This cobbler is inspired by the basic apple pie recipe that we all know and love-- you know-- the one where you toss the apples in a bit of lemon juice and spices, top it with a crust, and bake it. I didn't want to make an apple pie or cake, and I definitely didn't want to make an apple crumble with oats. I wanted to really enjoy the sweet and tangy combo of the apples, lemon juice, and spice and then balance that off with a sweetened, buttery, biscuit-like layer on top. I used a lot more butter than I'd normally use in a basic cake recipe-- but it paid off! The entire thing was deliciously moist, perfectly flavored, and the walnuts added just the right amount of crunch so as not to distract from the simplicity of the flavors. When it cooked, the moistness of the apples and the butter from the batter combined into the heavenly moist center layer. Oh so yummy!
An interesting note: I wasn't quite sure what to call this... A crisp? A crumble? A cake? A non-pie? A cobbler? I took to my Facebook page to ask my friends--- the consensus was Cobbler. So, that's what it is! They did come up with a few other fun names like "Apple Tasty", "Apple Thing", "Apple Surprise", "Apple Slump" and "Apple Event". My friends and family are so funny!
For the apples:
- 8-10 cups of apples, peeled and sliced
- juice of 1 fresh lemon
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the batter:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash, core, peel, and slice the apples. Place in a large bowl and combine with the lemon juice, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix until well combined. Pour into a greased 13x9 inch baking dish and set aside while you prepare the batter.
In another large bowl, cream the butter, vanilla and remainder of the brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until combined. Slowly add the flour and mix until smooth. Mix in walnuts, if desired.
Spoon large drop-fulls of the batter throughout the top of the prepared pan of apples. Using a spoon or spatula, gently spread the batter lightly over the top of the apples. Try to cover as much of the apples as you can, including the edges, but do not be concerned if there are a few tiny spots of apples that do not get covered.
Place the uncovered dish in the oven and bake approximately 40-45 minutes or until the batter is golden brown. Serve warm, and if desired, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Store covered and reheat individual servings in the microwave on high for approximately 30 seconds.