It’s what makes having a packet of frozen berries on hand such a good idea -- even in the depths of winter you can cook something fresh and fruity at a moment’s notice. Like an apple and blackberry cobbler. A warm fruit dessert is the ideal thing to line your ribs when the weather turns cool, but pies are time consuming.
That’s where your trusty slow cooker comes in. Not just for soups, stocks and stews, this helpful appliance is also a dab hand at dessert.
Apples are a great winter staple to have in the fruit bowl and pair beautifully with berries, helping to bulk out the fruit filling and balance the tart sweetness of the berries. Plus, the juice of the berries stains the apple a beautiful purple as they cook together.
You cook fruit in the slow-cooker with corn flour, vanilla, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon until it’s soft. Then you add a cobbler batter made from flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, egg yolk and buttermilk.
Dropped across the surface of the fruit, the batter will puff up and go golden as it cooks and the fruit juices concentrate and become sticky and fragrant. Scoop out of the dish and serve with vanilla ice cream.
Or if you are out of the basics why not try Curtis Stone’s 10 minute strawberry jam that uses only three ingredients and a large pan.
You add the chopped berries, sugar and lemon to a pan and cook until the berries are soft and a drop of jam placed on a freezer-cold plate cools and sets to a sticky jam consistency.
You could even then use your new jam to make another slow cooker dessert -- a jam pudding. You just need to make a simple pudding batter from butter, sugar, lemon rind, vanilla, eggs, flour and milk. Put the jam in the base of a pudding basin, add the batter, seal and slow cook.
For a cheeky shortcut you also can try this quick strawberry pie. The hack is to use strawberry jelly crystals in your filling, mixed with sugar, water and arrowroot powder. You then mix through fresh strawberries and place in an at home pastry flan shell, chill and serve.
The options are endless when you have a packet of frozen berries on hand sand picking up a packet means dessert is already halfway there.