Al Fresco with Autumn: Apple Cranberry Cobbler

I’m not gonna lie, this was my first crack at this recipe.  Some of my experiments turn out well, others horribly. This? As hubby and I fought over bites on our shared plate (no one beats a pregnant girl in a fight over dessert), I said:

OMG, honey, I think this might be one of the best things I’ve ever made.”

Gooey, slightly chewy, sweet with apples, tangy with cranberries and just enough lemon juice and cinnamon to kick the whole party off. I can’t recommend this dish enough, it was a total crowd-pleaser during our Thanksgiving dinner. After discussing the recipe with my Mom, we think the key is the cast-iron baking dish, a la Creuset/Mario Batali/whatever you have in your cupboard. It traps heat more efficiently than a regular glass or baking dish, and caramelizes all the ingredients so beautifully that you might catch yourself digging at the crust with a spoon while no one is watching. Only your husband is watching… and pointing, and laughing. But that’s ok, you’ll make him pay for it later.

Enjoy with love you guys, and Happy Holidays from the West Coast!

Ingredients

Filling

  • 7-8 cups cored, peeled & thinly sliced apples
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 3 Tbsps lemon juice
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp butter, softened
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsps flour
  • 2 tsps cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt

Topping

  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 rounded tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsps cream
  • 2.5 Tbsps melted butter
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Grease a large cast-iron soufflé dish like one shown below. (Note: an 8 x 10 baking dish will also work but will not produce the same chewy caramelized crust that makes this recipe so delicious)
  3. Toss cranberries and apples together with lemon juice.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the dry filling ingredients: white sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt, then add to the apple cranberry mixture and toss to coat evenly.
  5. Pour and spread the apple mixture evenly into your baking dish, and disperse small drops of the soft butter evenly over the top.
  6. In another bowl, mix together the topping ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  7. In yet another bowl, whisk together the egg, cream and melted butter and then fold into the dry topping mixture until evenly mixed.
  8. Drop large spoonfuls of the topping batter evenly across the top of the baking dish, covering as much fruit as possible. Some of the fruit will still show through! This is ok. The batter will spread as it bakes but you want some of that beautiful fruit to peek through anyway.
  9. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until top and edges are browned.
  10. Serve with vanilla ice cream…smile and enjoy!

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