This old-fashioned plum cobbler is made with juicy plums stewed under a soft scone topping. It makes a delicious dessert served with either ice cream or custard.
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What is a cobbler?
The obvious answer is 'a cobbler is a man who mends shoes'! But there's actually a much better definition - 'a cobbler is a delicious dessert made with stewed fruit, covered with a soft scone-like buttery topping'. I definitely prefer the second definition 🙂 .
The dessert known as a cobbler actually originated in the British colonies of America. The British settlers were unable to source suet that is used in a lot of British desserts (think jam roly-poly) so they covered their stewed fruit with a scone (or biscuit) topping instead.
The name probably came about because the spoonfuls of dough placed on top of the fruit resembled uneven cobblestones once it came out of the oven.
A cobbler is very similar to a crumble. Both have a cooked fruit base, but whereas a cobbler is covered with spoonfuls of soft scone mixture, a crumble topping has a crispier texture due to the addition of oats and sometimes nuts.
While you can use any fruit in a cobbler, I think ripe juicy plums are the perfect choice. Plums release a lot of moisture as they cook, and these juices get absorbed into the underside of the cobbler as it bakes, soaking the pastry with fruity goodness.
You can eat this plum cobbler either plain, served with a pouring of custard, or even topped with a scoop of ice cream. But however you choose to serve it, I know you are going to love it!
Why I think you'll love this plum cobbler
It is so versatile. You can use any fruit in a cobbler - apples, pears, cherries, even berries. And it doesn't have to be fresh either. A packet of frozen blackberries and blueberries would be perfect. Plus you can combine different fruits together. How about combining apples and blackberries, or pears and cherries? The choice is up to you.
You can rescue any fruit that might be on its way out. Apples looking a bit withered and pears overripe? No problem. Cherries looking a bit wrinkly? Toss them in. Once the fruit has cooked you won't notice the difference.
The scone topping is so easy to make. You don't have to mess around with rolling out the pastry. Just a quick mix and then dollop spoonfuls of the pastry onto the fruit.
What ingredients do I need?
**Get the complete list of ingredients and full instructions for making this plum cobbler on the printable recipe card at the end of this post**
This recipe makes an 8" x 8" baking dish which will easily provide 6 to 8 servings. To make a smaller plum cobbler, just halve the ingredients.
For the fruit base
Ripe plums - you can substitute these with the equivalent amount of fruit of your choice. There's no need to peel the plums - the skins soften nicely when cooked.
Sugar - the actual amount of sugar you will need depends entirely on the sweetness of the plums. If your plums are very sweet, then cut down on the amount of sugar; if the plums are on the tart side, increase it slightly.
Lemon juice - this is optional, but I like to think it improves the end result.
Cinnamon - once again, this is optional. I like the warmth of flavour that a touch of cinnamon adds.
Butter - Combines with the juices to form a thick glossy sauce.
Cornflour - added to thicken up the juices from the fruit.
For the cobbler topping
Self-raising flour - if you don't have self-raising flour, make your own by adding one teaspoon of baking powder (not to be confused with baking soda) to each cup of flour.
Salt (not pictured) - I always like to add a little salt when making dough, but this is totally optional.
Butter - rubbed into the flour.
White sugar - to add a little sweetness to the pastry.
Milk - to bind everything together.
Brown Sugar - for sprinkling over the top to add an element of crunch.
How to make a plum cobbler
- Start off by preparing the plums. Cut each plum into quarters and remove the stone (image 1 above).
- Place the plums into an 8" x 8" baking dish and sprinkle with the lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and cornflour. Dot with the butter (image 2 above).
- Cover with a lid and place in a preheated oven (200C / 400F) for about 20 minutes while you prepare the topping. Then remove the fruit from the oven and allow it to cool slightly.
- Place the flour, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour and sugar until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (image 1 above). You can use your hands for this step, or just whizz the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor.
- Add all of the milk and mix through until it all comes together in a sticky dough (image 2 above).
- Using a tablespoon, cover the cooled fruit with the cobbler (image 3 above). Don't worry about smoothing it out, the dough is supposed to be in thin lumps.
- Sprinkle the dough with brown sugar.
- Return the dish to the oven and bake for a further 30 minutes until the cobbler is cooked and golden brown.
- Serve warm with custard or ice cream, or allow to cool and serve cold as a cake.
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This plum cobbler will stay fresh for up to 3 days if stored covered in the refrigerator. You can either serve it cold or warm it in the microwave before serving.
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If you enjoyed this plum cobbler, you may like to try some of my other baked dessert recipes.
- Upside-down cherry cake
- Easy pecan nut pie
- Fresh pear cream slice
- Easy upside-down apple pie
- Easy coconut pie
Old fashioned plum cobbler
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 1½ pounds (700g) fresh plums quartered and stoned
- 4 tablespoons (50g) white sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ounce (30g) butter
- 1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch)
- 2 cups (280g) self-raising flour
- 3 tablespoons (40g) brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt optional
- 3½ ounce (100g) butter
- 1 cup milk
- Pre-heat oven to 200°C/400°F
- Cut each plum into quarters and remove the stone.1½ pounds (700g) fresh plums
- Place the plums into the baking dish and sprinkle with lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and cornflour. Dot with butter.1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch), 1 ounce (30g)
- Cover with a lid and place into the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes remove the plums from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Make the cobbler while the plums are in the oven.
- Place the flour, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour and sugar until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.4 tablespoons (50g) white sugar, 2 cups (280g) self-raising flour, ½ teaspoon salt, 3½ ounce (100g) butter
- Add all the milk and mix thoroughly until all comes together in a sticky dough.1 cup milk
- Cover the cooled fruit with tablespoons of the cobbler.
- Sprinkle the top of the cobbler with brown sugar.3 tablespoons (40g) brown sugar
- Return to the oven and bake for a further 30 minutes until the cobbler is cooked and golden.
- Serve warm with custard or ice cream, or allow to cool and serve slices of the plum cobbler cold, as a cake.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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