Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Apple Cobbler

Harvest time again! We have three minarette apple trees in the garden - these are trees which don't grow much more than 2 metres tall and are kept pruned into narrow columns. This makes them ideal for small gardens, but so far only one of them really justifies it's existence with a good crop of apples. The other two have only given a few apples each year, although weather conditions have been very difficult around the time the fruit should be setting, for the past couple of years. The trees aren't fully grown yet, so I'll give them more of a chance to become productive before giving up on them.

One of the trees which only gives a handful of fruit is a dual purpose apple called Broadholm Beauty; this is an apple sweet enough to eat raw, but which also collapses like a Bramley when cooked. As I only had 4 apples this year I wanted to use them in something where the flavour of the apple remained pure, but where I could still add flavour to the dish. I decided to make a Cobbler and add more flavour to the dough topping. To me, a 'cobbler' is cooked fruit with cut out scones on top - I found a lot of recipes going by the name of 'cobbler' with wetter toppings which were scooped onto the fruit, and which then merged together when cooked, not what I wanted.

In the end, I dispensed with recipes and went ahead with a simple scone dough - 160g SR flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 40g butter, 25g caster sugar, a mixture of sour cream and milk to mix a soft dough - to which I added the grated zest of a small orange and 25g dried cranberries. It's so nice to be using Autumn flavours again! I patted the dough out to a circle to fit my pie dish, and cut it into 8 wedges, rather than cut out circles of dough and have to re-roll trimmings, which are never as good as the first scones cut. I also pre-cooked the apples, as scones cook so quickly; these did not need added sugar but that's a matter of taste and the variety of apples used. I think there were probably around 700g of apples before peeling and coring, and these quantities of ingredients made 4 portions.

I arranged 7 of the wedges on top of the cooked apples, brushed them with milk and sprinkled with a little demerara sugar, then baked at 200C for about 20 minutes, until the cobblers were risen and golden brown. I left out one scone wedge to make sure there was space between them after cooking - this was cooked separately as a cook's treat!

This is a dessert to eat warm, with custard or cream (although I ate my portion with low-fat yogurt!). It was really good to be able to taste the apple properly, while the added cranberries and orange gave the topping a more interesting flavour and texture. In an ideal world, I would have used more apples, but I didn't want to adulterate our harvested apples with other fruit before we had tasted them - at least half as much apple again would have been better. I'll definitely be adding flavour to cobbler toppings again!

8 comments:

belleau kitchen said...

what a stunner!... I made a savoury cobbler last night, the first i've ever made... and it was good... such an excellent idea to bung scones on top of stuff... who'd of thought?... yours looks beautiful and you're very lucky to have apple trees, wish I had even one..x

Chele said...

I love cobbler, it is a real autumn / winter treat. I have to say this is a very sophisticated version, my cobbler topping is usually just dolloped on in no particular fashion but I like how yours is more uniform.

Phil in the Kitchen said...

I like that use of orange and cranberries in the topping - sounds delicious. I agree with you about the topping - I'm not too certain about the sloppier toppings. I've thought about planting a minarette apple tree or two in the past but I was put off by a neighbour who had three trees but rarely seemed to get more than a few fruit. Perhaps the type of tree makes them more sensitive to problems somehow.

Suelle said...

You might be right about the trees, Phil. However, it's nice to pick and eat straight from the tree, even if it's only a few fruit!

Foodycat said...

I like the wedges of cobbler topping! Looks much more attractive than the boulders I've seen before.

Suelle said...

Thanks Foodycat - perhaps this need for neatness is because I'm a scientist, not an artist!

Caroline said...

Your cobbler looks lovely. I have to admit to never having made one, but a combined love of crumbles and scones means that I should really give this a try. I like the wedges too - much more practical. I've started cutting my go-to scone recipe into squares - much quicker and saves re-rolling.

snowy said...

The cobbler looks great. Love the idea of scones as the topping, and the flavours sound good too.