This taste tempting Patchwork Apple Cobbler is made with fresh fall apples, cinnamon, cardamom, and orange liqueur topped with a patchwork style crust. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the best of the best fall desserts!
During the fall weekends in north Georgia, BeeBop and I often make a point to visit one of the local farm stands where all kinds of autumnal goodies are offered for sale. I can never resist the beautiful apples they have on offer and always pick up as many as I can carry to bring home with us.
I recently had in mind making an old-fashioned apple pie, but since pie crusts and I are not the best of friends, I settled for something with a crust I could manage.
I’m calling this recipe “Patchwork Apple Cobbler.” Just because I don’t know what else to call it!
I’ve looked at several different definitions for cobblers, pandowdies, grunts, crisps, bettys…all those baked-fruit-with-a-topping kinds of recipes and none of them really fit this dish precisely.
I asked BeeBop what he thought I should call this recipe and he said “good.” Then he suggested calling it a casserole. That would be as good as anything else, I suppose. So whatever you want to call it, it’s fine with me :-)
The “patchwork” part of the title comes from the way the crust is arranged in a random, or patchwork, fashion over the apples. I can’t take credit for that idea. I saw it years ago on Food and Wine’s web site and liked the look of it, so I adopted it for this recipe. Gives it a very rustic, casual look, don’t you think?
🥘 Ingredient Notes
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- Granny Smith Apples (Use any good baking apple that won’t turn to mush when cooked.)
- Cardamom (Cardamom is one of the most underused and under appreciated spices in my opinion. Give it a try in this recipe and I guarantee you’ll find more ways to use it).
- Orange Liqueur (The liqueur is not absolutely necessary but it sure does add a huge wallop of flavor to the cobbler. My preference is Cointreau. Substitute orange juice if you want.)
- Refrigerated Pie Crusts (For convenience (and sanity) sake since I can’t make one to save my life. If you’re a pie crust wiz, use your favorite recipe.)
You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.
🔪 How to Make Patchwork Apple Cobbler
To get started on this recipe, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare the Apples
Peel, core, and cube about six nice, large Granny Smith apples (or any other cooking apple that you prefer). Toss the apples with lemon juice, cornstarch, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, and orange liqueur.
👉 PRO TIP: Use an apple corer to make easy and quick work of coring the apples. The lemon juice prevents the apples from turning brown and the cornstarch works to thicken the filling during baking.
Pour the prepared apples into a small (8×11 or so) baking pan or dish that has been sprayed lightly with cooking spray.
Prepare the Crust
NOTES ABOUT PIE CRUST: Now, if you want to make your own pie crust, please do! However, pie crust is one of those kitchen skills I have never and probably will never master.
Pie crust loathes me. It laughs and mocks when I look its way. Me and pie crust – we just don’t jive. So, it was a happy, happy day when Pillsbury started putting those nice boxes of pie crust in my grocery store’s dairy case. Those I can deal with.
So, make your own or unroll one of those wonderful packaged pie crusts from the grocery store.
Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter (even easier) to cut the crust into rectangles about 1 1/2 x 2 inches. Put the little oddly sized, leftover pieces to the side. I needed a whole pie crust and about half of another one to completely cover my cobbler.
👉 PRO TIP: You don’t have to be very precise about cutting the pie crust. Just cut it into pieces that generally resemble a rectangle and are somewhere near the same size.
And, don’t worry, we aren’t going to throw away that leftover pie crust! I have a little bonus use for it at the end of this post.
Top the Cobbler with Crust
Arrange the crust rectangles over the apples in the baking dish, pressing pieces on the edges onto the sides of the dish.
Beat together the egg and water to make an egg wash. Carefully brush the egg wash over the crust taking care not to disturb the pretty pattern you’ve made with your crust rectangles.
Bake the Cobbler
Bake the cobbler for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove the cobbler from the oven and let it cool. It can be served warm or at room temperature.
❗ Bonus Recipe – Pie Crust Cinnamon Twists
Remember the leftover pie crust from above? Don’t throw it out! We’ll make a few Pie Crust Cinnamon Twists with it.
Gather up all the scraps, knead them together for a few seconds and roll them out.
Melt a tablespoon or two of butter and brush over the strips. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Cut the dough into strips about 4” long and 1 ½” wide.
Take each dough strip and give it a twist, then place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Dab a little more melted butter on each twist and sprinkle on a little more sugar and cinnamon.
Bake for about 20 minutes along with the cobbler or until the twists are golden brown. Great with a cup of coffee!
💡 Recipe Tips
- Make individual cobblers by dividing the filling and topping between six small baking dishes. Baking time will need to be reduced to about 30-35 minutes. Keep a check and don’t let them get too brown on top.
- To make ahead, prepare the cobbler, cover well, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The baked, cooled cobbler can be stored for up to three days and can be wrapped well in an airtight container and frozen for up to 3 months. Be sure to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating in the microwave or oven.
❓ Questions About Apple Cobbler
You can easily substitute an equal amount of berries, plums, nectarines, or peaches for the apples in this recipe.
You can use any baking apple, or combination of apples, for this recipe. Some good varieties include Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Gala, Fuji, and Golden Delicious.
Have you tried this recipe? I’d really appreciate you giving it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card or in the comments section.
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Patchwork Apple Cobbler
- 6 large Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and cubed
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup orange liqueur
- Cooking spray
- 1 package refrigerated pie crusts 2 crusts
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon water
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine the prepared apples in a large bowl with the lemon juice, cornstarch, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon and orange liqueur. Toss well to thoroughly combine the ingredients and coat the apples evenly.
- Lightly spray an 8×11 baking dish with cooking spray. Pour the apples into the baking dish and arrange them in an even layer.
- Unroll one of the pie crusts. Cut the crust into rectangles approximately 1 1/2 inches x 2 inches.
- Arrange the crust rectangles over the apples in a patchwork fashion leaving several openings to allow steam to escape. Be sure to press the pieces on the edges to the sides of the baking dish. If more crust is needed, use the second pie crust as well.
- Beat the egg with the water. Carefully brush the egg wash over the crust taking care not to disturb the arrangement.
- Bake for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool. May be served just warm or at room temperature.
Bonus Recipe: Pie Crust Cinnamon Twists
- Use any leftover pie crust scraps to make cinnamon twists.Gather up the scraps, knead them together for a few seconds and roll them out. Melt a tablespoon or two of butter and brush over the strips. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Cut the dough into strips about 4” long and 1 1/2” wide. Take each dough strip and give it a twist, then place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Dab a little more melted butter on each twist and sprinkle on a little more sugar and cinnamon. Bake for about 20 minutes along with the cobbler or until the twists are golden brown.
- You can use any variety of baking apples, or a combination of apples, for this recipe. Some good varieties include Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Gala, Fuji, and Golden Delicious.
- The orange liqueur is not absolutely necessary but does add a very nice flavor to the cobbler. Substitute orange juice if you want.
- To make ahead, prepare the cobbler, cover well, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- The baked, cooled cobbler can be stored for up to three days and can be wrapped well in an airtight container and frozen for up to 3 months. Be sure to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating in the microwave or oven.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
— This post was originally published on September 20, 2011, and has been updated with additional information.