This recipe is a bit fussier than cobblers I've made in the past and takes a bit longer. It's also tastier and keeps better, so for me, at least, the tradeoff is worthwhile. The biggest time commitment is pitting the damn cherries, so have an effective and efficient pitter on hand before even contemplating this recipe.Sour Cherry Cobbler
The timing here, ideally, is that you make (and start to bake) the biscuit topping while the cherries macerate, and then you cook the cherry syrup while the biscuits are in the oven, and everything is ready for assembly at about the same time. This requires pitting the cherries in advance! You can also pit the cherries in advance and stick the macerating cherries in the fridge for several hours (even overnight) and then make the biscuits and cherry syrup later, but once you've made the biscuit topping, you are committed.
The recipe as given fills a 9x13 baking dish. It can easily be halved for an 8x8 dish.
1 1/4 cups sugar
3-4 Tbs cornstarch or tapioca flour (depending on how juicy the cherries are)
4 lbs (6-8 cups) fresh sour cherries, pitted (NOT sweet Bing cherries!)
1 cup dry red wine (or cranberry juice if you don't do wine, but I vote for the booze)
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
6 Tbs sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbs (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1 cup buttermilk
Make the filling: stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl. Add the cherries and stir to combine. Add the wine and let the cherries macerate for at least 30 minutes. Drain the cherries in a colander set over a medium bowl. Put the cherries in the baking dish; bring the juices and the cinnamon stick to a simmer in a small-to-medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking frequently, until the liquid thickens to a syrupy consistency (about five minutes). Discard cinnamon stick and stir in almond extract. Pour hot juices over cherries in baking dish.
While the cherries macerate, make the topping: In a food processor, combine flour, 6 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Scatter butter pieces over and process until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 15 one-second pulses. (If you don't have a food processor: whisk dry ingredients together and cut in butter using a pastry comb or a couple of forks or however you usually make biscuits.) Transfer to medium bowl; add buttermilk and toss with rubber spatula to combine. Scoop 12 biscuits onto baking sheet, spacing them 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart. (If halving the recipe, scoop 9 smallish biscuits.) Sprinkle biscuits evenly with a tablespoon or two of sugar and bake until very lightly browned on tops and bottoms, about 15 minutes. Remove biscuits, but don't turn off oven.
Arrange hot biscuits over filling. Bake cobbler until filling is bubbling and biscuits are deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack at least 10 minutes or you will burn your mouth, not that I know this from experience or anything. Leftovers, if there are any, keep surprisingly well in the fridge for several days.