As the intoxicating aroma of apples and cinnamon filled my kitchen, I felt a few pangs of guilt that our boys, particularly my middle guy who loves apple-y desserts, would not be home to share this with us. Would that I could send them a little portion in the mail, complete with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!! Higher learning really interferes with the consuming if delicious desserts!! I'll have to add this to the list of "things I promise to make when you come home for Thanksgiving break", because this easy apple cobbler, with its apple pie like filling, topped with tender flaky buttermilk biscuits, is out of this world delish!!! A must make this autumn!!
If you've been following the blog lately, you'll have read of my post-apple picking tale of woe to eat and cook pounds and pounds of fresh apples. When I saw this recipe I was immediately intrigued because though I've made tons of cobblers in my life (here on the site you can find recipes for Blueberry Cobbler, Skillet Blackberry Cobbler, Nectarine-Vanilla Cobbler, Peach Plum Cobbler,heck even a savory Chicken and Vegetable version) but for some reason I've never made one using apples as the base. Now I believe it will be an annual seasonal tradition in my house!!
And it's easy, guys! After peeling and chopping up a bunch of apples, you sauté some in butter, sugar, apple cider, lemon juice and zest and cinnamon until they've softened up a bit and then you top them with an easy-to-make buttermilk biscuit dough that you cut into little rounds. It's kind of adorable looking in that charming, homey way which is what cobblers are all about!
The hardest part is sniffing the air while it's baking and having to wait for it to finish! Every bite is full of the goodness of warm cinnamon-sugary tender apples and flaky golden biscuits. In the recipe below, I list that the vanilla ice cream is optional but we all know that it's really not!! The combo of the cold, creamy, mellow ice cream with the crunchy/cakey biscuits and slightly tart apple filling is heavenly!! It's got all the goodness of apple pie with about half the work and what a blessing that is in these busy days!! After burning our tongues 'cause we just couldn't wait for it to cool down a bit, all my testers (read me, my husband and our daughter) proclaimed this the perfect seasonal dessert!! I guarantee you'll think so too! Try it and let me know!!
Serves 6-8 people
Prep Time: 25 minutes; Bake Time: 30-35 minutes
For the Apples
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the dish
- 6 large tart apples, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider or unfiltered apple juice
- The grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the Biscuits
- 1 cup self-rising flour or 1 cup of unbleached, all-purpose flour mixed with 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk, cold
Vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream to top it all off (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400ºf and butter a 9-inch square baking dish. Set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat and add the apples, sugar, apple cider, lemon zest and juice and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the apples are somewhat tender. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cinnamon. Then pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan, including all the juices and set aside while you make the biscuits.
3. To make the biscuits: Place the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Add the cubed butter and use a pastry blender or two forks to cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles the texture of cornmeal. Pour in the buttermilk and use a fork to stir the dough just until it comes together. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and bring it together into a ball.
4. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out rounds of dough with a 2-inch biscuit or cookie cutter or use the rim of a glass and place the rounds on top of the apples in the pan, leaving about 1/4 inch space between the rounds. Gather together the scraps, re-roll out the dough and cut out more rounds until all the dough is used up.
5. Bake the cobbler in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown and the apple mixture is all bubbly. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving (if you can wait that long!) and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some sweetened whipped if you like.
Note: Recipe adapted from Fresh Every Day by Sara Foster.