Autumn Dessert: PEACH & BERRY COBBLER

Before we get to this week’s recipe, I want to introduce to you my new look website. I had been having issues with my previous design template so it was time for a change and upgrade to (hopefully) a more user-friendly website. The recipe index in particular should be easier to navigate with a more responsive search function. With more changes to come as I have time to implement them. Your comments and feedback are welcome.

Like the new season, it was time for a change, and I hope it will also be a positive one for you. As always thank you for being here, supporting my cookbooks and cooking workshops, and spreading the word about my recipes. Now to this week’s recipe…

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There is a change in the light in autumn. It has a softer hue compared to summer. It reminds me of the golden light I enjoyed while visiting Italy some years ago. I bask in this kind of light and gentle warmth from the sun – there is a reason autumn is my favourite season. The colours of the fresh produce harvested in autumn soften too. The mauves of black peaches and passionfruit, maroon plums, orange pumpkins and squash, and muted greens. When I scroll through photos I have taken of autumn recipes these are the colours that pop out.

It is a bountiful time of year and I find my spare time involves filling jars with fruit to preserve for the cooler months. As one fruit tree finishes – omega plums last week – another is ripe and ready – black peaches this week. Stone fruit, peaches in particular begin to deteriorate quickly so spare minutes are spent chopping and cooking them. It might sound like a chore but I am always grateful to have shelves of ready-to-open and eat jars of fruit. I don’t take it for granted that we have fruit to harvest this season as I know this isn’t the case for other areas. What is spare is shared with friends and neighbours, or exchanged for the excess fruit from their own gardens. It is a cosy time of year to squirrel away food for another day.

In the cobbler recipe I share below, I hero fruit harvested from the summer and autumn seasons. Produce that has been preserved, stored or frozen when there is excess. The recipe is generous and designed to be shared. It is flavourful, comforting and a little bit special. As the evenings cool I think this is the food we begin to crave.

More Peach and Berry recipes on Homegrown Kitchen:

Peach & Berry Cobbler

Preserved fruit, whether from your own jars of preserves or from a can brings the summer and autumn flavours to the table on these cooler nights. Here I have used peaches and blueberries as they are one of my favourite summer fruit combinations. Black doris or omega plums could also be used in place of peaches. Apples and pears could also be used, cooking them a little longer until tender.
Servings 6
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 800 g jar or can of preserved peaches or plums
  • 1 cup (120g) frozen blueberries or mixed berries
  • 1 tbsp sugar or maple syrup
  • Juice of half a lemon, about 1-2 tbsp
  • 1 tbsp cornflour or tapioca flour

Cobbler Dough

  • cups (190g) plain flour (can use spelt flour or gluten-free flour mix)
  • ½ cup (60g) ground almonds or use ⅓ cup extra flour
  • ¼ cup (50g) sugar + extra for sprinkling
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100 g cold butter, cut into 1cm cubes
  • cup (85ml) milk (can use dairy-free milk) + extra for brushing
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 190C (can 180C). Lightly grease a 25cm x 30cm baking dish with butter.
  • Prepare the fruit. Drain the peaches in a sieve, collecting the juice or syrup in a jug. Cut the peaches into wedges if needed and place them into a large saucepan. Add the berries.
  • In a small bowl combine 3 tablespoons of the reserved peach juice or syrup (the rest can be enjoyed as a drink or poured over muesli) with the sugar/maple syrup, lemon juice, and corn flour/tapioca. Mix well to remove any lumps then add to the saucepan of fruit. Cook for 5-10 minutes over a low heat, mixing gently until the berries have thawed and the sauce is glossy and thickened. Pour into the prepared dish.
  • Make the cobbler dough. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, ground almonds, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add the cubed butter and use your fingers to rub it into the dry ingredients until a coarse breadcrumb-like consistency.
  • Make a well and add the milk and lemon juice. Use a butter knife to mix until the dough comes together. If the dough feels very sticky at this stage place it into the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up (particularly if using gluten-free flour).
  • Scoop rounded tablespoons of the dough and use your hands to shape them into 1cm thick rounds. Arrange the rounds evenly on top of the fruit with a little space between each. Brush the top of the dough with milk and sprinkle with a little extra sugar.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cobbler topping is golden, checking that it is cooked through. Serve warm (reheat if needed) with lightly whipped cream or ice cream.

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My new cookbook The Homemade Table is now available at bookstores around Aotearoa NZ, plus order signed copies HERE

(Note: I am not sending to Australia or overseas at this time – books can be ordered HERE).

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