Brenda Stanley
Belle's Fruity Cobbler

All summer my husband gathers downed trees and brush and piles them up behind our house. We live out in the country, and when I say “behind our house,” I mean way out in the pasture. In the dead of winter, my husband invites all our friends over for what he calls “The Redneck Barbecue.” This involves a huge bonfire and a bunch of people huddled around it trying to convince each other it is a great idea. Are we having fun yet? Disregard the teeth chattering.

I tell you this because I feel the only reason these people return each year is because I always bake up several large trays of my delicious fruity cobbler. Yep, I’m taking credit. When I pull it out of the oven, the fruit is bubbling and the topping is crisp and hot, and a scoop of ice cream melts on top, making it necessary to serve in a bowl.

If you follow this column at all, you know I love simple, and this dish is one of the best examples of this. Only a few simple ingredients, and this bakes up into a sweet and fruity, fluffy and buttery delight.

This also gives me the excuse to spend as much time as possible inside the house staying warm. Do I need to watch it bake? No. But I also don’t need to lose the feeling in my feet. It’s a win-win.

Belle’s Fruity Cobbler

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2 cans pie filling (any flavor)

1 box yellow cake mix, dry

4 tablespoon butter, melted

½ cups walnuts, chopped (optional)

Pour the pie filling into a 13-by-9-inch baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Spread the dry cake mix on top and then drizzle the melted butter over the cake mix. Sprinkle with nuts, if desired. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Brenda Stanley is the mother of five children, including two sets of

twins, and a grandmother of three. She is a cookbook author and

novelist. Her website is at