Friends, when Paulie the Port-a-potty King drops one of these on your street, you know you’re in for it.
By it I mean, of course, long-term road construction. Paul doesn’t post these up for a simple pothole repair. Monday was Day 1 of repaving our street, and it is slated to take six to eight weeks. Oh, and did I mention that’s only Day 1 of Stage 1 of 3?
Their work schedule appears to be 6:45-8:00 AM, and then noon to 1:30, and the rest of the time it’s dead quiet out there. It has been a learning experience, though, because all the machinery and the whole ripping up several feet of asphalt and what-have-you makes our entire house shake. Now if we ever live in a place with earthquakes, I know how Tater reacts, which is to side-eye the whole nonsense and bark at the windows.
So while we avert our eyes from the dirty stretch of wreckage formerly known as our street and adapt to our new wake-up calls, we’ll be munching on this apple cobbler.
Last summer when we moved to Iowa, we were invited to dinner by some church members and I offered to bring dessert. I decided to bring one of my favorites, cobbler, with some of the great seasonal strawberries that were everywhere.
And you know what I learned?
There are people who have never even heard of cobbler.
During peach season in Georgia we’d sometimes make a peach cobbler a week. I love cobblers because they are a lot simpler and easier to make than a pie (no rolling of crust!) and you don’t have to stress the filling as much. Cobbler fillings by nature are looser, but since there’s no bottom crust like in a pie you can get away with it being a little more soupy. And if you, like me, struggle with fruit pie fillings that are too thick, stodgy, and gelatinous, a cobbler is a major win.
You can make this with any fruit or fruit combos. Adjust the sugar and corn starch if necessary. Really tart fruits may need more, sweet fruits less, and different fruits may give off different amounts of liquid during the baking process, requiring a little more thickener. It’s a really easy recipe to experiment with, so I suggest you do that!
I’ve adapted this cobbler crust recipe after making about a dozen. Some were too cake-y, not buttery enough, too much like a biscuit, or absorbed all the juices from the filling. For me this is the perfect one — part soft sugar cookie and part buttery pie crust. It gets crunchy on the top and remains soft underneath and nicely chewy throughout.
serves about six
For the filling:
2 1/2 lbs apples, preferred variety (I had 2 jumbo Granny Smiths lying around, and 4 medium-sized Jonathans)
juice from 1/2 a lemon (about 1 Tbs)
2/3 cup pure cane sugar
1 1/2 Tbs corn starch
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger (optional)
For the crust:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup pure cane sugar
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla (opt)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking dish and set aside.
Peel and core your apples. If you don’t have a corer, like me, I suggest quartering the apples and cutting the core and seeds out on an angle. Then slice the apples into wedges.
I like it when the apples still have a bite to them, so I cut mine into fairly chunky wedges. The thinner you cut them, the more cooked down they’ll be by the end. Just cut to whatever thickness will yield you the end result you like!
In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with the lemon juice. Then add the sugar, corn starch, and spices, and stir until all are coated.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Let it cool slightly before adding the sugar, flour, and vanilla extract. This will come together into a dough which shouldn’t stick to the sides of the bowl. If everything is mixed thoroughly and the dough is loose enough to cling to the bowl, try adding a little bit more flour.
Transfer the apples into the prepared baking dish. Then take handfuls of the dough crust and smash them between your hands to form a disk — this is the “cobble.” Place the cobbles on top of the fruit mixture until it’s covered.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, until filling is bubbling and the crust has browned.* Serve warm with ice cream.
*Baking time will vary based on how hot your oven runs and how thick your cobble disks are. The oven in our new place seems to run a bit cooler, so mine took about 50 minutes. Also if your crust disks are on the thicker side, that might add a few minutes of baking time. Just play around!
The title of this post comes from an episode of Gilmore Girls in which Kirk also has no idea what a cobbler is — although in his case they were referring to the shoemaker and not to this delicious dessert.