How to thicken fruit cobblers

Is it better to use cornstarch or flour to thicken cobblers, or is there a better choice?

How to thicken fruit cobblers

Some kind of starch is typically what’s used to thicken cobblers (and pies, slumps, or grunts, such as in our Mixed Berry & Cornmeal Slump). Their thickening powers come from their ability to absorb water, which causes the starch granules to swell and burst, thickening the liquid.

There are grain starches (flour and cornstarch) and root starches (tapioca and arrowroot). Flour makes the filling opaque, so not the best choice for cobblers. Cornstarch looks good in fruit desserts, but freezing can ruin the set, as can whisking or heating too long. Tapioca is an equally good thickener, but it can clump when added. And arrowroot thickens and freezes well, but it’s pricier.

No one starch fits all — just follow the recipe!

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