7/15/2010 11:53:00 PM

Oh lordy, hasn't it been freeeezing lately! These are the days I'm glad that I have a stash of cobbler topping in my freezer. The story goes like this:

The day after the housewarming, we were invited to a friend's house for dinner, and I had the great idea that I'd bring dessert, despite the epic night before.

All day long I was tossing up between different desserts I could prepare ahead - blueberry blintzes and apple pie were at the top of my list, but I then realised apple pie would be a safer choice and went and bought all the ingredients. Then I got home and realised that, indeed, I still don't have a rolling pin and pastry was out of the question. D'oh!

I thought about making crumble, but I've done that a million times before, and besides, I need custard with crumble, and there's no way that fresh custard will travel. (NO carton custard for me, thank-you!)

Then I thought that I could try apple cobbler! (One of those rustic American puddings - similar to a grunt, a slump, a crumble...) I have made Nigella's Red Slump before, but I wanted something totally covered in crunchy topping goodness, not sparsely dotted.

I used a recipe from Smitten Kitchen, substituting apples for her rhubarb. Deb's recipe is a pretty standard scone dough, and I used Jamie Oliver's "grate the butter" tip to make it easier. Well, I say "standard", but it did have one unusual ingredient... hardboiled eggs!

I've never seen hard-boiled eggs used as an ingredient in baking, but apparently it makes the finished product cakier and sandier. Deb's version looked pretty damned delicious, so I was happy to give it a go. You just grate them into the flour and rub the butter in as normal.

Once the dough disks were formed, I stashed them in the fridge (I think you're supposed to leave them for a few hours but I didn't have time), and cooked up the apples.

I peeled, cored and chopped some granny smiths, and cooked them in a pan with some butter, castor sugar and the seeds of a vanilla pod. As they were going in the oven afterwards, I just let them soften around the edges, not cook through.

Then it was time to go! We put the apples in a tupperware container, gladwrapped the dough discs on the tray, and took them, and a pie dish, across town to our friends' place.

I assembled the cobbler whilst Zachy was putting the finishing touches on dinner (it was roast pumpkin risotto and beetroot/feta/chickpea salad!), and shoved it in the oven just before we sat down to eat.

Mark and Zach have an insanely hot fan-forced oven, and about halfway through the allotted cooking time it really started to smell like cobbler! I ran to the oven to pull out this golden brown beauty...

Woah! I love how much the dough discs expanded and rose! Huge biscuit-to-fruit ratio, just the way I like it! But if you are not a biscuit-fiend, then definitely up the fruit. Juicy fruits (actual fruit, not the chewing gum) would be particularly suitable - the dough can definitely accommodate!

We had it with vanilla ice-cream, perfect. I was a little nervous about the hardboiled egg, but apart from a golden colour, you really couldn't tell that there was anything unusal about the dessert.

Mmm... hot cakey apple goodness.

As you can see, I only needed 12 dough discs to top the cobbler... the rest were stashed in the freezer for a rainy day. That 'rainy day' came in the form of a real rainy day, a couple of weeks after. It was cold, I was hungry. I didn't need any more encouragement to get the cobbler discs out!

I also had some frozen berries in the freezer, so used them as well. I chopped up a granny smith apple, mixed the pieces with the frozen berries and a good amount of sugar. Don't forget, frozen berries are SOUR! My old chef used to tell me that the preservatives they use on the berries exacerbate their inherent sourness.

I put the fruit mixture into 2 little ramekins, topped each with a little frozen dough disc, and shoved them in a hot oven for 20 minutes. Et VoilĂ !

I didn't have any ice-cream, so we ate the cobblers with a generous spoon of thick cream. The filling was lovely, and a bit of a surprise - the apple pieces I used really took on the raspberry flavour and colour, so much so that you couldn't taste the apple very much at all. A great way to eke out expensive berries!

I didn't realise until I started eating that I was unconsciously re-creating a scone, in hot pudding form. Think about it - hot crunchy scone topping, raspberry studded jammy soft filling, and cold thick cream. Like, wow.

Cobbler is a lot easier to make than scones though, and there no performance anxiety about it looking perfect. Just quietly, I may even like this dessert better than scones.

All gone!

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  1. it's cobbler season, isn't it? I made once last week, too! :D

  2. Hard boiled egg! Whoa. It looks so delicious though, I definitely like a generous topping-to-fruit ratio. Might have to give it a go :)

  3. Eep! I'd forgotten how winter-perfect cobbler can be - I always tend to think of crumbles. And I never imagined freezing the dough, but that's *perfect* for me right now. I've just moved out and usually am cooking for just me, so a handy individual dessert is awesomeness!

  4. Let's hope that this is fool proof for me!

  5. It has been crazy cold lately and cobbler does seem to be the right solution. I love the look of that cobbler, must try to knock one up too.



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