We had some friends over for a Sunday roast recently. They actually ended up doing the dinner work - carving a Sanitarium vegie loaf and drowning it in onion gravy, baking potatoes in lemon and oil, with spiced cauliflower, beetroot, pumpkin and garlic - but I pitched in with this cobbler, found in Veganomicon.
Cobblers and latticed pastry aren't my typical territory but this worked out pretty well - the flush of pride I felt when I saw golden woven dough over bubbly baking strawberries will likely spur me on to other similar dishes. Still, it wasn't perfect. The arrowroot wasn't evenly distributed and there were pockets of strawberry juice and jelly instead of a thick, smooth sauce. While golden on top, the pastry was still very doughy underneath.
Both these issues can surely be addressed with a bit more care. The important thing is that the flavours here are worth the repetition. A dash of rosewater gives the strawberries a lolly-ish note, while the pastry is only slightly sweet and extra lemony. I served them with a small scoop of vanilla-almond icecream.
Strawberry-rose cobbler with a lemony lattice
(slightly adapted from a recipe in Veganomicon)
1 kg strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped into quarters
2 tablespoons arrowroot
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons rosewater
1/2 cup soy milk
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups plain flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
generous pinch of salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Place the strawberries in a baking dish. Stir through the arrowroot, water and rosewater (next time I might mix the arrowroot and water into a paste before adding them to the strawberries). Set the dish aside.
Preheat an oven to 190°C. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla. In a larger bowl stir together the flour, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the poppy seeds, baking powder and salt. Pour the oil into the flour mixture and use a fork to work it in. Pour in the soy milk mixture and combine until it all just forms a dough. You want to be able to knead and roll this dough, so add a bit more flour if it's very sticky.
Knead the dough a little in the bowl, then turn it onto a clean floured surface. Gently roll the dough into a shape that matches your baking dish. Slice the dough into parallel strips about 1.5cm wide; take every second piece of dough and place them in parallel spaced lines across the strawberry filling in the baking dish. Go back to your first strip of dough and weave it over-and-under the strips in the baking tray; repeat - alternating under-and-over, then back again - with the remaining dough strips.
Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar over the dough and bake the cobbler uncovered for 35 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the dough is browning on top. Allow the cobbler to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.