Nailed It or Failed It: A new take on green tomatoes

Published 12:22 pm Monday, September 9, 2019

I love finding new recipes to clip and save, with intentions of preparing them someday.

I was looking through all the dessert recipes I’ve clipped and saved over the years and rereading them.

When I looked at some of them, I thought “Why did I keep this one” and with others I wondered “why haven’t I fixed this yet?”

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When I found today’s recipe for green tomato cobbler, it was one of those “why haven’t I fixed this yet” moments.

Green Tomato Cobbler


— 1/2 cup butter

— 1 cup all-purpose flour

— 2 cups sugar, divided

— 1 tablespoon baking powder

— Pinch of salt

— 1 cup milk

— 4 cups chopped green tomatoes

— 1 tablespoon lemon juice

— 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

— Ice cream (optional)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place butter in an 11-by-7-inch baking dish; place in oven until butter melts.

Remove dish from oven, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, one cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Pour batter over butter in baking dish (do not stir).

In a medium saucepan, bring 3/4 cup sugar, green tomatoes and lemon juice to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir).

In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Sprinkle over green tomato mixture in baking dish.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve cobbler warm with ice cream, if desired.

We have plenty of green tomatoes in our garden. We don’t have many red ones because at first, it was too wet and rainy, then it was too dry. Now they are becoming food for some wild creature, which we think is an opossum (we spotted him the other night while picking beans).

I’ve made green tomato cake and green tomato pie, so it was time to try green tomato cobbler.

This recipe came from the May/June 2011 issue of “Cooking with Paula Deen.”

I headed to the garden and collected green tomatoes. Foremost, I was picking them for a friend, Mr.

. He loves fried green tomatoes and we try to supply him with tomatoes during the summer so his daughters can fry them for him.

After picking the best for Mr. Poer, I started picking for this recipe. When I was done, I headed to the house and got busy rinsing the tomatoes, drying them and chopping them.

At first, I debated whether I was supposed to peel them, but that takes so much time I decided against it.

Since my green tomatoes were on the small side, it took quite a few to equal four cups.

I sat the chopped tomatoes aside and turned on the oven to heat.

I placed a stick of butter in a baking dish and put it in the oven to melt while it was heating.

Since I needed to cook the tomatoes a bit, I put them in a medium-sized saucepan along with 3/4 cup of sugar and the lemon juice. I turned the heat to medium and started stirring.

I checked on the melting butter occasionally. When it was completely melted, I removed it from the oven and set it aside.

Even though the recipe said to constantly stir the cooking tomatoes, I stopped long enough to put the batter ingredients together and then poured the mixture over the melted butter.

Not stirring the tomatoes for a few minutes didn’t seem to hurt them. I let the mixture come to a boil and let it continue for a bit.

There was so much liquid from the tomatoes I thought letting them cook down a bit would keep the cobbler from being too mushy.

This batter recipe seemed similar to a lot of quick cobbler recipes I’ve tried,. Sometimes if I’ve used too much liquid from the fruit, the dough doesn’t seem to get done.

The tomatoes cooked down a bit. I was tired of stirring so I scooped them onto the batter, making sure I scooped evenly over the top.

You don’t want to stir this cobbler because I don’t think it will turn out right if you do (or so I’ve been told).

After combining the remaining sugar and cinnamon, I sprinkled it over the cobbler and placed the dish in the oven.

I set the timer for 40 minutes. When the timer sounded, the cobbler was nice and brown on top.

I let the cobbler cool a little while and then headed to the basement to get some vanilla ice cream out of the freezer.

Brad said he wanted some cobbler, but no ice cream.

I scooped out some warm cobbler for Brad then scooped out more for myself and added a nice helping of ice cream. To me, cobbler isn’t cobbler without ice cream.

We dug in and were surprised at how good this was. Brad isn’t a real sweet eater, but he thought the cobbler was good because it wasn’t overly sweet.

It was so good, we immediately texted our neighbors to see if they wanted any. They didn’t answer, but after a while I decided I’d head down to their house and see if they were home.

I didn’t want this cobbler sitting around at our house because it was too good to resist.

When I arrived at Rachel’s house, she was preparing supper and said they’d love to try the cobbler.

Her daughter Maggie scooped a little out into a bowl for them and I told her she had to take more. Maggie smiled and kept scooping.

When she was done, Maggie took a big bite and her eyes got really big. I hoped that was a good thing.

She looked at her mom and said, “That’s so good.”

Maggie took another bite. I think she would have eaten the whole bowl, but she decided her mom and dad needed to try it.

Rachel told Maggie, “You are eating green tomatoes,” and then took a taste.

Rachel gave the cobbler good reviews too.

When I left, I think Maggie was eager to have more cobbler.

The next morning while putting Mr. Poer’s green tomatoes in a bag, I decided I’d take him some cobbler.

While I was scooping some into a container, Brad suggested I put some together for his physical therapist Sandra. She’s a good friend of ours, and I can trust her to be perfectly honest when she tries anything I’ve prepared.

I headed to work and Brad headed to therapy. About 11 a.m., Brad texted and said Sandra had already eaten her cobbler and gave it a thumbs up.

That evening after supper, there was just enough cobbler left for us to have for dessert. Mine with ice cream, of course.

I’ll have to say the title of this recipe may not sound too appealing, but our taste buds call it a ‘nailed it,’ which I should have known since it was from Paula Deen.

We still have green tomatoes in the garden and I’ll be making this luscious dessert again soon, but I’ll have to share with someone.

If you want to try this recipe but aren’t growing your own tomatoes, you may be able to find some at the farmers market. Get there quickly as the season is almost over.

Sarah Condley is an amateur baker and chef who is compiling a cookbook of her favorite recipes.