Apple Cobbler

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.

Apple Cobbler Recipe

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

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
  • 2 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 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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Apple Cobbler

8 Comments

  1. 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?

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Cindy

    Elise, what is and where do you find crystallized ginger? What section of the store would it be in? I really want to make this apple cobbler and I don’t want to substitute any of the ingredients.
    Thanks

    Hi Cindy, I think it depends on the store. I usually just ask a clerk or store manager where they keep it. ~Elise

  6. sam

    Elise, can I use powdered ginger instead of crystallised? Cheers

    I do not recommend it. ~Elise

  7. Leslie

    I had to substitute the ginger for nutmeg cause I just realized I didn’t have it…but it smells very good like my mom’s homemade apple pie, its in the oven right now :-)

  8. kathleen

    I altered the recipe quite a lot and ended up with the best apple pie I have ever made. I used fuji apples with the option for 1/2 a cup of sugar. I forgot to add the vanilla. Otherwise, the filling was prepared per this recipe. I used the all butter pie crust recipe from this site, making a two crust pie. I baked on 425 for approximately 30 mins? Just until the crust was golden. I only got one piece. My husband ate the rest before I could get another!
    I love your site, Elise!

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