Makes 6 Servings
For many springs, we drove to Stratford to attend classes with Neil Baxter at Rundles Restaurant. Making good use of his expertise and the restaurant’s professional facilities, these weekend events were an excellent way to bridge the closing of the chefs’ school in March until the opening of the Shakespeare festival season in May. Along with usually ten other eager students, we would gather in time to prepare Friday night’s supper and leave, happily sated, after an exquisite Sunday lunch. Neil taught us the fine points of everything we longed to master- the most tender pasta, the creamiest Armagnac ice cream, the thinnest strudel pastry, the puffiest of puff pastry- but one recipe we both remembered with great fondness was his simple fruit cobbler. No great mysterious techniques here, just a straightforward vehicle to celebrate Canada’s array of summer fruit. Neil suggests this cobbler even works quite well with frozen fruit. (Don’t thaw it first.) Our favourite mix will always include blackberries, which are great with sliced peaches as their companion, but try blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb- anything you have on hand. Serve warm with pouring or softly whipped cream.
- 5 cups (1.25 L)mixed fruit
- ½ cup (75 mL) granulated sugar
- 1½ to 2 tbsp (20 – 30 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups (375 mL) sifted cake-and-pastry flour
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) cold unsalted butter
- ¾ cup (175 mL) whipping cream
FILLING: In a 6-cup (1.5 L) gratin or shallow baking dish, combine the fruit with the sugar and flour, using the larger amount of flour if the fruit is very juicy. Set aside while preparing the topping.
TOPPING: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture looks like coarse meal. (MAKE-AHEAD: Cover and refrigerate up to several days ahead.) Add the cream and stir lightly until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Spoon the mixture over the fruit in a single layer or in 6 individual patties, no more than ½ inch (1.25 cm) thick. Bake in the centre of a 375° F (190° C) oven until the topping is brown, the berry juices bubble thickly around it and the topping is no longer doughy underneath, 40 to 45 minutes.
SOURCE: Canada’s Favourite Recipes by Elizabeth Baird and Rose Murray. BGO thanks the authors for allowing us permission to share this recipe.
Photo: Marcella DiLonardo