Everyone loves apple cobbler, and it’s even better when it features cornmeal. I made this recipe using Lodge mini cast-iron serving bowls for a recent dinner party. The presentation “raised the tone” a bit, while retaining the rustic and relaxed quality I was going for. Oh yes – the cobbler was delicious, too.
The recipe is adapted from the October/November 2016 issue of Fine Cooking. It calls for 1/2 of the cornbread recipe, so I made the entire recipe and baked the rest as a separate small loaf to have later with scrambled eggs or soup.
Just sweet enough, with a slightly crunchy texture from the cornbread topping, this cobbler will rapidly become a favourite. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for additional decadence.
For the cornbread topping (you’ll only need half for the cobbler – bake the rest separately for another use)
- 1 1/2 c (6 3/4 oz) finely ground yellow cornmeal, such as Indian Head Old Fashioned Stone Ground
- 1 c (4 1/2 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 6 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 large eggs, beaten (at room temperature)
- 1 c full-fat sour cream (at room temperature)
- 1/2 c (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
For the cobbler
- 1/2 c (2 1/4 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c packed light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp finely chopped, crystallized ginger
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp plus 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 lb tart, firm apples such as Braeburn or Gala (about 6 medium)
- 12 oz McIntosh apples (about 2)
- 2 tbsp good-quality brandy
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tbsp coarse white sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving
- Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350ºF or 325ºF Convection.
Make the topping batter
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the egg and sour cream with a silicone spatula until just combined. Fold in the melted butter a little bit at a time until just combined. Set aside.
Prepare the cobbler
- Peel, core and chop the apples into 1/2 inch pieces. You’re using a combination of apples to create different textures in the finished cobbler. The Macintosh apples break down to form a delicious sauce, while the firmer apples maintain their shape. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, brown sugar, crystallized ginger, ground ginger, 1 tsp of the cinnamon, and the nutmeg.
- Toss the apples in the mixture to coat. Add the brandy, and toss again.
- Grease six small cast-iron bowls or one 10″ cast-iron or other heavy-duty oven-safe skillet with the butter. Add the apple mixture, including any unabsorbed flour mixture.
- Dollop half the batter in scant 1/4-cup mounds over the apples. Sprinkle the mounds with the sanding sugar.
- Grease another small skillet or small loaf pan and add the remaining batter.
- Bake all the pans until the tops of the cornbread are golden brown and the apples are tender (about an hour) rotating the bowls or skillets halfway through. If the cornbread tops become golden brown before the apples are tender, loosely cover with foil to prevent overbrowning.
- Heat the honey for 10 seconds in a small bowl in the microwave. Whisk with the remaining 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Drizzle on top of the hot cobbler(s). Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.
- Serving Size: 6
Sources: Make sure you use finely-ground cornmeal for this recipe. We found Indian Head Stone Ground Yellow Cornmeal at the local grocery store. It’s also available from Amazon.com (but isn’t everything?). If you’re lucky enough, crystallized ginger may be at your local grocery store. Otherwise, check specialty stores or the ubiquitous Amazon.com.
I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.