Stone Fruit Cobbler

Stone Fruit Cobbler

It’s that time of year where trees are laden and produce markets are bursting with freshly picked stone fruits.

This is the time my youngest son looks forward to the most. He waits for three quarters of the year, peachless and patient (I’m not a fan of buying fruit shipped from overseas, so we wait till it’s available locally.) Then when summer hits we load up on fruit.

And I mean, load up! We eat all we can/want fresh, then the rest I preserve or bake with. Preserving and baking is a great way to use up the fruit that’s getting a little bruised and today’s recipe is a perfect example.

A cobbler is essentially a shortcake on top of cooked fruit. Peach cobbler is a common variety but I think, why stop at peaches when we can combine ALL the stone fruit. 

Stone fruit of your choice (in this case, white cherries, nectarines and peaches) are combined with a lemon, vanilla and cinnamon filling. Topped with a buttery shortcake lid, this is seriously delicious.

You need about a kilo and a half of fruit, whether that’s peaches, apricots, plums, or whatever you think of. A bruised fruit you may normally put in the compost is perfect for this. This recipe is not about looks and all about flavour.

Stone Fruit Cobbler

Fruit layer
1.5 kg stone fruit of your choice (cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines, plucots, apricots…etc)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 tsp vanilla extract
juice and zest of 1 small lemon
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Shortcake topping

2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
130g cold butter, chopped into small cubes or grated
1/2 cup cold milk

1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk for the egg wash

Method

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Pit and chop your fruit. I like to chop mine into about 2cm chunks. If using cherries you can leave these whole (but pitted.)

In a pie dish, combine all the fruit layer ingredients and mix them together. Set aside and start on the topping.

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and stir together. Add the cubed or grated cold butter and work it into the flour with your fingers until it resembles large breadcrumbs. Add the milk and stir to combine until it forms a soft dough.

Tear off chunks of this dough and flatten them a bit, then place on top of the fruit fillings. Looks are not important, just space them around until about 90% of the filling is covered. Some gaps are good. Using a pastry brush, brush on some of the eggwash.

Loosely cover the dish with tinfoil and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the tin foil and continue baking for another 25 minutes until the top is a deep golden brown. Let it cool for 10 minutes, then serve it warm with yoghurt, ice cream or cream.

Enjoy!

Summer in the Garden- January to do List

Summer in the Garden- January to do List

Happy new year!

I hope last year was a good one for you and that the new year brings lots of great things. I’ve personally had a fantastic 2017 and am so grateful to all my readers and your support over the last year. Thank you. ❤️

To sow this month: carrots, beetroot, fennel, cucumbers, lettuce, early turnips, corn, silverbeet, zucchini, beans

To plant from punnets: tomatoes, eggplant, chilis, lettuces, fennel 

This month you will be kept busy with a lot of harvesting. Beans, zucchinis, cucumbers, chilis and tomatoes will be appearing quickly and it is a good idea to harvest them as you see them to let the plant put energy into producing more new flowers and more produce.

Sow in the gaps

As you are harvesting, don’t forget to resow in the empty spaces! It can be easy to get caught up in picking produce now and not thinking about the future months. I direct sow lettuce, zucchini, beans and radishes constantly to ensure a continuous amount of produce. In the cooler areas, down south, you can start sowing early varieties of turnips now too. Baby turnips don’t take long to grow and you’ll have something new for your salads!

Prepare beds for leeks and brassicas

Next month is when I will start sowing my brassicas (Broccoli, Cauliflowers, Brussel sprouts, Swedes…etc) and leeks to give them a good start before it gets colder. I use this month to prepare the spaces where they will go. Brassicas especially are heavy feeders so pile on a good amount of compost and aged manure.

Remember crop rotation. If in the previous season you had planted brassicas in a certain place, don’t plant them there again the following season. This will deplete the soil of nutrients and if there are brassica diseases present, they will infect the next crop too.

Check for bugs and diseases

The tomato/potato psyllid is out now and can wreak havoc on your toms and spuds! Know what to check for if you think you may have this bug. Kath Irvine from the Edible Backyard has a great article here.

Potato psyllid damage

Blight, particularly on tomatoes is another problem. Telltale signs are black spots and rings on the leaves, fruit may start to rot and the leaves turn yellow and drop off. Once your plants have blight you should destroy the plants (not compost as the fungal spores can survive) and make sure not to plant the same plant there again for a few years. Blossom end rot is a problem often confused with blight. The bottom end of the fruit (where the blossom is) rots. This usually caused by erratic watering or sometimes a too acidic soil. Unlike blight, this isn’t a plant disease.

You can avoid blight by keeping your tomatoes well staked and trimmed to allow better air circulation. A spray of 1 tsp baking soda per litre of water is effective too, at the first sign of blight or as a precautionary measure. This spray also works well for powdery mildew, another fungal disease that can affect many plants but is common on squash and pumpkin plants. Signs of this are a white powdery looking dusting on top of the leaves.

Net your fruit

Stone fruits, apples and pears are ready or very close to being ready and the birds are just waiting patiently to attack. Net your trees and berry bushes now to avoid your trees being stripped bare. It is amazing how fast birds can work. On Facebook, I read a post a lady wrote about someone stealing all her cherries from the tree one day. Turns out it wasn’t a sticky-handed thief, just hungry birds. Not one cherry was left!

Liquid fertilise

Keep on top of liquid feeding! A bi-weekly or weekly dose of a good liquid fertiliser will have your vegetables thanking you. Try some homemade ones here.

Preserve your excess

Jams, chutneys, dehydrating, freezing… After you have had your share of fresh, given away to friends and families, preserve your leftovers so you have some for the winter! My larder is filling up quickly with different fruits I have collected. To preserve mine I use this simple bottling method here.

What’s your favourite thing to do with your fruit gluts?

Happy gardening!

New (nearly) year means new adventures!

New (nearly) year means new adventures!

Hey everyone,

I hope you’re all having magical holidays!

Today’s post is a super quick one to let you guys know about my newest venture: The world of YouTube.

Home Grown Happiness, the blog is mainly gardening advice and tips, with the odd recipe or craft idea thrown in. My YouTube channel, on the other hand, is going to have a more personal take. A peek into my life, garden and adventures with my two little guys.

There’s only a little bit on there at the moment and I’m definitely still learning about how to edit videos and not sound like an idiot on camera. 🙈

In the meantime, thanks for all your support!

Happy gardening,

Elien x

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