Fruit cobbler

This makes a fabulous dessert when the weather turns a bit cooler in the autumn. This year has been a bumper year for homegrown apples. If you are lucky enough to have an apple tree in the garden or a local community orchard and you have managed to forage for blackberries, then this a real treat. It works well with any fruit though, including a tin of peaches.

fruit cobbler

The scones on the top are so beautifully light and airy that it feels like you are eating a delicious, sweet cloud. To achieve this airiness the dough needs to be quite sticky.

This one fed 6 people, you can adjust up and down accordingly. My dish measures 30cm x 20cm.

For the fruit:

NB. You can use any fruit for your cobbler. Soft fruit such as berries may not need pre-cooking as they will cook along with the cobbler. Fruit such as apples and pears may need pre-cooking so that they are lovely and soft by the time the cobbler is baked. If you aren’t sure then pre cook the fruit. No harm will come to fruit if it is a little over cooked. 

3 Bramley apples ( you can use any cooking apple)
2 large handfuls of blackberries (I used frozen)
40g sugar (I like the contrast of tart fruit with the sweet cobbler topping)

For the cobbler topping:

120g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
60g milk with 1 tsp lemon juice added/ buttermilk/ yoghurt
40g soft brown sugar
60g unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

Extra milk and sugar for topping


Mix the fruit and sugar together. You can stew the fruit in a preheated oven at 180C, gas mark 4, 390F for 30-35 minutes until the apple still has some resistance. You can also stew in a medium sized pan over a medium heat. It will take about 15-20 minutes. See the notes above. Place the fruit in an oven proof dish. 

Mix the milk and lemon juice together. The lemon juice adds the acidity that the bicarbonate of soda needs to aid rising.

For the cobbler, place the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub the butter through the flour. Lift a little butter and flour between your fingertips very briefly and drop back into the bowl. Lift up the next bit and repeat until the butter has been thoroughly distributed through the flour. 

Add the milk to the flour mixture and stir in using a knife until it starts to come together as a dough. It should be a sticky mixture as it is this that helps to create a lovely soft, airy cobbler. 

Flour the work surface lightly, turn the dough onto the floured surface and sprinkle with a little more flour. Roll out a little and cut into rounds using a cutter. Place the rounds on top of the fruit. 

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C, gas mark 4, 390F for about 30 minutes until the cobbler topping is golden brown.  Serve warm or cold with cream, custard or ice cream. 

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