26 August 2014
Plum and blackberry cobbler
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees or 180 degrees fan oven.
2. First prepare the fruit. Wash and cut the plums in half, twist to remove the stones, then cut each piece in half again. Wash the blackberries and remove any stalks. Place them both into an ovenproof dish.
3. Mix together the sugar, plain flour and cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture over the fruit and mix it all together. Sprinkle over the juice of a lemon, mix again, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the fruit is soft but still in whole pieces.
4. Now make the topping while the fruit is roasting. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, almonds and salt. Cut the cool butter into small pieces and rub into the flour mixture. [You could use a food processor, but I prefer to do it by hand]. Stir in the sugar and push the mixture to the sides, leaving a dip in the middle.
5. In a small saucepan, warm the yoghurt, milk and vanilla essence over a very low heat for up to a minute, stirring constantly. Pour it into the dip in the middle of the flour mixture, then gently pull the topping together, using a metal knife, just until it is all combined to make a dough.
6. Cut the dough into about 8 pieces and lightly form each piece into a rough sphere, then flatten slightly and place each dab of dough on top of the fruit. Sprinkle the top with a little Demerara sugar and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cobbler is risen and golden brown.
This pudding is delicious served hot with custard, vanilla ice cream, fresh cream or crème fraiche.
Autumn is almost upon us, and this lovely rustic pudding is a great way to use seasonal fruits like juicy plums and plump blackberries. The deep red fruit and golden brown crust are really appealing to the eye, and the slightly sharp flavour of the fruits contrast well with the sweet crumbly cobbler. It is a lighter dish than most crumbles and pies too as it’s not too heavy on butter.
Cobblers are said to originate from the early American colonies, where people used ingredients that they could find there to make a biscuit or dumpling dough which was dabbed on top of a dish. There are several theories about the origin of the word; it may refer back to the appearance of a street laid with cobblestones, or perhaps to the English phrase “to cobble together”, meaning to roughly throw something together.
A cobbler can be sweet, using fruits such as peaches, apples, apricots and cherries, or savoury, as in beef cobbler. It is usually an easy dis