Saturday, November 21, 2009

Spiced Apple Cobbler

A Cobbler is a dish made of fruits topped with a cookie dough or biscuit dough as it known in UK.The dish is easy to put together and is hearty and warm dessert esp in winter.The fruit filling can be anything as you like such as berries,seasonal fruits etc along with your choice of spices and nuts.I have adapted the apple cobbler recipe in the 'Joy of Vegan Baking' and spiced it up with star anise rather than the normal apple pie spices and added pecans and cranberries and made a hearty and warm cobbler.I have used normal butter and milk than than the vegan versions though.

Ingredients:

Biscuit/Cookie Dough:

All Purpose Flour: 1and 1/3 cups
Sugar: 2 tbsp divided
BakingPowder: 1.5 tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp

Butter :Unsalted: 5 tbsp cut into cubes

Milk: 1/4 cup -1/2 cup

Filling:
Apples: 2-3 medium peeled,cored and cubed
Pecans: Chopped handful
Dried Cranberries: handful
Flour/Cornstarch : 2 tbsp
Star anise powdered: 1/2 -1 tsp
Cinnamon: powdered a pinch(optional)
Sugar: 1/2 -3/4 (I used a mix of white and brown sugars)
Water: 1/4 cup


Other ingredients:
Milk/Melted Butter: for brushing on top
Sugar: for sprinkling


Preparation:
Dough:
In a bowl add flour,salt,sugar and baking powder.Add in cubed cold butter and pinch and fluff till the dough resembles bread crumbs.Add in enough milk 2 tbsp at a time till a soft smooth dough is formed.It took me only 1/4 cup though the book mentioned 1/2 cup.You can also used melted butter instead of cold cubes.In this case,the crust will not be flaky.

Filling:
Mix together all the filling ingredients along with the powdered star anise and optional cinnamon.You can also infuse the star anise in water to be used in the filling -boil the water for a few minutes with star anise in it.Allow it to cool and then strain and add it to the apple mix.The flour in the filling is intended to absorb extra liquid and can be replaced with cornstarch.The sugar can be varied as per the tartness of the apple using.I used a mix of white and brown sugars.

Cobbler:
Put the fruit filling onto an ungreased 8 inch square baking dish and spread as a single layer.Scoop up table spoon ful of dough and top the fruit filling .Do till all the dough is used up or the dish is completely covered.The result will be a baking dish that looks like a patch work of dough with the filling peeping up.

Sprinkle the dish with sugar and brush with melted butter/milk.I did sprinkle sugar but actually forgot the butter/milk.Bake in a preheated oven at 375F for 35 to 40 minutes,till the crust turns brown,the filling bubbles and the juices thickens.Cool for 15 minutes before cutting and serve warm.

The cobbler was perfect and not too sweet.The pics did not come out that well.But the dish was hearty and perfect for fall.Honestly I never expected the dish to comeout this good .The reason being that,just as I was about to bake it,the power went off and I had to freeze the unbaked cobbler for several hours and then bake it.It took extra time as it was frozen and the crust did not brown as expected,but it turned out good.Star anise holds itself in this dish,though you can use other spices as well.Apple Brown betty is another version of cobbler with a bread crumb topping and several layers.Do check out the history of cobbler here.
UPDATE on 26th: The Cobbler is going to FIL:Fruits hosted by Sanghi.Thanks Sanghi for letting me know about the event.The fruity dish is also on way to CFK:Fruits and Veggies hosted by Lakshmi of KitchenChronicles, an event by Sharmi of Neivedhyam .

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