Plum and Almond Buttermilk Cobbler
I have a small Victoria plum tree and so laden is it every September that Richard, who helps us with our garden, has to put a stake under one of the branches to hold it in place.
I like to pick a few each morning for a healthy, slimming breakfast, but for Sunday feasts, plum cobbler is one of our favourite family puddings, which allows the plums to cook in their own luscious juice and provides a cloud of crisp fluffy topping. As dieting of any sort is positively banned on Sundays, I would opt to serve it with some chilled untreated Jersey cream or some vanilla ice cream.
To prepare the plums, slide the tip of a sharp knife, following the natural line of the fruit, all around each plum through to the stone.
Then, using both hands, give it a twist and divide it in half. Remove the stone and cut each plum into quarters. Now all you do is arrange the fruit in the baking dish, scattering the caster sugar as you go.
To make the topping, place the sifted flour, 1/2 a level teaspoon of salt, baking powder, cinnamon and butter into the bowl of a food processor. Then switch on and give it a pulse (on/off) action several times, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then pour in the buttermilk or milk and lemon juice mixture, and switch on again briefly until you have a thick, very sticky dough.
Now spoon tablespoons of the mixture over the fruit in rocky mounds – the more haphazardly you do this, the better. Lastly, sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon all over, followed by the flaked almonds, then pop the dish on to a high shelf in the oven for 30 minutes, or until it is a crusty golden brown.
Serve the cobbler warm from the oven.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C).
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