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Get the Most From Your Oven With An Easy Berry Peach Shortcake Cobbler

A warm fruit cobbler with berries and peaches served with ice cream is a summertime classic and one of the easiest desserts to make. While some baked items require special attention and are best baked in the oven on their own, fruit cobblers are not fussy desserts that require special attention and can easily be added to the oven to cook alongside other foods. Of course for best results the oven should be in the Convection mode.

Convection Makes Cooking Oven Meals Easy

When a convection mode is selected for oven cooking you have the option to cook on multiple trays at one time because the heated air is circulated around the oven, evenly cooking each dish. Cooking a complete meal in convection takes a little planning, but it liberates you from standing at the cooktop or even having to be in the kitchen. In fact nowadays, it's not uncommon for ovens to have an app that allows you to monitor the cooking on your phone.

If you are making a simple meal that includes roasting meat, fish or vegetables or baking a casserole a fruit cobbler can be added to the oven and there will be no flavor transference between the different foods. There are, however, the important things to consider including, oven temperature, timing and rack position.

How to Cook a Convection Oven Meal with a Fruit Cobbler

The first thing to determine is the oven temperature and timing for the foods you will be cooking. Some meats are cooked at a high temperature for a short period of time then the oven temperature is reduced to 350 degrees for the remainder of the cooking. In that case the fruit cobbler would be added once the oven temperature has been reduced.

If you are planning on cooking multiple foods at one time then be sure to organize the oven racks before you begin cooking. Plan to cook the meat on the top rack and casseroles or roasted vegetables on the lower rack and to bake the cobbler on the middle rack. This will allow the cobbler to heat through and once the meat is removed the shortcake topping will brown nicely. If you are only cooking two dishes then place the cobbler in the lower portion of the oven.

Large capacity ovens are great for cooking large quantities of food but when loaded with multiple dishes they may benefit from a slight temperature increase of 5 or even 10 degrees.

The cooking temperature for this recipe is 350 degrees. Typically we reduce temperatures by 25 degrees when baking in Convection; however, reducing the temperature is not necessary when baking this cobbler as unlike a cake or cookies there is little risk of uneven baking.

If the entire meal you are planning is cooked at a higher temperature say 375 - 400 degrees then obviously you would have to wait until those foods are cooked and you could reduce the oven temperature before adding the cobbler.

Choosing the Right Convection Mode for an Oven Meal

Now we come to the deciding factor that will help you achieve success when cooking a complete oven meal. Not all ovens have the same cooking modes so this is why it’s so important to understand the tools you are cooking with.

If your oven has a Convection, Convection Bake and a Convection Roast mode it can be confusing to determine which will work best. Here are some guidelines.

Convection Mode - in this mode the heat is generated from the heating elements that encircle the fan in the back of the oven. In my Gaggenau oven this mode is very powerful and browns the food well, but in other large capacity ovens I have cooked in this mode is only suited to baking several racks of cookies or other types of baking.

Convection Bake - if this is the only convection mode in your oven then it will work well for cooking an oven meal. In this mode the heat comes from the top and bottom heating elements and the fan circulates the heated air for even cooking. In some ovens the heating element around the fan may also be active, however every oven is different.

Convection Roast - if your oven features this mode then it is ideal for cooking foods that require greater intensity of heat such as when roasting. If your oven meal includes cuts of meat that cook best with more intense heat then choose this mode.

Cooking with convection has many benefits, foods have better moisture retention, large cuts of meat cook faster and we can cook on multiple racks at one time with even results with no transfer of flavor. Cooking an oven meal in convection only requires a little planning to enjoy these benefits.

If you are a fan of Chicken Panzanella salad then check out my next post for an interesting riff for an Asian style Chicken Panzanella salad, the chicken is of course cooked in Convection.

Larissa, Your Convection Enthusiast

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