When you are making a cobbler or any type of baked fruit dessert, It's really crucial to try the fruit in its raw form (even if it’s only a little) just to gauge your sweetness levels. For this recipe, you can switch the rhubarb for berries, plums or even peaches. A really tart acidic fruit will require a touch more sugar than a perfectly sweet & ripe peach for example.
Here I've used rhubarb which is quite tart along with sharp granny smith apples, the addition of vanilla seeds really mingles well with the sugar and fruit juices to make something not too sweet and not too sour.
The cobbler topping is really quick to make and similar to making a scone, except here it’s a touch wetter which will allow us to dollop it all over the fruit in the dish. When it bakes it will spread out all over the fruit and the lovely fruit juices will start to rise up over the edges. This cobbler is served best with - you guessed it... CUSTARD.
Makes a 20cm (8in) cobbler
2 granny smith apples peeled, cored (around 200g)
120g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, seeds
For the topping
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of fine salt
95g caster sugar
95g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
70-100ml whole milk
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
Peel the apple, remove the core and chop into large chunks. Wash the rhubarb, dry and cut into 1.5-2inch pieces. Put the fruit into a baking dish about 25 x 18 x 5cm (10 x 7 x 2in) or a dish that fits the fruit in, in one layer.
Add the vanilla seeds and sugar and mix really well with the fruit.
Make the topping by stirring together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Add the cold cubed butter and mix until you reach fine crumbs
Add the milk to bring it together to a soft thick batter, start with 70ml, if you need a touch more add (don’t mix this for too long, just until it comes together)
Dollop in large tablespoons over the top of the fruit. There’s no need to completely cover it; the beauty of a cobbler is seeing the fruit bubble over the topping
Bake for 35–40 minutes, until the topping is golden and the fruit is bubbling.
Test that the cobbler topping is fully baked by gently lifting a bit up with a spoon: if it looks like raw cake batter inside or underneath, return it to the oven for a further 10–15 minutes
Serve warm with custard