Rhubarb and raspberry cobbler with vanilla cream
Spring is just teasing me at the moment; tantalising me with an occasional brief appearance, before disappearing just as quickly as it came. One day has bright, glorious sunshine, a gentle breath of warmth in the air, then the next I need my coat and hat again, fighting my way through yet more frosty gloom. So whilst the blossom is breaking out on the first brave trees, I think there is still time for a few more hot puddings before winter is completely over.
I am continuing to make the most of the rhubarb season, this time upping the pink quotient even further with the addition of some raspberries. Rhubarb is often paired with strawberries, but to me a cooked strawberry is an abomination, not to mention that it’s impossible to get good quality strawberries at this time of year. But I had some raspberries in the fridge and thought I’d give them a try and was really pleased with the results. The raspberries really bring out the fruitiness of the rhubarb, the flavours are a really good compliment with neither fruit particularly dominating. They are both quite tart so plenty of sugar is needed to allay that mouth puckering sourness.
A cobbler is barely any more effort than making a crumble and is certainly less faff than a sponge cake or pastry. It’s a bit like a scone – light but with a pleasing density, delivering the requisite amount of stodge essential to any pudding.
Start by preparing the fruit. I like a lot of fruit sauce accompanying my cobbler, so roughly chop around 600g bright pink forced rhubarb (preferably from Yorkshire if you are lucky enough to get it). Add 150g raspberries and place in a baking dish of your choice. The fruit can pretty much fill the baking dish, as the cobbler will sit delicately on the top. Sprinkle over 3-4 tbsp caster sugar and set aside whilst you make the topping.
Place 1 cup plain flour into a bowl and then stir through 2 tsp baking powder. Cut 100g cold butter into small cubes and then gently rub into the flour using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir through 1/4 cup caster sugar and then 1/3 cup of buttermilk. If you can’t get buttermilk, use half plain yogurt and half milk. Stir until just combined into a sticky dough.
Splodge the dough mixture on top of the fruit – no need to cover it completely or evenly. Bake in an oven preheated to 160C fan, for around 35-40 minutes until the top is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling away underneath.
I ate mine with some whipped double cream with a few drops of vanilla extract and a spoonful of icing sugar stirred through, although this would be equally delicious with cold vanilla ice cream or custard.
1/4 cup caster sugar, plus 4 tbsp
1 cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup buttermilk
cream or ice cream to serve