Posted by: seasin | July 18, 2009

Mixed fruit cobbler

Colors of sin

Today we decided we’ll settle for a light dinner. Sigh. So I planned for a steak salad, to use all those wonderful tasty juicy tomatoes that Sofia offers in summer. Feeling more hungry by the minute as the afternoon progressed, I threw into our plans a couple of potatoes and a sweet potato that would be roasted and served with the salad. And then, while I was tidying up the kitchen (I absolutely can’t cook in a messy kitchen. Nay, strike that, I can’t even make a cup of tea or slice bread in a messy kitchen) I kept looking at the fruit bowl. It was colorful. And full. And I craved fruit. So I asked for permission from DB (we don’t really like desserts and we’re both watching our figure, so permission was requested :)-and given) to make a small cobbler.

I know that the last thing a girl should crave when it’s 34 degrees Celsius outside is spending one hour in a kitchen with a hot oven, but boy was it WORTH IT!!!

So here’s my mixed fruit cobbler (a completely made up recipe, because most cobbler recipes I found require a step that I absolutely can’t wrap my head around-working butter/margarine (BLEAH, who ever invented that thing should roast in hell in a big vat of the stuff)/shortening into flour “using two knives in a scissor like motion”. WTF? I love cooking and baking, but there’s no way I’m ever going to make a recipe that involves cold butter cut into small cubes “worked” into flour). Rant over. Now for the recipe 🙂

First and foremost, turn your oven on to 190 degrees Celsius and take a stick of butter out of the fridge so it can get to room temperature.

Take two medium peaches and two biggish round plums; wash, stone and slice. Take one miserable medium apple that’s been shrivelling away in the fruit bowl for Lord knows how many weeks. Wash, core, slice. Don’t bother peeling any of those things-not worth the time and we all know most of the vitamins are just under the peel, right?

Put the slices in a bowl, sprinkle with three heaped spoons of brown sugar, squeeze half a lime (the fruits I used were quite tart, but I still used the lime to prevent the apples from oxydising), add half a teaspoon of almond extract and a good sprinkle of each cinnamon and nutmeg. Leave to rest while you’re doing the batter.

In a big bowl, drop 60 g of the butter and 100 g of sugar (if, like I did, you decide at the very last  minute that the cobbler could use some red and you consider throwing in a handfull of frozen cranberries, then supplement the suggar by about 25 g. Those babies are precious looking, but they’re tart). Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract, then start creaming the mixture (that is a fancy term for just stirring the hell out of preferably with a wooden spoon, until the butter and sugar are properly blended together, the sugar starts disolving and the whole stuff starts looking like cream of mother-of-pearl. Seriously, it’s quite pretty!). In a separate small bowl, sieve 125 g of all-purpose flour, add a sprinkle of salt, a spoonfull of baking soda (or if you buy it in Bulgaria, in those little packets, just add almost all of the packet-you only need about 8 grams and for some reason all the packets I so far found were 10 grams. Don’t bother weighing, just stop right before you’ve poured the whole packet in) and about half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Or more, if you love cinnamon the way I do. Give the dry ingredients a stir, measure out 120 ml of milk in a cup, and we’re all set to assemble the batter. Start adding spoonfulls of the flour mix and drips of milk into the butter mixture, stirring gently so that everything is nicely incorporated and lumps are nowhere to be seen. Keep alternating milk and flour until you’ve put everything in-shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. The batter should have a semi-liquid consistency, sort of like a thick pancakes batter. And it should still be very pretty, smooth and pearly looking.

Now generously butter a baking dish, pour the batter in, smooth it a bit because it may not pour evenly (consistency isn’t liquid, remember?) then dump the fruit on top. Fuss with the fruit for a while, pretending to arrange it into an even layer over the batter. Then, if you’re really evil, like I am, drizzle about 50 g of port on top (and DO NOT TELL DB that his precious port ended up in the cobbler). The whole thing should look like this:

Pretty fruit

If you did everything right and didn’t exagerate with the fruit (like I did-by all means, skipp the apple, I only used it because I felt sorry for it), then while the cobbler bakes, the fruit will sink to the bottom and the batter will rise around the fruit. Of course, in order to get to that point you need to PUT THE DISH IN THE OVEN and bake for oh…45-55 minutes. It should be browned nicely and bubbling.

This is my cobbler fresh out of the oven

Too bad you can't smell it!

Too bad you can't smell it!

Spoon out into bowls and if you really feel decadent, add in each bowl a scoop of ice cream. Something simple, like vanilla. Then eat like there’s no tomorrow. And feel your heart burst with self-contentment as you watch your sweetie lick the bowl.

Here are the quantities again:

For the fruit:

2 peaches, 2 plums, one apple, handfull of cranberries (or just peaches and plums; or any other summer fruit; or just peaches but then make it about 6 medium:)

juice of half a lime, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, half a teaspoon almond extract, sprinkle of cinnamon, sprinkle of nutmeg

For the batter:

60 g butter, 100 g sugar, one teaspoon vanilla extract, 125 g all-purpose flour, pinch of salt, 8 g baking soda, one teaspoon cinnamon, 120 g milk.

Easy like Saturday evening 🙂

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