Tomato Cobbler


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

New York Christmas

New York Christmas

By Lisa Nieschlag and Lars Wentrup

Published 2017

  • About

Cobblers are best known as a type of sweet dish made of seasonal fruit baked with a pastry crust. They date back to the time when the USA was still a British colony. Our recipe is for a savoury version with a beautifully rustic touch coming from the tomatoes, caramelised onions and cheesy crust.


For the tomato mixture

  • 800 g (1 lb 12 oz) cherry tomatoes
  • 3 sprigs basil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 shallots
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • Salt, pepper

For the dough

  • 170 g (6 oz) flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 90 g ( oz) cold butter, diced
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 40 g ( oz/½ cup) parmesan, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) buttermilk


Wash the tomatoes and pat dry. Rinse the basil, shake off excess water and finely chop the leaves. Peel the garlic and shallots. Mince the garlic and finely dice the shallots.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter. Toss in the shallots and sweat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and fry briefly. Sprinkle over the sugar, leave to caramelise and deglaze with the balsamic vinegar. Reduce briefly, then remove the pan from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas mark 4). Combine the tomatoes, basil and caramelised shallot mixture and transfer to one large baking dish or divide among four small baking dishes or ramekins. Season with chilli flakes, salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl to make the dough. Add the chilled butter and rub in until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the thyme, basil and parmesan. Whisk the egg with the buttermilk and add to the dough. Dollop the dough onto the tomato mixture. Transfer the baking dish or dishes to the preheated oven and bake for about 20–25 minutes or until golden brown.