Fruit cobblers are basically a fruit based pudding with a topping made with a scone type mixture. You can use any fruits that you have to hand, either fresh or from your freezer. It is possible to use combinations of fruits, such as apple and blackcurrants or blackberries with cinnamon or cloves. Blackcurrants and josterberries are too strong tasting when used alone, but go very well with apples or pears. Apparently they are called cobblers as the topping looks like a layer of cobbles.
My recipes have no added saturated or hydrogenated fats, and only 25% of the total fat of a traditional recipe. There is no added salt and a reduced 25% sugar content compared with a traditional recipe. Even this can even be replaced with a low calorie sweetener if you so wish.
The utensils required are simple. A 20 cm ovenproof dish is suitable for the given quantities, a large mixing bowl, a set of scales, a measuring jug, a sieve, a mixing spoon or fork, and some measuring spoons. What could be easier!!
Microwave cooking of Cobblers.
Fruit cobblers are designed to be cooked in an oven. However, if you only have an ordinary microwave cooker, it is possible to make a credible version of the cobbler in it.
Prepare the pudding as per the recipe. Place the dish in your microwave and try cooking on Low setting for 15 to 20 min. As the power of microwaves and the power levels differ so much between makes of microwaves, it is not possible to be more precise. Remember, that the cobbler must be cooked long enough to ensure that the fruit is cooked and the topping cobbler must be firm. As a microwave does not brown the topping, lightly sprinkle the topping with soft brown sugar before cooking.
Prepare some 500 g of forced Rhubarb (see growing rhubarb), by washing and cutting up into slices and place in the bottom of your ovenproof dish. Only fill your dish about half full to prevent liquid bubbling over the edge of the dish while cooking. Sprinkle 1 tbs of sauce flour or plain flour over the Rhubarb. (The flour will thicken any liquid which forms as the fruit is cooked). Now sprinkle ½ tsp of ground ginger over the Rhubarb and mix the fruit well with a spoon. Sprinkle 2 or 3 tbs of sugar or artificial sweetener over the Rhubarb and set aside. Remember you can always add more sugar or artificial sweetener to your taste, when the cobbler is ready to be eaten.
You can replace the ground ginger with some 50 g of crystallized ginger pieces or stem ginger pieces in syrup, or to taste.
If available, you can add a handful of washed, chopped Sweet Cicely leaves to the rhubarb. This was the traditional addition to rhubarb to counter the oxalic acid and add some sweetness. Conveniently, it is in season at the same time as the forced rhubarb.
Preparation of the Cobbler mixture.
Sieve 225 g of plain flour ( 1.5 cup ) and 3 tsp of baking powder into a large bowl. Sprinkle 1 tbs of sugar onto the flour. If you wish, add 1/2 tsp of grated nutmeg.
Measure 125 ml (1/2 cup) of milk into a measuring jug and add 20 g (2 tbs) of liquid vegetable oil and 1 Tbsp of sugar and whisk well. Add 1 tsp of vanilla extract if you wish.
Add the liquid ingredients to the flour and stir gently until they combine into a soft dough. Tear off scone sized pieces of the dough and place in a layer on top of the fruit. If you wish you can add a light sprinkling of caster sugar over the top.
Place the ovenproof dish in a preheated oven at 200 C (gas mark 6) and bake for 25 to 30 min.
Placing pieces of the dough on top of the fruit allows some of the steam from the cooking of the fruit, to escape and helps to avoid the liquid from boiling over the edge of the dish.
Prepare some 500 g of Gooseberries by topping and tailing them and add to your 20 cm ovenproof dish. Add 2 tbs of elderflower cordial or a handful of washed elderflowers if available.
Sprinkle 1 tbs of sauce flour or plain flour over the fruit (The flour will thicken any liquid which forms as the fruit is cooked).
Sprinkle 2 or 3 tbs of sugar or artificial sweetener over the fruit and mix the fruit well with a spoon and set aside. Remember you can always add more sugar or artificial sweetener to your taste, when the cobbler is ready to be eaten.
Prepare the Cobbler mixture as detailed in the previous recipe, place on top of the fruit and bake as before.