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Mulled Fruits & Berries with a Sugar-Crusted Cobbler
Apples, pears and mixed berries in traditional spiced mulled wine syrup are topped with a buttermilk cobbler and baked with a dusting of raw cane sugar for a crusty finish. Serve this nostalgic grown-up dessert for the festive season with whipped Chantilly cream, crème Anglaise or vanilla-bean ice cream.
Mulled wine fruit
- 255g granulated sugar
- 9 x 5cm cinnamon sticks, broken in two
- 12 cloves
- 2¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 3 large vanilla pods, split down the centre
- Peel of 6 small to medium oranges
- Juice of 3 small to medium oranges (225ml)
- 350ml full-bodied red wine
- 9 dessert apples (about 1,5kg), peeled, cored and sliced
- 9 pears (about 2,25kg), peeled, cored and sliced
- 2,25kg fresh or frozen mixed berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and redcurrants)
- 9 tbsp cornflour mixed with 9 tbsp water
- 450g plain flour
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3½ tsp baking powder
- 255g butter
- 225g soft light-brown sugar
- 300ml buttermilk
- 9 tbsp Demerara sugar for topping
- Preheat the oven to 190°C.
- Combine the sugar, spices, vanilla pods, orange peel, juice and wine for the mulled wine in a cast-iron Signature roaster. Bring to a simmer over low heat on the stovetop, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to simmer for 5 to 6 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse, and then remove the cinnamon sticks, cloves, vanilla pods and orange peel with a slotted spoon and discard them.
- Gradually stir the cornflour and water mixture into the infused wine until the liquid has thickened to a coating consistency.
- Stir the apples and pears followed by the berries into the thickened wine syrup and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes while stirring. Remove the roaster from the heat and allow the fruit to cool while you make the topping.
- To make the cobbler topping: mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, and then stir in the light-brown sugar. Add the buttermilk and mix together.
- Dollop random spoonfuls of the soft cobbler mixture over the fruit, leaving a few small gaps were the fruit can be seen. Do not smooth over the mixture.
- Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the cobbler mixture and place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180°C and continue to bake until the cobbler is golden brown and the syrup is bubbling through. Allow to cool a little before serving.
- The combination of apples and pears can be varied to include other fruits such as plums or apricots.
- Frozen berry mixes are generally good value and available all year round; any combination will work but avoid strawberries as they become very soft when cooked.
- A small ice-cream scoop works well when adding the cobbler mixture to the fruit.
- If your oven bakes unevenly turn the roaster part way through baking to prevent over browning on one side. You may need to add a few minutes extra cooking time to allow for the heat loss when opening the oven.