Blackberry Cobbler

Blackberry Cobbler

My mother used to make this all the time when we were kids growing up in England, using fresh blackberries that we would pick by the bucketful. Happy days – although we used to get some fearsome scratches from the brambles! Mum used to have a saying,”When all fruit fails, welcome blackberry.” which goes to show how under-appreciated this great fruit was because of the sheer quantity of it that was available.

When we lived in Kent, we found an abandoned market garden that had a huge and overgrown blackberry plot that provided us with bushels of fruit. Mum would make jams, jellies, pies and of course blackberry cobbler; it was almost with relief that late autumn would bring an end to the season and our scratches would finally heal for another year.

In fact it was considered wrong to pick blackberries after Michaelmas (September 29) as folklore has it that Satan fell into a bramble bush when he was expelled from heaven and cursed the fruit from this date onwards!

Unfortunately fresh blackberries are relatively expensive to buy in Canada but you can use frozen ones and still get excellent results (hopefully they were picked before Michaelmas!).

A great old-fashioned dessert, especially in summer, served with ice cream.

Blackberry Cobbler Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup (72 gm / 2½ oz) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 gm / 3½ oz) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (70 ml / 2½ fl oz) milk
  • 1 cup (100 gm / 3½ oz) cake and pastry flour
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder
  • 2 cups (220 gm / 8 oz) fresh or frozen blackberries (thawed)
  • 3/4 cup (210 ml / 7½ fl oz) syrup made by combining equal parts hot water with any type of berry jam
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) cornstarch

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Sift the flour and baking powder together in a bowl.

Cream the butter and sugar together.

Beat in the egg, followed by the milk.

Gradually beat in the flour mixture, being sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to get an even mixture.

Place the blackberries in a 1½ quart (1 – 1½ litre) casserole greased with butter.

Mix the cornstarch into the cooled jam syrup till smooth, and pour over the berries.

Use a tablespoon to ‘dollop’ the batter onto the berries and syrup.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the topping comes out clean.

Banoffee Pie

Banoffee Pie

This is a very popular British dessert that is hardly known in the rest of the world. It is super-decadent, and yet is so fabulously delicious that it’s worth spoiling yourself once in a while! The name comes from ‘banana – toffee’.

There are several versions of this recipe on the internet, and after exhaustive comparisons of recipes we settled on this as our family recipe.

Banoffee Pie Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

Base:

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz – 114 gm) melted butter
  • 2 cups (lightly compressed)(9 oz – 250 gm) Graham crumbs

Caramel Layer:

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz – 114 gm) butter
  • 1/2 cup (3½ oz – 100gm) brown sugar
  • 1¼ cups (10½ fl oz – 300 ml) condensed milk

Topping:

  • 3 bananas
  • 1¼ cups (10½ fl oz – 300 ml) whipping cream
  • grated chocolate

METHOD:

Combine the melted butter and Graham crumbs and press into an 8½” (21 cm) springform pan with a disk of parchment paper lining the bottom.

Press to the sides to a height of about 1½” (7 cm)

Place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the brown sugar until combined.

Add the condensed milk and gently bring to a low boil, stirring constantly.

Simmer gently, stirring continuously until the mixture starts to thicken and caramelize.

Pour into the crust and spread evenly.

Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Slice the bananas and place evenly on the caramel layer.

Whip the cream until soft peaks form.

Add the cream over the bananas and trim with shards of grated chocolate.

Refrigerate for a further hour before removing the sides from the pan and serving.

Baked Pear Pudding

Baked Pear Pudding

Baked Pear Pudding is true comfort food! Use fresh pears, or even canned pears – the result will be loved by all members of the family…

Baked Pear Pudding Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 pears, peeled and cored, cut into quarters
  • 4 tsp light brown sugar (20ml)
  • 4 tsp water (20ml)
  • 1 vanilla pod, slit in half and the seeds scraped free
  • 1/2 cup butter (125gm / 4½oz)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (125gm / 4½oz)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sifted self-raising flour (125gm / 4½oz) (see baking tips)

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)

Put pears, brown sugar, and vanilla seeds into a saucepan with water and simmer for five minutes.

Place fruit mixture into a well greased ovenproof casserole.

Beat together the butter and the white sugar, then beat in the eggs until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Then beat in the flour until well combined.

Pour this mixture over the pears and bake for about 35 – 45 minutes.

Serve the baked pear pudding with English Custard.

Baked Apples in Pastry

Baked Apples in Pastry

An old classic, baked apples in pastry with a delicious cinnamon raisin filling. Serve with English custard or ice cream for a great dessert.

Baked Apples in Pastry Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 apples
  • 1/2 cup (100 gm – 3½ oz) sultana raisins
  • 1/4 cup (50 gm – 1¾ oz) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (56 gm – 2 oz) butter (soft)
  • 1/2 tsp (3 ml) cinnamon powder
  • Approx 8 oz (225 gm) shortcrust pastry (half of our recipe)

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 425 °F or 220 °C.

In a small bowl mix the raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter together with a spoon.

Roll out the pastry into four 8″ (20 cm) rounds.

Peel and core the apples and place each in the centre of a pastry round.

Carefully spoon and pack the filling into each apple.

Bring the pastry up around the apple leaving a small opening at the top – trim any excess pastry so that the pastry will hold its shape while baking.

Place on parchment paper in a baking dish and brush with egg wash.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until pastry is golden-brown and apples are tender. Sprinkle with sugar after removing from the oven.

Serve with English custard or ice cream.

How to Experience a Wonderful Gastronomic Weekend with Calgary Foods

When taking a vacation anywhere in the world, culinary experiences add to the vibrancy of your trip. Such is the case if you want to experience Calgary foods. Whether you are in the city for just a couple of days or a week, Calgary offers you with an abundance of cuisines to whet your appetite.

Most tourists neglect to enjoy the cuisines of the place they are visiting. This is because they are so focused on taking in the sights that they don’t give much importance to trying the foods of the city or town. Never have this kind of mentality. If you are planning to visit Calgary soon you should also explore the culinary experience the city has to offer. Here are some tips, you may find useful to enjoy a weekend of food fun in Calgary:

  • Pack Light

If one of your main purposes to visit Calgary is for its food, pack light. However, this doesn’t mean that you should have a small travelling bag. You can bring a decent-sized bag but do not fill it. Why? If your purpose is to travel for food, you will be visiting farmer’s markets and artisan shops. The city is beaming with appetizing produce and foods that you will surely want to bring home with you so your friends and family could enjoy them, too. If your suitcase is filled with things before your trip, chances are you won’t be able to bring home Calgary foods.

  • Read Local Food Magazines

Before coming to Calgary, get your hands on magazines that feature Calgary cuisines. Most magazine publications have online sites. You can read the types of food the city has to offer. These magazines can also provide tips and guides for your food adventure. If, however, you have no time to research before travelling, downtown Calgary sells these types of magazines downtown. This place should be your first destination. Reading about the culinary culture of the city is your best guide to enjoying your trip.

  • Prioritize the Best Food Places

To be able to enjoy Calgary foods, start your food tour by eating at the place on the top of your priority list. Also, end it by also munching on the cuisines of the place on the same top list. It is important to make reservations in these places so your trip would not be in vain. Schedule your trip accordingly so that you wouldn’t have to go home sad if you haven’t tried the food in the restaurants you would like to dine in the most.

  • Light Meals are Crucial

Let’s face it! Travelling with food adventure in mind could burn your wallet easily. At the same time, it could easily make you stuffed. If this happens, the trip will definitely be less enjoyable. Calgary is filled with wonderful food places that offer grab and go meals. For a fraction of the price of restaurant food, you will be able to find mouth-watering menus in the small food places downtown.

  • Use Social Media

We are in a day and age where almost everything is on social media. Most Calgary food places, whether big or small have social media profiles. If you are meaning to visit a few of these establishments it won’t hurt to leave them a note on their newsfeed. Who knows? You may get more than food when you are finally in the city. Some of these food venues might tour you in their kitchen.

Going on a food trip can be just as rewarding as going on a scenic trip. This is why you shouldn’t take for granted Calgary foods the next time you visit the wonderful Canadian city.