This warming recipe is a classic comfort food. I’ve made this with fresh peaches and blueberries, but it can also be made with apples, pears, plums or any frozen packets of mixed fruits, such as fruits of the forest.
Bird’s custard powder is vegan and oil free if you get the original powder, not the instant variety. It can be made with plant-based milk – the only real difference between using this and the cornflour recipe I give here is annatto powder, which gives it the colour.
|For the base:|
|3||peaches, cut into wedges|
|1 tbsp||coconut sugar or soft light brown sugar|
|½ tsp||ground cinnamon|
|For the topping:|
|100g||wholemeal self-raising flour|
|1 tbsp||baking powder|
|2 tbsp||coconut or soft light brown sugar|
|150ml||plant-based milk (almond is good here)|
|A few drops of||almond or vanilla extract|
|1 tsp||cider vinegar|
|1||flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 2 tbsp just boiled water)|
|For the custard:|
|2 tbsp||light soft brown sugar or maple syrup|
|1 tsp||vanilla extract|
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Arrange the fruit in the base of an ovenproof dish. Mix the sugar, cornflour and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the fruit. Stir to combine.
If using apples, mix them with the base ingredients and add them to a large saucepan over a medium heat to soften with a dash of water or apple juice for 5 minutes before stirring in any berries you might want.
To make the topping, put the flour in a bowl with the ground almonds, baking powder and sugar. Mix the plant-based milk with the almond or vanilla extract and cider vinegar, then stir in the flax egg. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine, keeping the mixing to a minimum. Drop heaped tablespoons of the mixture over the fruit.
Bake in the oven for 30–35 minutes until the topping is brown and the juice from the fruit is bubbling through.
To make the custard, put 400ml of the plant-based milk in a saucepan and the rest in a large bowl or jug. Heat the 400ml milk with the sugar and vanilla extract, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. Mix the remaining milk with the cornflour.
Just before the milk boils, pour it into the jug, stirring constantly, then pour everything back into the saucepan. Heat, gradually bringing to the boil, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens. It may suddenly start thickening very quickly on the base of the saucepan – if so, stir or whisk furiously to make sure you don’t get any lumps. Transfer to a jug and serve with the fruit cobbler.