Three Things; Monday Lunch – Blackberry and Apple Cobbler

Blackberry and Apple Cobbler

Today’s recipe couldn’t be based on anything other than blackberry and apple following on from yesterday’s autumnal post, so here is our cobbler. A cobbler is a fruit pudding with a scone topping which steams from the bottom and bakes from the top giving you a crisp top and soft juicy underlayer. This recipe is something Laura makes all the time and never measures anything so it is made as described below. If you want proper measurements please post a comment and we’ll work something out.

Bowl of blackberries and a cooking apple

You will need:
* some cooking apples we used just one but it was a real whopper from Sue’s sister’s garden. I would say you would usually need about three.
* self raising flour
* Sugar – white gives a bog standard sweetness, for a more caramel feel to the apple try substituting dark brown sugar or Demerara instead.
* butter (margarine if you must)
* milk
* blackberries

Apple and blackberry cobbler fresh from the oven and home made custard

Put the oven on to about 170C 325F or gas mark 3 to preheat.

Peel and chop the cooking apples into bits (thumb sized wedges works ok) pop the wedges into an oven proof dish or casserole and sprinkle on the blackberries.

Sprinkle over sugar to taste (if using eating apples then just add a tiny bit, add a shed load if using cooking apples though)

Add a little liquid perhaps a splash of apple juice and a dash of vanilla essence. It can be just water if you don’t have such things to hand.

Tip some flour into a bowl. For a medium sized cobbler to serve six (or three to four hungry folk) you could use about six heaped tablespoons!

Take your butter from the fridge as you need it to be cold when it combines with the flour and grate it into the bowl. Rub the butter in a little at a time with your fingertips until the flour begins to look like damp sand. Don’t rub between your palms as you will melt the butter.

Add some sugar to the flour mixture and stir. You can vary this as you like but a couple of tablespoons makes a lovely sweet dough.

Splash in some milk with one hand and use the other held like a menacing claw to mix into a sticky dough. Mix gently just bringing together the dough loosely. Over mixing will cause the dough to toughen and you will get a hard scone. Don’t worry if the mixture seems too sticky to be rolled out (like you would a scone) as you won’t be rolling it.

A traditional cobbler has individual scones placed like dumplings on the top but we tend to just pop the soft dough as a single gooey lump on top of the fruit. Squash it down a little bit but leave rustic spaces for the juices to bubble up. Making it in this way ensures the softest scone as it hasn’t been rolled and re rolled out many times.

You can paint the top with a little beaten egg to glaze if you want to have a shiny brown top, we rarely do this to be honest.

Pop the lot in the oven for about 20 minutes or until a knife plunged into it’s very heart comes out clean and not covered in raw dough.

Served with custard so thick you'd have to cut  it with a knife

You may serve this with double cream or ice cream although we would recommend custard so thick you can stand a spoon up in it, delicious. Please don’t even think about making a low fat version with creme fraiche and low fat margarine, you would be missing the point of this lovely autumnal comfort food.