What is a cobbler? Basically, it is a bottomless fruit pie with a sweet biscuit topping rather than a crust. Confused? Don’t be. It is SO SIMPLE.
With fruit summer fruits, this is what my mother used to make for weekend desserts. Simple and DELICIOUS. Enjoy.
A whole bunch of fruit – I used about 12 stalks of rhubard, 2 apples, and about 8 strawberries
A dusting of sugar for the fruit (or something to sweeten it – you could use honey, white sugar, demarara sugar – whatever you have to hand)
1 cup flour
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Clean and chop rhubarb into piece. Mine were about half-inch wide chunks.
Peel, core and dice the apples.
Quarter the strawberries (or smaller if you don’t mind them cooking down and infusing strawberry flavour throughout the cobbler).
Line the bottom of a baking dish with the fruit, and dust with sugar (about one or two teaspoons lightly sprinkled over the fruit).
Bake for 20-30 minutes (you need to cook the rhubarb down before adding cobbler)
Prepare the cobbler.
Whisk flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, butter, and vanilla together.
Note: if you do not have buttermilk, you can use milk, add a squeeze of lemon, and let curdle. This works. It is more of a consistency thing that you are after if you substitute.
In a third small bowl, add the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar; set aside.
Stir the liquid mix into the flour mix until just combined (no obvious bits of flour left).
Remove the cobbler filling from the oven and stir.
Take the cobbler dough and break of blobs and arrange them on top of the fruit.
Sprinkle the tops of the biscuits with the sugar.
Bake for another 20 minutes or until the biscuit topping is golden brown and finished.
Scandinavian television is all the rage. First there was Sarah Lund and her jumper on “The Killing”. Then there was Borgan and the ins and outs of Danish politics. And now “The Bridge” with Saga Noren offering endless opportunity for continuing our obsession with female Scandinavian television characters.
And there is also Scandinavian cooking. It is impossible to get a booking at Noma (although that hasn’t stopped me from trying on the first Monday of the month for the last 6 months!). In 2011 we also saw the release of Signe Johansen’s book “Scandilicious” published by Saltyard, soon to be followed by her “Scandilicious Baking” book in July.
I’ve followed Sig on Twitter for years and have had the chance to attend her #EatScandi brunch and dinner sessions. And I have her book. I absolutely *love* her book. With 80 carefully chosen recipes, the book showcases simple Scandinavian cooking. Some of my favourite recipes include cardammom cinammon rolls, meatballs (oh my goodness the best meatballs ever!) and this past weekend I made Jarlsberg & Fennel Loaf.
In the book the recipe is for muffins. But I felt like making a cheesy loaf. The recipe can be used for both – either scoop into a muffin tin, or bake in a bread pan. If baking as a loaf, it takes about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. The fennel and cheese combination is WONDERFUL. I highly recommend this for a savoury breakfast treat. Or for a lunchtime snack, with melted jarslberg on a slice of bread. Enjoy.
150g wholewheat spelt flour
150g refined spelt flour
(note: I am still baking with the batch of Ideas In Food flour I made, so used 300g of that as a substitute. If you don’t have spelt to hand you can easily use wheat flours)
1 tbsp fennel seeds
½ tsp mustard powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper (I didn’t have cayenne to hand so substituted chili powder, which is an okay although not ideal alternative)
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 generous tbsp Marmite or other yeast extract spread (about 20g)
150g whole milk (so 150ml)
1 medium egg
40g melted butter
100g Jarlsberg, coarsely grated
Note: this recipe sucks up liquid. You probably will need to add more milk or water to get a batter like consistency from the mix. Don’t worry, just add a little bit more a little at a time until you have a batter rather than a dough.
Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Grease your muffin or loaf tin so that the batter does not stick.
Sift all the dry ingredients in to a large bowl and stir to evenly mix the ingredients.
Dissolve the Marmite in a tablespoon or two of boiling water, and add to the milk. Stir in your melted butter and also your egg.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add all the liquid ingredients. Stir and then fold in the cheese until the mixture is just combined.
Spoon batter into muffin tin, but not all the way to the top as it will rise. (Or if you are like me, pour into a bread tin).
Bake for 20-25 minutes for larger size muffins (check with a toothpick – poke into muffin and if clean when removed they are done). I found the loaf to take about 40-45 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle a bit of extra Jarlsberg on top while it cools for a lovely cheesy topping.
More on Scandilicious
If you want to learn more about the Scandilicious books, and also the cooking classes being offered by Sig in central London, please visit her website. I highly recommend going to a brunch or supper if you get a chance – the food was outstanding and the crowd of people that attend are so interesting!
If you want some guided tuition on this recipe from Sig herself, I’ve included her YouTube below. Enjoy!
“It is, in my view, the duty of an apple to be crisp and crunchable, but a pear should have such a texture as leads to silent consumption.”
I tend to cook and bake for and from emotion. I like the feelings that the aroma of cooking or baking evoke in my mind, the sentiments that the mixture of colours can induce, and the passion that the tactile sensations of working with my hands stirs up. I can alter my mood, turn sadness into a mellow joy, or fortify a feeling, making the comfort of home feel more like Home, by making something in the kitchen. Some of these emotions are inherent within things like kneading bread or the smell of freshly milled grain or the feel of butter on my hands. Others are produced through the discovery of something new, the fusion of familiar things into an unfamiliar but very pleasing creation. A first-time elation. This recipe was one of those moments for me.
I love both the delicate, syrupy sweetness of pears and the hot, fragrant spice of ginger. And with these muffins the balance is just perfect; neither overpowers the other. The pears’ juiciness make these muffins incredibly moist and infuse the crumbs with flavour and the ginger adds a wonderful edge that works to enhance, rather than hide, the pears’ sweetness.
Pear and Ginger Muffins
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped pears, about 1/4-inch dice
6 tsp raw/turbinado sugar
Preheat the oven to 400º F.
Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper muffin cups.
Combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and ground ginger in a large mixing bowl.
In another bowl (or large measuring cup), whisk the sour cream, oil, honey, and eggs together.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Add the diced pears.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and sprinkle each one with 1/2 tsp of the raw/turbinado sugar. (If you do not have raw/turbinado sugar you can use more brown sugar here instead.)
Friday May 04th 2012, 11:22
Filed under: Pie,Savoury
Pie is an occasional weekend treat in my house; mainly because I prefer to make my own pastry and that makes it perfect for a weekend when there is time. I prefer to make and eat savoury pies so the rare occasions I have time that is what I tend to make. Last weekend was unseasonably wet and windy and I holed up at home on Saturday evening to make pie; we had chicken and mushrooms so that became the pie. You can make the pastry ahead and freeze it but I am never that organized plus I like the whole process of making it from scratch at the time. You can buy pre-made pastry, which reduces the amount of work required. Pick one made with butter as it tastes better.
I make the pie filling first so that it has time to cook and cool before starting on the pastry. This pie was made for two greedy people but you can easily scale up the filling to make it for more. This amount of pastry easily covers a large pie dish and would work well for smaller pies if you prefer individual pies. If you need to increase the amount of pastry keep the proportions the same and it will work.
250g chicken (breast or thigh) – chopped into 2cm cubes
125g fresh mushrooms sliced (whatever you prefer or have to hand)
20g dried wild mushrooms
250 ml boiling water
Small onion finely chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
125g plain flour
125g chilled diced butter
50 ml iced water
1 egg mixed with 1tbsp milk
The dried wild mushrooms give this a good depth of flavour so I keep the seasoning very simple.
1. Add dried mushrooms to jug and add 250 ml of boiling water. Soak for at least 20 minutes.
2. Drain mushrooms and reserve soaking liquid as stock for pie filling.
3. Chop wild mushrooms finely.
4. Warm the olive oil in a pan add onion and soften.
5. Add the chopped chicken and colour surface.
6. Add the sliced fresh mushrooms and mix through.
7. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes.
8. Add wild mushrooms and soaking liquid and stir through.
9. Add mustard, stir through and season to taste.
10. Bring to simmer and cook until chicken is tender.
11. Allow to cool.
The pastry is a basic rough puff pastry. You can replace it with premade/frozen puff pastry if you wish. Pick one made with butter as it tastes better. I start the pastry off while the filling is cooking.
1. Make a well in flour.
2. Add butter and salt to flour.
3. Work butter and salt into flour gradually using fingertips,
4. When flour is grainy add iced water slowly to form a dough you may not need all of it. Do not overwork dough.
5. Roll into ball, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 20 minutes.
6. Flour work surface.
7. Roll out pastry into 20 x 40 cm rectangle.
8. Fold the two sides into middle and give it a quarter turn.
9. Roll out again and fold as before.
10. Wrap in cling film and put in fridge for 30 minutes.
11. Repeat the rolling and folding process another 2 times. Making a total of four turns.
12. Wrap in cling film and return to the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
You can make individual ones but I prefer one big pie. Adapt the process below accordingly if you want to make individual pies.
1. Add cool pie filling to pie dish, season to taste and then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is larger than pie dish and about 3mm thick.
3. Brush edge of pie dish with egg wash and cover with pastry. Tuck pastry in around filling and then press against edge of dish to form a seal.
4. Cut off excess pastry with scissors or a sharp knife and brush top of pie with egg wash.
5. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
7. You can use excess pastry to decorate pie; rollout to 1.5 mm if you want to do this. Cut leaves or crescents with a sharp knife. Arrange around edge of pie. Brush with remaining egg wash.
8. Use a sharp knife to cut a small hole in centre of pie.
9. Bake for 30 minutes.