Cranberry Apple Cobblers
Have you ever noticed that after Thanksgiving, the availability of cranberries and pumpkin seems to decrease drastically? I don’t know why this is — I like cooking with these ingredients all throughout the winter. Cranberries, especially, pair really nicely with other fruits we can still get locally this time of year (mainly apples and pears.) We had delicious cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving dinner, and I’ve already made this cobbler multiple times in the month of November!
Speaking of Thanksgiving — we had a really lovely holiday this year. It was wonderful having my parents, my brother and his wife visiting, and great to have help in the kitchen (gave me lots of chances to plop down on a chair to take a rest!) I was really happy with how our whole dinner turned out, and it was so nice to spend the rest of the day relaxing together…we played games at night while we munched on dessert, and shared lots of laughs together. Mom and I put the final touches on the nursery during their visit — I really enjoyed seeing them in the homestretch before baby arrives (7 days left!!)
I’ve been doing my best to cook extra portions of dinners and soups to freeze in our chest freezer in preparation for the sleep-deprived, bleary-eyed first weeks with our newborn. And let me tell you: that freezer is packed. Which means that lately, I’ve been turning my efforts in the kitchen towards desserts. Not necessarily to freeze, because in our house, desserts never last quite that long (though I do have a big batch of these tasty Apple Pie Bars frozen, yum! But that’s only because the recipe made 4 dozen, and even me with my seemingly insatiable appetite should not be eating that many apple pie bars at once.)
These cranberry apple cobblers have been in the rotation more than any other dessert in the past month — I’m addicted to the tart-sweet fruit mixture, cooked until slumped and softened with spices (cloves give the cranberries a really nice touch) and brown sugar, and contrasting deliciously with the crusty-edged but tender flaky biscuits on top.
The jewel-like cranberries and their intense ruby juices are a nice visual reminder of the holiday season starting up, too — such a festive color! — and best of all, the cobblers take all of about 15 minutes to throw together. Which is just about my speed at this point.
Put them together beforehand, slide them into the oven while you’re eating dinner, and you’ll have a very, very happy ending to the night. And if you’re pregnant like me, baby might just give you a good few kicks of approval while you’re savoring the cobblers (with vanilla ice cream, of course!)
[One last note: this recipe comes from Gourmet, of which I am sadly still lamenting the demise. If you were a fan of the magazine as I was, you might like to read this post from a young woman who interned at Gourmet this past summer...it's a lovely inside look at the magazine and an ode to what a special place it was. I met Jessie through Edible Finger Lakes magazine; she's graduating from Ithaca College in a few weeks (congrats, Jessie!) and I have a feeling will go on to do great things in the food writing world.]
Cranberry Apple Cobblers
adapted from Gourmet
1 1/2 cups cranberries, picked over
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and sliced thin
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest (optional – I only use it if I have an orange around)
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of ground cloves
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
vanilla ice cream, to accompany
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix together the cranberries, the apple, the zest (if using), the brown sugar, the cinnamon, the cloves, and 1 tablespoon of the flour. Divide among two individual gratin dishes or two 1 1/2 cup ramekins and dot the tops with the butter.
In a bowl stir together the remaining 1/2 cup flour, the baking powder, and the salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal, then stir in the yogurt (the dough will be sticky.)
Drop the dough by spoonfuls onto the cranberry mixture, sprinkle it with the granulated sugar, and bake the cobblers for 30 minutes, or until the tops are golden. Serve the cobblers with vanilla ice cream.