It’s such a shame that the best summer berries appear in markets right around the time when it gets too warm to turn on the oven indoors. This grilled version of a fresh fruit cobbler features a hit of lemon, a sparkle of spice and toasty pillows of buttery biscuits, all without having to heat up the kitchen. A vanilla ice cream topper is the obvious choice here.
For the filling:
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups fresh summer fruits like raspberries, peaches, strawberries and blueberries, washed, patted dry and picked over for stems
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
For the biscuit topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons cornmeal
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Coarse sugar for sprinkling (such as sanding sugar, turbinado or demerara)
Preheat a gas grill to high heat and line the grates with heavy duty aluminum foil. Have ready four 3 1/2-inch cast iron skillets (or similar-sized grill-friendly dishes).
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt. Add the blueberries, lemon zest and lemon juice and fold gently to combine. Divide the berry mixture among the skillets. Set the skillets on the grill on top of the foil. Close the lid of the grill. Cook until the fruit is hot, bubbling up (and maybe even bubbling over), and beginning to soften, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the biscuit dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground ginger. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stir gently until the dough is just combined with no dry pockets. Softly pat the dough into a rough ball in the bottom of the bowl, and score it into 4 equal pieces.
Open the grill, and carefully top each skillet with a quarter of the dough, flattening each portion with your fingertips a bit before placing it. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Close the lid of the grill, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the topping is deeply golden and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the skillets carefully using a thick oven mitt, and allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with a warning that the skillets may be hot!