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 slices of green apples, seasoned with cinnamon, lemon juice, and vanilla, and topped with a thick biscuit-y crust, with a touch of ginger and orange peel.

Apple Cobbler Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 6-8

Note: we like our cobblers and pies fairly tart; you can easily add more sugar to the filling if you like it a bit sweeter than what we have here.

Ingredients

Filling ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup sugar (or more, up to 1/2 cup, to taste)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3 lbs. tart apples (such as granny smith), peeled, cored, and sliced (about 6 large apples)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Crust ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 Tbsp coarsely chopped crystallized ginger
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 cup heavy cream, plus more for glaze

Method

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1 Filling directions: Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Stir in apple slices, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and flour. Cover partially and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Transfer to buttered 10" pie dish. (This recipe has the crust only on the top).


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2 Crust directions: In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in ginger. Stir orange zest into cream; then, using a fork, stir cream into flour until the doug holds together. Gather dough into a ball; knead briefly then roll out to a little larger than pie dish. Transfer to dish; trim off excess. Score the center so the steam can escape while baking. Brush with cream.


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3 Bake 10 minutes in a 450ºF (230°C) oven. Reduce heat to 375ºF (190°C) and bake 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream.

31 Comments

  1. Irene

    Thanks for posting this! I really must try it. Apple season is here, and I am always looking for something “beyond” your average apple pie.

    This is it!

  2. Elise

    Hi Lisa,

    Any time I get a comment like this I panic, because sometimes I do make typos!

    But this isn’t one of those times.

    The crust has a whole cup of cream in it, which is why you don’t need that much butter.

  3. lydia

    Your cobbler looks so beautiful — mine never look pie-like, they are more like someone dropped the crust dough on top by accident! Will have to try this method.

  4. Kalyn

    Wow Elise, what a stunning photo of the cobbler. The light is just beautiful in that picture. This reminds me very much of the type of pie my Grandmother Goodfellow used to make, many years ago. She was quite famous for her pies, and now my sister Sandee has taken up the pie-making challenge in our family.

  5. Brian

    Elise,

    I love your site. I’m still learning to cook a lot of things, but these look yummy. If I made them 24hrs before, do you know how long I would reheat them for and at what temp?

    Thanks

  6. Meghan

    Do you think that the entire thing could be pre-assembled and then left in the fridge for the work day before baking?

  7. Elise

    Hi Brian – Reheat? I would take a slice and zap it in the microwave a few seconds if I wanted it warm the next day.

    Hi Meghan – if I were to make this one day ahead I would slice the apples and toss them with the sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice, put them in a bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate. I would make the dough, flatten it into a disc about 5 inches wide, wrap it in plastic wrap then refrigerate. Then, to make it, while the oven was heating up (which on my oven takes a while) I would cook the apples, mix in the vanilla, and take the dough out the fridge to relax for a few minutes and then roll that out.

  8. 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?

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Anonymous

    Elise I agree with you that this is a cobbler. It is round like an apple pie but has all the ingredients of a square apple cobbler.
    No what you call it, looks good enough to serve company to me.

    Linda

  12. 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.

  13. Dale

    I can’t wait to try this. My Dad’s English and loves to cook as well. I’ll send him this recipe. I have an organic apple orchard and a produce stand. This is a good recipe to tell my customers to try. Thanks.

  14. Jeanne

    For a long time I refused to eat any apple other than a Granny Smith, so this recipe has my name all over it… ;-) I was interested to read the cobbler/pie distinction – I had always thought a cobbler was topped with lumps of unrolled dough that spread while baking to form a complete lid, but that definition does fit in with simply having an unrolled pastry lid as you have. Either way, it sounds seriously delicious and I do have some Granny Smiths at home…

  15. Sarah

    I made this last night on a whim, I’d been planning to make another simple pie recipe when this one caught my eye. I’m glad it did! Four of us ate the whole thing in one night.

    Question – Does this type of crust work as a pie bottom as well? I need to figure out something to do with all my extra dough, besides making the topping thicker next time.

  16. beyonduplication

    I don’t have any apples on hand, but a friend just dropped off some enormous green pears. Do you think that they would work for this, or would they be too sweet? Maybe I could just leave out some of the sugar?

  17. Sam Levy

    Wow! I’ve got a peach cobbler recipe that I very much like, and was intrigued by the scone-style batter/dough rolled to top this apple cobbler. Truly spectacular – especially with all the orange zest and candied ginger in the top crust. I baked the trimmings separately on a cookie sheet for just the first 10 minutes and made long cookies out of them – tasty! I really like the style of this cobbler and the fluffy, crunchy but not too crisp dough on top – a new addition to my repertoire for sure! For high altitude, I raised temperatures about 20 degrees (F) and reduced baking soda to about 1 1/4 tsp, and made the crust entirely by pulsing about 12 times in a food processor (no fork or kneading) before rolling out on a lightly floured board.

  18. Mansi

    Wow, I’ve been looking for this recipe:) It’s my first time making a cobbler, and as apples are in plenty, I’m gonna try your recipe…will let you know how it goes!

  19. 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

  20. 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 :-)

  21. Jackie

    I have never been happy when I use Granny Smith apples. They are my least favorite. They never seem to soften up and my dessert seems to have crunchy apples. Anyway, I much prefer a combination of Macs, early golds (truly my favorite), or ginger golds.
    I always am curious when anyone recommends Granny Smith.
    Is there something wrong with my taste? I always have great reviews with my apple desserts.

    Well, it could be the season and where the apples are coming from. Granny Smith season here in Sacramento is October through December. Our grannies cook up mushy, lots of water content, so much so that we use them mostly for apple sauce. We have a couple trees which is why we use them so often in recipes. ~Elise

  22. Krystle

    BEST COBBLER I HAVE EVER TASTED….AND I’M THE ONE WHO MADE IT!

    Couldn’t have done it without your blog, Elise – thank you! Loved it, loved it, loved it. :)

    Next time I make it, I’ll leave the ginger out, but that’s my own personal preference. I loved the density of the crust – it was a wonderful texture, and the orange zest added a little something unexpected – thank you!

  23. 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!

  24. sarah

    Can I add 2 % milk instead of cream to the crust?

    You can but it won’t turn out nearly as well. The fat in the cream is needed for the crust. ~Elise

  25. Lu

    Tried the recipe :( Sadly I think I added way to much flour to the apples there was flour lumps all over! I’m not giving up yet xD Made it today and it was delicious!

I apologize for the inconvenience, but comments are closed. You can share your thoughts on our Facebook page ~ Elise.