty popular these days. In an attempt to stay hip I bought a bottle of Four Roses the other day, not sure if this or Jim Beam, or even Jack Daniels would be better. The Four Roses came with a minor discount, and it reminds me of an old commercial that ran in cinemas when I was young. Also you can't beat the roses on the label. It's only when I came home that I realized the Irish whisky (Bushmills) that W. favours has a much better aroma. As for brown butter, I always assumed it was very unhealthy, since it's basically one step short of burnt butter, supposed to clog arteries for, like, ever. But in the spirit of research, I gave this recipe a try.
This cobbler is a cross between a pie and a cake. Usually, cobblers are made of stewed fruit covered unevenly in American biscuit- or scone-like dough. This one has a few extra steps and looks rather improbable before baking. The fruit is stewed in a pan (that's when I added the Bourbon), the butter is browned in another pan (though you could do that in the microwave), then poured into a baking dish, with the batter poured over it, then the fruit and its juices scattered on top. A little demerara and some almonds are sprinkled on top to add a little crunch. It looks very wet, I don't know if you can tell from the following picture.
Inside the oven, the magic happens, and both the butter and the batter rise up and partially cover the nectarines, getting really brown and crusty on the sides, but staying translucent and soft underneath.
And you leave it to cool down to eat it warm with some vanilla ice or cream on top.
This ice-cream is homemade vanilla but its story is for another day.
I quite liked this, which we had for dessert/pudding. It has a surprising, unusual texture, crunchy in places, chewy or pudding-y in others. I could have spooned the whisky-flavoured nectarine compote straight into my mouth ( I actually did when no one was looking) before assembling the cake so I quite enjoyed it. I think W. would have preferred a nectarine kuchen, something I had vaguely promised, or the Algerian pastries we bought yesterday but he ate a portion nonetheless.
If you want to make this too go to the NY Times site.