Crunchy Plum and Apple Cobbler with Port

The apples in this cobbler bring a softness to the mix of fruit and the addition of the port gives it a fullness of flavour. As well, the sprinkling of demerara sugar over the balls of dough creates a crunch as it bakes in oven.

Plum and Apple Cobbler with Port

Crunchy Plum and Apple Cobbler with Port

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30–35 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 400 g (14 oz) Victoria plums/prune plums (about 7)
  • 2 dessert apples
  • 3 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 2 tbsp port
  • 170 g (6 oz) self-raising/self-rising flour (1⅓ cups)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 55 g (2 oz) butter, diced (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 70 g (2½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (3 tbsp)
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp natural yogurt

Equipment

  • You will also need a 1½ litre (6 cup) baking dish.


  • Method
  • Heat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5).

  • Wash, halve, and stone the plums and place in a bowl. Peel the apples, core and thinly slice and add to the bowl.

  • Sprinkle over the demerara sugar and toss to coat. Then add the port and stir to mix. Spoon into the baking dish and put to one side.

  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Now rub in the butter to form breadcrumbs. Then stir through the caster/superfine sugar and salt.

  • In a separate bowl whisk together the egg and yogurt. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and then pour in the egg and yogurt mixture. Bring the mixtures together to form a soft, slightly sticky dough.

  • Shape into small balls (about 16) and drop over the fruit. Then sprinkle with the remaining demerara sugar.

  • Bake for 30–35 minutes until the cobbler has risen and is golden.

  • Serve with double cream/whipping or heavy cream.
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Vanilla Plum Pots

Vanilla Plum Pots

Vanilla Plum Pots

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Chilling time: 3 hours
  • Cooking time: about 20 minute

  • Ingredients
  • 450 g (1 lb) plums
  • 85 g (3 oz) golden caster/superfine sugar (⅓ cup)
  • 1 vanilla pod, halved
  • 2 strips of lemon peel
  • 142 ml (5 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (⅔ cup)
  • 150 g Greek yogurt (⅔ cup)
  • 4 rounded tsp dark muscovado/soft dark brown sugar
  • 14 g (½ oz) blanched almonds (12)

Equipment

  • You will need 4 glass dessert dishes for this recipe. Sundae glasses work really well.


  • Method
  • Wash and stone the plums. If they are small, leave them halved but if they are large, cut into quarters.
  • Put them in a wide, shallow pan with the sugar, one half of the vanilla pod, strips of lemon peel and 1 tablespoon water. Then bring slowly to the boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Now reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and continue cooking until the plums are soft but still keeping their shape, about 10–15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, put the cream in a small pan with the remaining half of vanilla pod. Heat until it just begins to simmer and then pour into a bowl and leave to cool. Cover and chill until needed.

  • Next put the almonds in a small frying pan/skillet and, over a gentle heat, toast until they are just beginning to turn colour and smell nutty. Toss them frequently. Leave to cool and then chop.

  • Once the plums are cool, discard the vanilla pod and lemon strips. Test for sweetness. Adding 2 teaspoons of caster/superfine sugar if they are still a little tart.
  • Spoon the plums and their juice into the four glass dishes.
  • Now remove the vanilla pod from the chilled cream and add the yogurt. Whisk gently until the mixture has softly thickened and holds its shape.
  • Spoon the cream mixture over the plums and level the surface.
  • Sprinkle 1 rounded teaspoon of the muscovado/soft dark brown sugar over the cream in each pot.

  • Finally sprinkle over the chopped almonds.
  • Cover and chill for 3 hours. (The sugar on the top will melt.)
  • Serve.
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Plum and Apple Crumble

Plum and Apple Crumble

Plums and apples go so well together and here they are used in a crumble — just right for this time of year when summer is nearly gone.

Adding cinnamon and lemon to the fruit give it a lot of flavour and, adding rolled oats and demerara sugar to the buttery crumble really do make a difference to the taste.

Plum and Apple Crumble

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the filling
  • 4 large ripe plums
  • 340 g (12 oz) Bramley apples or a variety suitable for cooking
  • 40 g (1½ oz) light muscovado sugar/soft light brown sugar (3 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ lemon, zest only
  • For the crumble
  • 115 g (4 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (1 cup less 1½ tbsp)
  • 70 g (2½ oz) butter, chilled and cut into cubes (¼ cup or ½ stick, plus 1 tbsp)
  • 40 g (1½ oz) rolled oats (½ cup)
  • 55 g (2 oz) demerara sugar (¼ cup)
  • To serve
  • Hot custard or vanilla ice cream make a good accompaniment.

Equipment

  • You will also need a shallow ovenproof serving dish.


  • Method
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5).
  • For the filling
  • Halve the plums, remove the stones and then roughly chop. Place them in a large pan.

  • Peel, core and roughly chop the apples and add to the plums.

  • Now add the sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest, and 3 tablespoons of water.
  • Stir, cover the pan and gently cook the fruit until the apples are softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Spoon into the ovenproof dish and set to one side.

  • For the crumble
  • Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter, using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

  • Now mix in the oats and sugar and then scatter over the fruit.

  • Bake for 30 minutes until the crumble is golden and the fruit is bubbling round the edge.
  • Serve immediately.
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