Apple and Blackberry Cobbler

The weather is getting cooler and the nights are starting to draw in, thoughts are turning to recipes baked with seasonal fruit and spices.

Apples and blackberries are a classic combination and I often make apple and blackberry pies and crumbles.  For a change, this is a cobbler and uses buttermilk and melted butter in the ‘cobbles’ which makes the topping very tender and moist.

Apple Blackberry Cobbler2

The sweet fruit and spices all baked together makes the kitchen smell wonderful.  The finished cobbler has sweet, juicy fruit on the bottom and the gently spiced topping is soft on the inside and a little crusty and golden on the top.  It’s the perfect alternative to a crumble or a pie and really easy to make.

Although the temptation is to dive straight in the finished pudding, it’s best to leave it to cool a little before serving as the filling is incredibly hot straight from the oven.

Filling:
3-4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 punnet of sweet blackberries, washed
Juice of half a lemon
150g brown sugar
1tsp cinnamon
A pinch of ground cloves
1tbs cornflour

Topping:
250g self-raising flour
150g butter, melted
240g buttermilk
100g sugar
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp cinnamon
A little melted butter for brushing

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/375°F and butter a baking dish

Place the sliced apples, spices, cornflour, lemon juice and sugar in a pan and heat gently.  When the sugar has melted and the juices thickened a little, place into a bowl and gently stir in the blackberries.

Apple Blackberry Cobbler

Place into the buttered dish and prepare the topping.

For the topping, place the flour, salt, cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and mix together.  Make a well in the centre and pour in the melted butter and buttermilk.  Stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix.

Apple Blackberry Cobbler1

Using a medium-sized ice cream scoop, or two spoons, drop spoonfuls of the batter over the fruit and top with a little extra brown sugar.

Apple Blackberry Cobbler3

Bake for 40-45 minutes until the cobbler is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the cobbles comes out clean.  When the cobbler is removed from the oven and still hot, brush the top with a little melted butter.

Apple Blackberry Cobbler5

This is best served warm and is good with ice cream, custard, whipped cream, or just on its own.  It’s also good cold the next day.

Apple Blackberry Cobbler4

Blackberry & Lemon Friands

Blackberries are in season right now and perfect for friands

Blackberry friands

Ingredients:
6 large egg whites/250ml Two Chicks pasteurised egg whites
250g icing/powdered sugar, sieved
130g ground almonds
95g plain flour, sieved
Zest of one un-waxed lemon
160g melted butter
Blackberries – I got giant ones, so used 2-3 per cake

Preheat the oven to 180°C and butter the friand tin

Friands are so easy to make and once you have shelled out for the tin, there are so many variations to make. These can easily be made in a muffin pan too.

Blackberries are in season at the moment and I picked up some huge, absolutely delicious and sweet blackberries on special offer this weekend. The combination of the lemony cake, studded with the big juicy blackberries were a real hit in my house.

Blackberry Friands2

Method:
Briefly whisk the egg whites until broken down and a little frothy, you do not need whip them.

Add the zest, butter, icing sugar and fold in the flour until just combined.

Spoon a little mixture into each hole in the prepared tin and place in a blackberry or two. Cover the berries with the rest of the mixture, divided equally between all the holes and place another blackberry (or two) on the top.

Blackberry Friand2

Bake for around 30 minutes, until they have risen, turned golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Leave to rest for 15 minutes before gently turning out onto a wire cooling rack and dust with icing sugar and a little extra lemon zest if you like.

Blackberry Friand

Mini Blackberry Cheesecakes with Apple Roses

Apple roses have been done to death on Pinterest, but they are still delicious, fun to make and look very pretty.  These apple roses are in the middle of mini baked cheesecakes with tart blackberries.

cheesecakes

When I was a child, my uncle used to make elderberry wine.  Every year, one one day in late August, would be the day we would bring our baskets and containers and all go with him.  There was an old, disused railway bank near his house that was covered with brambles and elderberry bushes with millions of lovely purple berries.  He would get his elderberries and make the potent homemade wine and we would pick blackberries to make pies, crumbles, cakes and jam.

I really miss our family trips to forage for those lovely berries, but I still love blackberries to this day.

These mini cheesecakes are ideal for an addition to afternoon tea, a bite-sized dessert or an after-school treat.

Crust:
2 cups/approx 200g of digestive biscuit crumbs
2 tbs sugar
2oz/57g butter – melted

Cheesecake:
16oz/454g full fat and room temperature cream cheese
¼ cup/60g room temperature sour cream
1 cup/237g sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 extra large eggs
Blackberry puree – made with 1 heaped cup of fresh blackberries, 2 tbs sugar, heated until the juices run and the sugar dissolves. Push through a fine sieve to remove the seeds and leave to cool completely. You need ¼ cup of the puree. OR you can of course cheat and use ¼ cup of seedless blackberry jam.

Apple Roses:
2 crisp apples, preferably with a rosy red skin. I used Pink Lady apples
1tbs lemon juice
5tbs water

Cinnamon sugar:
¼ cup/60g caster sugar mixed with 2 tsp cinnamon.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF and line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake cases.

Mix the crumbs, sugar and butter together and divide the mixture equally into the cupcake cases, pressing down with a spoon for a firm base.

To make the filling, place the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, lemon zest and vanilla into a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat until very creamy, with no lumps.  Add the eggs and beat again until fully combined.  Stir in the blackberry puree, you can fully mix in, or leave as a marbled finish.

Carefully pour the cheesecake mixture into the prepared cupcake cases, coming up to just over half way.

For the roses, cut the apples in half, remove the core and thinly slice into half circles and place in a bowl with the water and lemon juice.  Microwave for around 1 minute until the slices soften and they are flexible.

Depending on how thick you have cut your slices, you need around 10-12 for each rose. Lay them out on a board, overlapping each slice with the next.  Sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar and roll up from one end the other as tightly as possible.  Place into the waiting case, the rose will ‘bloom’ and fill the mini cheesecake.  Repeat until you have a rose in each one and top with a little sprinkle of the cinnamon sugar.

Bake at 180ºC/350ºF for around 25 minutes until the centres are just set and allow to fully cool.  Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Apple rose closeup