Apple Cobbler

Stop by my parent’s house in September or October and likely you will not leave without a bag filled with granny smith apples from their tree. My father grafts several varieties of apples on to his trees, but the granny smiths are the ones that are the most prolific, and they’re also great for pies, applesauce, apple butter, and cobbler.

One of our favorite things to make with our apples is this apple cobbler. The filling is seasoned with cinnamon, lemon, and vanilla and isn’t overly sweet. The buttermilk biscuit cobbler crust is speckled with bits of candied ginger. As much as we love pie, cobblers are much less fussy. You don’t roll out a crust, but just spoon the crust dough on top of the filling. So you get the great taste of pie with half the work!

Updated from the recipe archive. First posted in 2007.

Apple Cobbler

Apple Cobbler Recipe

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8
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Ingredients

Filling ingredients:

  • 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

Crust ingredients:

  • 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
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest or orange zest

Method

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).

peel, core, cut apples pre-cook apples

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 (including any juices from the apples) to a 10-inch pie dish, a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish, or a 9x9-inch baking dish.

cut in butter stir to create cobbler dough

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!

fill pie dish with pre-cooked apples top apples with dough mixture

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.)

remove apple cobbler from oven

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.

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Showing 4 of 29 Comments

  • Anonymous

    I have a bag of granny smiths just waiting to be made into a crumble your cobbler might change my mind. So I am curious, what is the difference between a pie a cobbler and a crumble?

  • Diane

    Anonymous:

    Pie: has a pie crust lining the pie plate, and maybe one on top.

    Crumble: Has a streusel topping (streusel is usually butter, sugar, spices, and a starch like flour or oats,). The whole is then browned.

    Cobbbler: has a biscuit or biscuit-like topping. Usually, the biscuit dough is just spooned on, not rolled out. It is called a cobbler because the spooned out dough looks like cobblestones

  • Kacey

    Response to “Anonymous” Cobbler
    definition

    My culinary dictionary says a cobbler is a traditional dish in the United States and the United Kingdom, (typically a dessert but may have a savory meat filling) consisting of a filling, placed in a large baking dish, (i.e., Dutch oven), which is covered by a layer of pastry.

  • Gremlin

    My Moms cobbler is very different from this. Hers is a Southern recipe passed down from her Mom. She makes it in a casserole dish and the crust on top is actually more of a batter consistency and is poured onto the filling before baking.

    The crust turns out sort of cake-like. It’s very good.

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