Raising the jar - Lesley Russell


Lesley Russell runs the Orange Regional Cooking School, and is a wonderful chef and asset to our area.  She's also a big advocate of bottling and preserving fresh produce, and this apricot cobbler is a great reminder of why it's worth spending an afternoon in late summer putting away the season's excess for the winter months.

Lesley's apricot cobbler

This is a variation of my mum’s delicious apple sponge pudding; when the cake batter is dobbed on top of hot cooked apples.  This is the reverse; the cake batter is spread on the base of the dish and the fruit goes on top. When it bakes, the two meld together and only need an extra scattering of sugar and a pour of good cream; serve it warm straight out of the dish. I used last summer’s apricots but plums or peaches will be fine.  If you don’t have any of your own, tinned fruit will suffice; but only until next summer when you can start preserving! 

120g butter
120g caster sugar
2 eggs
250g SR flour
1/3 cup (6 tablespoons) milk
Preserved apricots, plums or peaches

Heat the oven to 180C and butter a 20cm x 25cm shallow baking dish. Cream the butter & sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating well between each addition. Add the flour and milk and mix together to form a fairly stiff cake batter.

Spread this mixture over the base of the dish. Arrange pieces of fruit over the batter leaving gaps here and there.  Don’t worry if a bit of juice comes with it, it makes the cobbler more moist.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes; test some cakey bits with a skewer to make sure they are cooked through. When the cobbler comes out of the oven immediately scatter it with more caster sugar. Allow to cool slightly, then serve at the table straight from the dish with lightly whipped cream. Serves 8 – 10


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