For years, this apple cobbler recipe has been one of my father’s “signature” apple dishes (knowing my dad, bemused by the thought of his having a “signature” anything, he would probably agree to this statement with dramatic flourish and an affected British accent – “Oh yus, indeed, one of my signatcha dishes”). The cobbler usually starts showing up on the family menu at the end of August, beginning of September, when the great-for-baking, tart Granny Smith apples begin falling off the tree. The cobbler is packed with apples, seasoned with cinnamon, lemon juice, and vanilla, and topped with a biscuit-y cobbler crust, with a touch of ginger.
- 3 lbs of a variety of good cooking apples such as Granny Smith, Pippin, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Gravenstein
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest or orange zest
1 Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut them into 1/4 to 1/2 inch chunks. As you prep the apples, add them to a bowl and toss with lemon juice to keep them from oxidizing (turning brown).
2 Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chopped apples (and the lemon juice from the bowl), sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss to coat with everything so that the spices and sugar are well distributed throughout the apples. Partially cover the pot and cook until the apples are just tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vanilla, and toss to coat with a tablespoon of flour. Transfer the apple cobbler filling to a 10-inch pie dish, a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish, or a 9x9-inch baking dish.
3 Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the cubed butter and toss to coat with the flour mixture. Use your fingertips or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until the largest piece of butter is no bigger than a pea. Stir in the candied ginger and zest. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Use a fork to stir the flour and buttermilk together until the flour is all moistened. Do not overwork the dough!
4 Crumble the cobbler dough over the top of the apples in the baking dish. (If you want extra pizzaz you can sprinkle the top with a little brown sugar.)
5 Place a rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack in the oven (to catch any drippings), and place the cobbler on the next lowest rack. Bake for 10 minutes at 425°F until the top is beginning to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for 30 more minutes until the topping is cooked through and the filling is bubbly.
Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.