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

Pumpkin and Raisin Loaf Cake

This spiced pumpkin cake is very easy to make, incredibly moist and full of plump raisins.  The glaze is made with dark brown sugar and pecans and has a flavor like bonfire toffee.  Just the thing on a cold autumn night.

pumpkin loaf

Cake:
A little butter for greasing the tin
2 cups plain/all-purpose flour
¾ cup dark brown sugar
¾ cup caster sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup pecans – roughly chopped
½ cup raisins

Glaze:
2oz butter
¼ cup dark brown/molasses sugar
2 tbs milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup icing/powdered sugar
¼ cup Pecans – roughly chopped

pumpkin loaf indoor

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/375°F and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment

Mix together the flour, baking powder, soda, spice, and salt.

In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, oil and eggs until light and airy and then add the sour cream and pumpkin. Beat until smooth.

On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients until just incorporated. Stir in the raisins.

Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for around 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

pumpkin loaf1

Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes to cool and settle, before placing on a cooling rack. You can glaze when still a little warm, but not hot as it will just run off.

When the cake has cooled enough, prepare the glaze.

pumpkin loaf2

Place all the ingredients, except the pecans in a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until it comes up to a boil. Whisk together for a couple of minutes until smooth and thickened. Finish by adding the pecans.

This dark and bubbling glaze will be phenomenally hot, so allow it to cool for a few moments before pouring over the cake.

pumpkin loaf slice

Enjoy with a hot chocolate or good hot coffee.

Baked Pumpkin French Toast

This is full of warm autumnal spices, brown sugar and pumpkin. The inside is soft, fluffy and smooth – all topped with a crisp, brown sugar and pecan streusel.

Pumpkin bake2

I think this is the perfect weekend breakfast or brunch dish to make you feel warm and cozy on a chilly autumn day with the family.

It’s super easy to prepare and is actually better if it is prepared the night before you want to bake it. Just whisk the custard ingredients together, pour over the bread cubes and refrigerate. The streusel topping should be scattered over the casserole just before baking.

Pumpkin bake1

Ingredients:
Butter for greasing the dish
1 large loaf of brioche or challah, cut into cubes
8 large eggs
1 ½ cup/360ml of whole milk
1 ½ cup/360ml of double/heavy cream
Zest of one orange
1tbs vanilla extract
½ cup brown sugar – lightly packed
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree (about half a can)
2tsp pumpkin pie spice
1tsp cinnamon
½ cup raisins
Pinch of salt

Streusel topping:
2/3 cups/80g plain/all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed soft brown sugar
Small handful of pecans, roughly broken into pieces
1tsp cinnamon
113g/4oz/1 stick of cold butter cut into dice

Warm maple syrup for serving

Method:
Butter the casserole dish

Streusel:
Mix the flour, sugar and cinnamon together in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted. Add the butter and mix until the topping resembles rough breadcrumbs. Stir in the pecans and set aside. This step can easily be done by hand by rubbing in the butter. Set aside while you make the pumpkin custard.

Pumpkin bake3.5

Method:
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, pumpkin, vanilla, spices, zest and sugar in a large bowl until fully incorporated and smooth.

Pile the bread cubes into the casserole dish, scattering a few raisins throughout. Pour over the custard, making sure all the cubes are soaked. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours, or overnight if this going to be baked for breakfast.

When you are ready to bake the casserole, pre-heat the oven to 180°C/360°F and scatter over the streusel. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and then bake for a further 30 minutes or until the custard is set and the top is crunchy, browned and caramelised.

Pumpkin bake4

Serve hot with warmed maple syrup and good hot coffee for a perfect Autumnal weekend or holiday breakfast.