Much more forgiving than a pie or tart that requires a rolled dough, a cobbler is one of the simplest fruit desserts to bake.
What could be easier than piling fruit and sugar into a casserole dish, topping it with a simple batter or crumb topping and letting it bake.
Because it’s meant to be homey and rustic – you just scoop and serve without worrying about having a perfectly pretty slice on the plate.
- Heirloom Tomatoes – Perfectly ripe summer tomatoes are the best option for this cobbler. Use any mix of tomatoes you have available.
- The onions add a depth of flavor to the tomato filling.
- Cornmeal – The cornbread topping marries perfectly with the summery tomatoes. The cornmeal adds a bit of crunch as well.
- Fresh Corn – Adds moisture and another level of corn flavor to the cobbler topping. You can use fresh or frozen corn kernals.
- Basil – Tomatoes and corn love the flavor of basil.
How to make Tomato Cobbler with cornbread topping:
- Use a mix of any vine ripened tomatoes as the base for the cobbler.
- Slice the kernels from the corn. Scrape the cob to get all the milky juices.
- You can also use frozen corn if you prefer.
- Add the juices from the tomatoes to the caramelized onion.
- Cook down until almost all the water is evaporated. This will concentrate the tomato flavor.
- Pour the tomato filling into the baking dish.
- Spread the cornbread bater over the tomato filling.
- Place the pan on a tray to catch any boil overs.
- Bake until the cornbread is golden brown and the tomato filling is bubbling.
Tips for making Tomato Cobbler with cornbread topping:
- To avoid a soupy filling lightly salt the tomatoes to draw out some of the moisture.
- Add the tomato juice to the caramelized onions, then cooked it all down to concentrate the flavors.
- You can add other ingredients according to your taste and what you’ve got available. Chopped olives, crumbled bacon or feta cheese would be tasty with the tomatoes and corn.
- The fresh corn kernels add extra moisture. Frozen corn kernals would work fine as a substitute.
Mmm, it is delish. We enjoy this cobbler as a side dish with grilled chicken. But it could also be served as a main course for a light dinner or lunch. It would be fabulous with a couple of eggs on the side for breakfast or brunch.
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Tomato Cobbler Recipe
For the Filling
- 3 pounds vine ripened tomatoes (cut into chunky cubes)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large onion (sliced)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup bread crumbs
For the Topping
- 1 oz cornmeal (⅓ cup)
- 2 ½ oz all purpose flour (½ cup)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- pinch of black pepper
- 4 oz buttermilk (½ cup)
- 1 oz unsalted butter (melted)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup corn kernels
- ¼ cup basil leaves (minced)
- Toss 1/2 teaspoon salt with 3 pounds vine ripened tomatoes, chopped and set aside for 30 minutes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saute pan and add 1 large onion and the other 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until golden brown (about 20-30 minutes).
- Strain the tomatoes and reserve the juice. Add the juice to the pan with the browned onions. Increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring frequently, until the juice is reduced and thickened.
- Toss the onions with the chopped tomatoes, taste and adjust seasoning.
- Sprinkle ¼ cup bread crumbs into the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish. Pour the filling on top of the bread crumbs and set the pan aside while you make the cornbread.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 oz cornmeal, 2 ½ oz all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, pinch of black pepper. Use a hand whisk to mix the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together 4 oz buttermilk, 1 oz unsalted butter and 1 egg.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients all at once and stir just until combined. Fold in 1 cup corn kernels and ¼ cup basil leaves, chopped.
- Spread the topping over the tomato filling in an even layer. Place the casserole dish on a sheet pan lined with parchment or foil for easy cleanup.
- Bake until the topping is browned and baked through and the tomato filling is hot and bubbly all the way to the center.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
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