I buy fruit with the best of healthy eating intentions. I arrange newly-bought fruit in my ornate Morrocan bowl, where it sits colourfully and proudly, looking good enough to inspire a still-life painting. And then it kinda gets forgotten about, remaining a pretty feature on the coffee table along with the candles and books that sit by the bowl. The vegetables get a lot more attention in this house, cooked in every which way or eaten raw in salads. But the fruit… sadly non.
My neglected fruit was at the brink of being binned yesterday, but a last-minute rescue operation transformed wrinkly, soft nectarines and a green-turned-brown-skinned pear into sweet, fruity, doughy bliss, perfect for a warm summer’s night.
All of the recipes on this blog thus far have been my own, and although I have tweaked this quite a bit, it originally comes from Belinda Jeffrey’s Mix & Bake. I couldn’t resist sharing it with you. The original recipe includes plums and apples, perfect for a wintery dessert. My version of this wonderful cobbler is exactly that, cobbled together fruit of the week from my lovely bowl.
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon caster sugar
small pinch salt
50 g cold butter
1 cup milk
Icing sugar for dusting
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Wash and roughly cut up the fruit into large chunks, also removing the skin from the nectarines. Ensure all of the fruit is nice and dry, then pour it into a baking dish. In the past I have used a round and deep ceramic dish, but a loaf tin is also good. Coat the fruit in sugar and mix through well, then place the dish in the hot oven for at least 10 minutes.
In a food processor, place the flour, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and salt and whiz until just combined, for about half a minute. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the food processor. Pulse the butter through until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Pour in the milk and using a heavy spoon, mix it through until the mixture is just combined and very thick. Just a little deviation here… I used lactose-free milk and dairy-free margarine to make this dessert dairy-free for Mr R., and it still worked beautifully.
Remove the fruit and spoon the doughy mixture on top, spreading it as evenly as you can. Don’t worry about making it perfect – you’ll be fighting a losing battle with this tough batter and an el rustico look is best for this dessert.
Bake the cobbler for about 20 minutes or until the topping has risen and is golden brown. Serve warm with dusted icing sugar over the top and with ice-cream or cream or the lot!