Praise be, we have made it to September. This means I can finally stop making excuses and caveats for all the fruits I want to roast, and puddings I want to bake; no longer will friends and readers and husbands look at me askance when I ratchet the oven up to 200°C in pursuit of a batch of scones. Well, until the next unseasonal heat wave, anyway.
For now, I am doing rain dances, praying that my lawn will eventually rise from its almost literal ashes, and making cobbler. A cobbler can be sweet or savoury, and is made up of a stewed base, and some kind of baked dough topping; this can be cake dough or scone, American biscuit or dumpling. Cobblers are a particular favourite in the Deep South, and peach and blueberry is a classic combination in that area.
Although I like to imagine that the dish is so named because the little blobs of dough that swell and smooth whilst cooking and look like cobbles, this is not the case. The name was first recorded in 1859, but its origins remain unclear. There’s a suggestion that it is due to it being ‘cobbled together’ when the first American settlers arrived and were unable to replicate the puddings they were used to thanks to a dearth of suet. I’m quite charmed by this, but there’s little evidence to support it sadly.
My cobbles are American-style, so more scone-like than cakey, puffing up to a golden crispness, using my favourite foolproof biscuit recipe that I used for the strawberry shortcake. They are surprisingly light and fluffy, but not too sugary, which works well as they perch above the sweet fruits.
Peach and blueberry cobbler
Makes: Serves four to six
Takes: 5 minutes
Bakes: 30 minutes
For the fruit
700g tinned peaches (in juice, not syrup)
1 teaspoon cornflour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the biscuits
250g double cream
250g self raising flour
3 tablespoon light brown sugar`
2 tablespoon demerara sugar
1. Heat the oven to 180°C. Place the blueberries and peaches in a medium-sized roasting dish. Using a couple of tablespoons of peach juice, whisk the cornflour into a smooth liquid, and drizzle this over the fruit. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the fruit.
2. Stir the light brown sugar and self raising flour together, and then stir through the double cream until you have a sticky dough. Divide the dough into small balls, flatten them slightly, and spread them across the fruit layer; don’t worry if there are gaps.
3. Sprinkle the demerara sugar across the dough, and cook in the oven for 30 minutes until the cobbles are golden.
4. Allow to cool for ten minutes, before serving with thick cream.