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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Make-a-mix French Cobbler and Crisp Mixes

by Lili Mounce

There is so much to do in summer, so much fun to be had! Most evenings I find myself just too busy to make dessert from scratch. So I "cheat" with one of my own homemade mixes.

Here's my mix recipe created just for those evenings. Once the mix is made, even on the busiest of evenings I can prepare my family's summer favorite with ease.

Basic French Cobbler & Crisp Topping Mix

4 cups (480 grams) flour
4 cups (800 grams) sugar
4 teaspoons (20 mL) baking powder
2 teaspoons (10 mL) salt
2  1/2 cups (595 mL) shortening or vegetable oil (in the US, we pack shortening into a measuring cup)
2 cups (180 grams) raw oats

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Divide mixture into 2 equal portions.

Cobbler Mix

To first portion, cut in 1/2 cup (120 mL) of the shortening or oil. Store in airtight container or storage bag, up to 3 months.

Crisp (or Crumble) Mix

To second portion, cut in 2 cups (475 mL) of shortening/oil. Mix in oats. Store in airtight container or storage bag, up to 3 months.

To make one French Fruit Cobbler

4 cups (500 grams) fruit (peaches, berries, plums, apples, rhubarb)
sugar, to taste for the fruit (from 1/4 cup (50 grams), for very ripe peaches, plums and berries, up to 1 cup (200 grams) for very under ripe fruit or rhubarb)
dash salt
1 Tablespoon flour (15 mL)
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Cobbler Mix (about 180 grams -- I was a bit unsure on the exact metric measurement of this one item, but this is a close estimate)
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Peel and slice fruit, into the baking dish. Toss with sugar, salt and flour.

In a medium bowl, combine Cobbler Mix with egg. Spoon over prepared fruit.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until topping is done (it'll be golden and center of topping will be set and firm)

To make one Fruit Crisp/Crumble

4 cups (500 grams) fruit (same varieties as for cobbler)
sugar to taste ( as described for cobbler)
dash salt
1 Tablespoon (15 mL) flour
2  1/2 cups (about 350 grams) Crisp Mix

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Lightly butter a medium baking dish.

Prepare fruit and add to baking dish. Toss with sugar, flour, salt.

Top with Crisp Mix.  Bake 30-35 minutes, until topping is golden.

One of the things I have done with these recipes in the past, is to print a copy and tape the recipe to the container of each mix. This way I don't have to hunt down the recipe each time I prepare a dessert with the mix. It's my version of a boxed mix, which includes the recipe on how to use the mix, right on the box. (Imagine if you had to hunt down a recipe every time you baked a cake with a mix!)

*other note -- this is one of my first attempts to convert imperial to metric measures, so if you find something a bit off in the metric conversion, my apologies. And please let me know, so I can correct it.

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