Apple, peach and blackberry cobbler... recipe by Rick Stein

With plenty of apples and blackberries in the house  cake was in order. My first thought were crumble - as it is favourite with my two little helpers but... How many crumbles can one eat before one gets bored of them.... Just by a pure coincidence, while flipping through a magazine I stumbled across something called cobbler. I've heard about them many times, but never really gave them much notice. Well, now was the time! :) Went "on-line" immediately and started looking for a good, reliable recipe and who's better to trust (not only when making something for the very first time) by one and only Rick Stein! And voila! I just knew I can't go wrong with his recipe! The result is just fantastic. A topping which is something between a sponge cake and a bound cake. Very light, not dense at all (which I was afraid of) and a nice, thin kind of crust on the top. So - my fruit choice (and I sauteed the apples in cider and sugar to make them softer) and Rick's recipe for cobbler resulted in a dish that I can't get enough of! And if you add some vanilla custard on the side AND a cup of coffee! Recipe for a success! :)

"Cobbler refers to a variety of dishes, particularly in the United States and United Kingdom, consisting of a fruit or savoury filling poured into a large baking dish and covered with a batter, biscuit, or pie crust before being baked. Cobblers originated in the early British American colonies. English settlers were unable to make traditional suet puddings due to lack of suitable ingredients and cooking equipment, so instead covered a stewed filling with a layer of uncooked plain biscuits or dumplings, fitted together. The origin of the name cobbler is uncertain, although it may be related to the now archaic word cobeler, meaning "wooden bowl"." - by

How to make it...

- 225 g self-raising flour 
- 2 teaspoon baking powder 
- 75 g chilled butter, diced
- 100 g caster sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
- a pinch of salt 
- 1 medium egg 
- 100 ml buttermilk 
- 15 g flaked almonds
Fruit used:
- 6 apples, pealed & deseeded, roughly chopped and precooked
- 4 peaches, pealed and roughly chopped
- 1 cup of blackberries

Prepare, spread out your chosen fruit in an oven proof dish adding about 100 g sugar, depending on how ripe/sour your fruit are (if you're using apples you might want to precook them a little with sugar, as to soften them). Preheat the oven to 190 C.
Sift the flour, baking powder, the 100 g of caster sugar and a pinch of salt into a bowl or a food processor, add the butter and work together until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
Break the egg into the buttermilk and beat together well. Add to the dry ingredients and mix together lightly into a soft, sticky dough. Drop walnut-sized spoonfuls of the mixture over the top of the damsons, leaving a little space between each one, then sprinkle with the flaked almonds and the remaining 1 tbsp of sugar.

Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden and bubbling, covering it loosely with a sheet of foil if it is browning a little too quickly. It is done when a skewer, pushed into the middle of the cobbler topping, comes away clean. Leave to cool briefly before serving with some custard, double cream or crème fraîche.


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