Winter Puddings

Apple and Blueberry Cobbler

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A good apple cobbler can be made with a batter or dough or, in this case, a scone topping over a pie filling. It makes a change from a crumble or pie crust and if you make this quantity of topping it will give you a batch of scones to have up your sleeve for another day (keep them in the freezer and cook from frozen for 15 minutes at 200°C/fan oven 180°C/mark 6).

the colour of blueberries with apples is lovely for this cobbler

You could use other fruit – such as plums or rhubarb – but the colour of blueberries with apples is lovely for this cobbler and the flavour works well with the fragrant bay leaves.

Serves 6.

This recipe originally appeared in House & Garden magazine, photo courtesy of Helen Cathcart

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 1kg (about 7 large) cooking apples
  • 250g blueberries
  • 1tbsp plain flour
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, large strips of zest and juice of ½

For the topping:

  • 500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 4tsp baking powder
  • 200g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 300ml buttermilk, or single cream with 1tsp lemon juice
  • 1 egg, for brushing

For the custard:

  • 3 eggs (whites and yolks), plus 2 yolks (use the leftovers from the soufflé)
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract, or seeds of 1 vanilla pod
  • 200ml milk
  • 200ml cream

Instructions

  • Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. Put them in a bowl with the other filling ingredients and mix well. Leave them to macerate for an hour or more, then fill a pie dish with the mixture.
  • Heat the oven to 190°C/fan oven 170°C/mark 5. Sieve the dry ingredients for the topping into a bowl with a large pinch of salt and stir well to combine. Add the butter and gently rub with your fingertips to form rough crumbs, or blitz briefly in a food processor.
  • Pour in the buttermilk and bring together to form a soft dough. Press into two discs and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough (about 2cm thick) on a floured surface Cut into small circles (about the diameter of a shot-glass rim) and lay the scones, not quite touching, on top of the pie filling. Brush with beaten egg.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden on top and bubbling inside. If the top is getting too brown before the apple is cooked, cover with foil. Serve with custard.

Custard

  • Whisk the eggs and the extra yolks in a bowl with the sugar and vanilla.
  • Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan until it is almost boiling, then pour it in a thin stream into the egg mix in the bowl, whisking to combine.
  • Return to the pan and cook on a very gentle heat, stirring constantly until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. This takes about 10 minutes. You can keep it warm over a pan of hot water until it is needed.
  • Wine recommendation: The honeyed sweetness, apple and citrus flavours of Denbies’ award-winning Noble Harvest 2016 would make an inspired partner for the apple and blueberry cobbler (£19.99 for 375ml; waitrosecellar.com)

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