Mulled Fruits and 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)
- 1 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 cake 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 where 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.