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Autumn

Damson and Cobb nut muffins

320g Damsons
12 Cobb nuts
275g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g + 1 tbsp caster sugar
2 eggs
100g butter
250ml plain yoghurt


Preheat the oven to 180 C

Wash the Damsons, remove the stalks and quarter them discarding the stones
Extract the nut from the Cobb nuts and roughly chop

Melt the butter so that it is nearly liquid
Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl and stir in the sugar
Whisk together the eggs, melted butter and yoghurt in another mixing bowl
Slowly add the dry ingredients while continuing to whisk
Once combined stir in the Damsons and Cobb nuts

Divide the mixture between 12 muffin cases and bake for 15 - 20 minutes untill the muffins start to colour on top and spring back when pressed
Leave to cool on a wire rack


Damson Cobbler

900g Damsons
200g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
75g butter
1 egg
100ml buttermilk
15g flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 190C

Wash the Damsons and remove the stalks

Spread the damsons over the base of a 2 litre shallow ovenproof dish and sprinkle with 100g caster sugar
Sift the flour, baking powder, the 100g of caster sugar into a mixing bowl, add the butter and work together until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs
Break the egg into the buttermilk and beat together well. Add to the dry ingredients and mix together lightly into a soft, sticky dough
Drop walnut-sized spoonfuls of the mixture over the top of the damsons, leaving a little space between each one, then sprinkle with the flaked almonds and the remaining 1 tbsp of sugar
Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden and bubbling, covering it loosely with a sheet of foil if it is browning a little too quickly

It is ready when a skewer, pushed into the middle of the cobbler topping, comes away clean
Leave to cool briefly before serving with some custard, double cream or crème fraîche (and maybe a bowl for the Damsons stones !)

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