I’ve always liked the idea of a cobbler, I have several of them posted on this here web thingy (here, here, and here, to be exact); but they’ve all been just a bit lacking, in my opinion, because the topping was always, again, to me, a little bit off. Too sweet, not sweet enough, just kinda, meh.
Then, we went to a cooking class at our local Sur la Table store, and Chef Gina showed me where I’d gone wrong in the past. The sweet biscuits topping her cobbler were simplicity itself to make, and oh! so good!
So of course, I had to make one for myself.
•1-1/2 cup fresh cranberries, slightly crushed
•2/3 cup sugar – see note below
•2-1/2 tsp cornstarch
•1/2 tsp cinnamon
•1/4 tsp allspice
•5 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced
•2 cups flour
•1/4 cup sugar
•2-1/2 tsp baking powder
•1/2 tsp salt
•1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, cold
•1 cup + 2 tbsp whipping cream
•1 large egg, lightly beaten
•2 tbsp turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
Important Note: when I went to make my cobbler, the market had no cranberries in the produce or frozen foods sections, so I used a one pound bag of thawed frozen mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, and cherries) and slightly reduced the amount of sugar.
Heat your oven to 350º, and place a rack in the center.
Lightly butter an 11 x 7 x 2 inch glass or stoneware baking dish and set aside. Trust me, use real butter (I prefer Irish), not some of that cooking spray. Your taste buds (and the clean up) will thank you.
Combine the berries with 1/4 cup sugar and allow to rest for ten minutes (remember, if you can find cranberries, crush ’em just a bit and use 1/3 cup of sugar).
Whisk the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar together with the cornstarch, cinnamon, and allspice.
Add the apple slices to the berry mixture, then sprinkle with the sugar and cornstarch mixture, tossing to coat evenly. Set this aside to rest for ten minutes, tossing the fruit once or twice.
Arrange the fruit mixture and any accumulated juices in the buttered baking pan.
Make the biscuit topping by combining the flour sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse ten times, until well and truly blended.
Cut the cold butter into 1/2 inch cubes and add to the flour mixture in the processor. Pulse five times, until the mixture is coarsely cut into pea sized pieces.
Add one cup of the cream and pulse another 20 times, until the dough holds together in small, thick clumps. It will still be a bit crumbly; that’s perfectly all right.
Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently squeeze together. Pat the dough into a one inch thick rectangle and divide into eight equal squares.
Place the squares evenly over the top of the fruit filling, leaving a bit of space between each square.
Whisk the egg together with the two tablespoons of heavy cream and brush over the tops and exposed sides of the biscuits and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
Bake on a rimmed baking sheet for 45 to 50 minutes, until the biscuits are a light golden brown and the fruit mixture bubbles up and has thickened.
Serve warm, or at room temperature with mebbe a drizzle of heavy cream or a scoop of good ice cream on top. We’ve be known to place a leftover bit in the ‘wave for 15 or 20 seconds and then adding ice cream for an evening treat.
The apple and cranberry version from cooking class was great, so was my apple and mixed berry version, so feel free to play around with the filling.
Just be certain to make these biscuits.