I’ve had to explain cobbler to pretty much every single person I’ve mentioned it to, apparently it really is that rare in England; well, apart from one Northern lady who mentioned they eat cobbler, but usually on beef stew. Cobbler is a bit of a cross between scone and sponge and I consider it just an alternative to crumble topping, so treat it much the same. This pudding is also good because leftovers keep really well – crumble can often soak into the fruit so it’s a bit soggy if reheated the next day, this pudding keeps its texture perfectly.
In America, peach or blueberry seem to be traditional but it can be hard to get good peaches here and blueberries are generally quite expensive. I’ve made quite a few cobblers now and I have always made either strawberry or strawberry and rhubarb. Currently in Tesco, rhubarb is on offer at £1 for 400g and strawberries £2 for 300g, so this recipe is the strawberry and rhubarb mix.
This recipe is gluten-free and vegan, so if you make it with gluten flour, then it usually requires a bit less liquid. This recipe is good because it is actually very versatile, I’ve done 2/3 (very approximate measuring on my part) of this recipe for a smaller dish and it worked out just fine – the topping can look like anything from sticky cookie dough to a stiff sponge cake mixture and it still works absolutely fine, the only difference is how much the mixture spreads as it cooks. Also with the fruit, I’ve listed how much lemon juice I added to the fruit this time, but don’t worry about changing it a bit based on how sweet or sour the fruit is, it still works absolutely fine.
For the fruit:
400g strawberry (one punnet and a bit or even two will fit nicely)
3 tbsp lemon juice (I just used 1 lemon)
4 tsp cornflour
50g caster sugar
270g self raising gluten-free flour (I use Dove’s Farm)
1 tsp baking powder
50g caster sugar
80g dairy-free butter, diced (I use Stork block)
165ml dairy-free milk (I used soya)
1.5 tsp demerara sugar for sprinkling on top
Heat the oven to 175C, 160C Fan (my oven is fan).
Dish size: 26cm x 16cm (the recipe is easily scaleable to other sizes without needing to be too exact)
Serves: 6 or 4 if lacking self-restraint like us.
- Hull the strawberries, cut smaller ones in half, larger ones in quarters.
- Cut the rhubarb into 1cm pieces.
- Mix the cornflour and lemon juice in a medium bowl, stir in the sugar. If your fruit is particularly sour, adding a bit less lemon juice or a bit more sugar will not hurt.
- Put the fruit in with the cornflour-lemon-sugar mix and stir gently to coat.
- Pour the fruit into your oven proof dish.
- Put the flour, baking powder, sugar and butter into a medium bowl. Use your fingers to rub in the butter, as you would do a crumble topping. Stop when there are small lumps still, so it’s not as fine as breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the dairy-free milk of your choice.
- The mixture should come together to look like a slightly soggy cookie dough. You should be able to pick it up and put it on the fruit in clumps. Obviously you can do this with a spoon, but it should not be at all runny and it shouldn’t be a dry, stiff dough – somewhere in between!
- Spoon or place clumps of the topping on top of the fruit – it is called cobbler because it will resemble cobble stones so go for that sort of design.
- Sprinkle the demerera sugar on top of the cobbler mix.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden and crisp on top and the fruit is bubbling up from underneath.
- We like to serve with vegan ice cream – it tastes like the pudding equivalent of a cream tea!