Nan’s Apple Cobbler

Nan's Apple Cobbler

Before I get into this week’s post…I want to bring you back to the Samoas Ice Cream Pie – remember that one?  As luck would have it, I managed to make it as a finalist in the Girl Scout Cookie Recipe Contest!!  HORAAY!!!  That means I NEED YOUR HELP.  The winner with the most votes wins the contest – you can help me out here.  You only have until February 27th at 10pm to vote.  One vote per person, so tell your friends!  Now if I win, I am going to donate the money to charity.  Which charity?  Well, that’s where you come in!  Please leave a comment with your favorite charity, and if I win, I will randomly select one. Oh, and one more thing – cookies go on sale Monday, February 27th and last until March 15th.  So you have a few weeks to stock up on those cookies – particularly the Samoas, so you can make that Ice Cream Pie!  Remember, it is Samoas 40th Birthday!!

I know what you are thinking…what are those pumpkins doing in this post?  Well, I am behind…more than just a little.  I still haven’t even made the neighbors their special holiday treats…hopefully I will catch up soon.  I am just dealing with a lot these days.  So what does this amazing looking Apple Cobbler have to do with the Samoas Ice Cream Pie?  The crust!!  In the Samoas Ice Cream Pie, the ice cream was something else – but it was nothing compared to that crust.  Well, here we go again, except that this time the ratio of crust to filling is about 1:1.  You don’t get that very often.  But this cobbler is all about the crust – my grandmother definitely knew what she was doing here – but then again, when did she not when it came to desserts?  Remember, I used her fudge recipe for the pie as well.

So, even though the fall is long gone, it is always apple season here in the pacific northwest – and this cobbler is calling your name.  That is after you pick up some Girl Scout Cookies and make that Samoas Ice Cream Pie…

Ingredients

Topping

  • 2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 rounded teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon (or vanilla)
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • turnbinado sugar

Filling

  • 3 pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preparation

Make the topping – combine the flour, baking powder and sugar.  Add the butter in 1 tablespoon chunks, and mix with your fingers until it looks like course meal.  Add the vanilla, bourbon and vinegar and gather up into a ball using plastic wrap – then throw against the counter until it is all combined well.  Chill for about 2 hours. Mix the apples with the rest of the ingredients.  Grease an 7X11 glass baking dish.  Add apple mixture.  Remove topping from the refrigerator, and break into small chunks all over the apple filling.  Brush with the milk, then sprinkle with sugar.  Bake in a 375 preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 and cook until bubble and the topping is golden, about 20-30 minutes more.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Nan’s Apple Cobbler

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Skillet Apple Crisp

My husband loves a good apple crisp – especially when it is baked with a ton of cinnamon.  There are even times when I have doubled the cinnamon in the recipe and I still catch him sprinkling just a little more on top of the golden crust.  For me, it is all about the apples, and the more caramelized, the better.

The other month Cook’s Illustrated experimented with a Skillet Apple Crisp – one that was made in a pan on the stove, then finished off in the oven.  I read the ingredients, and knew that I could not go wrong with this recipe – the combination of the brown sugar and oatmeal would make a fantastic topping, and starting it on the stove would definitely give it a caramelized flavor.

Boy was this recipe fantastic – the apples were so tender and golden, and the topping baked right in – there was plenty for every bite.  This was definitely the best apple crisp I have ever made.  I highly recommend this recipe (which I have adapted slightly below to allow for more cinnamon).  I suggest putting it into the oven as soon as you sit down for dinner.  Once dinner is over, you will have the best apple crisp, warm enough to melt the ice-cream you serve it with, that you have ever tasted.

Ingredients

Topping

  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped fine (optional)
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled outs (see note)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 3 pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, halved, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preparation

Make the topping:  Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees.  Combine flour, pecans, oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir in butter until mixture is thoroughly moistened and crumbly.  Set aside while preparing the fruit filling.

Make the filling:  Toss the apples, granulated sugar, and cinnamon (if using) together in a large bowl;  set aside.  Bring cider to a simmer in a 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium heat; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes.  Transfer reduced cider to a bowl or liquid measuring cup; stir in lemon juice and set aside.

Heat butter in a now empty skillet over medium heat.  When foaming subsides, add apple mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until apples begin to soften and become translucent, 12 to 14 minutes.  (Do not fully cook apples.)  Remove pan from heat and gently stir in cider mixture until apples are coated.

Sprinkle topping evenly over fruit, breaking up any large chunks.  Place skillet on baking sheet and bake until fruit is tender and topping is deep golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack until warm, at least 15 minutes, and serve.

Note:  If your skillet is not oven-safe, prepare the recipe and transfer the cooked apples into a 13×9 inch baking dish.  Top the filling as directed and bake for an additional 5 minutes.  Do not use Granny Smith apples for this recipe, but you could use other apples such as Honey Crisp or Braeburn.  While rolled oats are preferable in the topping, quick oats may be substituted.  Serve the apple crisp warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream – or just by itself.

Serves 6-8

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Skillet Apple Crisp

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Caramel-Apple Crisp

Caramel-Apple Crisp

Fall is definitely my favorite season – that’s when the sky starts turning white (as my daughter calls it) and I just long to be in the kitchen baking.   I got hooked on this recipe from Bon Appetit because of the caramel filling.  Be careful not to over-cook the caramel, or your filling will be bitter.  If you cook it until it jut starts turning golden, it will be delicious.  Also, it is best to use an assortment of apples in this recipe instead of just one type.  If you like more texture in your topping, add some oatmeal – although for this recipe I prefer the simple topping below.

Ingredients

Topping:

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 10 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, diced

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 mixture of Golden Delicious, Gala, Fuji apples (about 2 3/4 pounds), peeled, quartered, cored
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream

Preparation

For topping:
Whisk first 6 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until small moist clumps form. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

For filling:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Stir sugar and butter in large skillet over medium heat until smooth sauce forms. Add lemon juice and cook, stirring, until caramel is deep brown, about 5 minutes. Mix in salt, then apples. Toss until apples are evenly coated, about 1 minute. Scrape apples and caramel into 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish; spread evenly. Sprinkle topping evenly over.

Bake crisp until apples are tender, sauce is bubbling thickly, and topping is golden, about 50 minutes. Let crisp cool 15 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream.

For a printer-friendly version of this reciple, please click here.

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