Monday, January 10, 2011

Apple Berry Cobbler

I've had this fun opportunity recently of teaching lots of private cooking and baking classes, teaching anything from vegan baking to gluten free classes with meat (chicken or fish - but of course I don't eat any of it!).  I've signed on with one of my good friends that I went to culinary school with here in the city and am teaching two of his sisters the basics about vegan baking, starting with the ingredients and how they work to puddings, fruit desserts, cookies and bars, up to cakes and cake decorating and gluten free.  I recently had my first class with them and had a blast - I absolutely love teaching!  There is nothing more rewarding than enabling people to learn and grow and do for themselves. 

The first class we did was discussing ingredients and making baked fruit desserts as well as puddings and vegan jello.  I enjoy a baked fruit dish as much as anyone else, but there was something about one of the dishes we made that really stuck out to me.  It was a Pear Berry Cobbler and was absolutely delicious.  My downfall is anything bready and biscuitty - I love my carbs!  So beautifully baked fruits and berries simmered in fruit juice in the oven and topped with a biscuitty/cakey topping makes my day.  We tested all of the dishes, but as I went home, I found myself wanting some more.  When I came home, the Hubby was amazing enough to have made dinner (it was very good!), so I made a salad to go with it and we were good.  When we finished, he asked if we had dessert, and once again, my mind went back to that cobbler.  I decided that I would make it the next day and surprise him (and make myself happy in the process) by making it.

So here is the recipe of the delicious cobbler.  In the original recipe, I used apple juice, but I didn't have any at home, so I substituted fresh squeezed orange juice instead, which was equally delicious.

Apple Berry Cobbler

The Whole Cobbler.  Yum!

Serves 8-10 as a dessert

Berry Mixture:
2 1/2 cups peeled and medium diced apples (about 2 large)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries, cut in half and diced
1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
1 1/4 cup fresh orange or apple juice
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup raw sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch sea salt
1 cup soymilk
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Place fruits in a large bowl.  Add the sugar and arrowroot powder and toss to coat with hands. 
3.  Add the fruit juice and stir to coat.  Place this mixture into an 8x8" square baking pan.  Even the top with the back of a spoon.
3.  In a separate medium bowl, place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Whisk to combine.  Add the soymilk, oil and vanilla and using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir to combine  - it will be thick, between the consistency of a cake and a biscuit batter.
4.  Spoon the topping all over the surface of the fruit.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the topping is completely baked through, firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
5.  If you can stand it, let it cool for at least 10-15 minutes.  Serve by itself or with vegan whipped cream on top.  Yum!  ( I promise at some point to post a recipe for my vegan whipped cream that is out of this world and has the most beautiful taste and texture!)

Apple Berry Cobbler Slice with Vegan Homemade Whipped Cream



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