I know Fall is making its arrival in most of the country right now, but here in Georgia we’re still on the warm side. Even so, there’s something about the changing of the calendar, the routine of children going back to school and the appearance of apples at roadside vendors that just puts everyone in the mood for Fall recipes, isn’t there? Last weekend, BeeBop and I made a stop at one of the local farm stands and I just couldn’t resist the beautiful apples that were for sale. I picked up as many as I could carry and brought them right on home with us. I had in mind making an old-fashioned apple pie, but since me and pie crusts are not the best of friends, I settled for something with a crust I could manage.
I’m calling this recipe “Apple Patchwork 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 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 actually saw it 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?
To get started on this recipe, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Then 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.
Dump it out into an 8×11 baking pan that has been sprayed lightly with cooking spray.
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 hates 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. You don’t have to be very precise about it. Just cut it into pieces that generally resemble a rectangle and are somewhere near the same size. 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. 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.
Arrange the crust rectangles over the apples in the baking dish, pressing pieces on the edges into 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 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. We like a little scoop of vanilla ice cream with ours :-)
Bonus Recipe: Remember the leftover pie crust from above? Don’t throw it out! 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!
Other apple cobbler/pandowdy/crisp/betty recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:
- Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cobbler from Baking Bites
- Homesick Texan’s Hatch Chile Apple Cobbler
- Apple Pandowdy from Circle B Kitchen
- Apple Crisp from Simply Recipes
- Blackberry and Apple Brown Betty from Leite’s Culinaria
What I was cooking…