Hot sugar crust spiced apple cobbler
It’s not everyday you find a recipe that really changes up a classic, and for the better! This spiced apple cobbler is inspired by Seattle chef Renee Erikson’s much famed peach cobbler, in which hot water is poured over a layer of sugar that gets sprinkled above the batter just before putting the dish in the oven. The result is a thin crisp layer topping the soft cakey batter above the jam-like oven baked fruit, for a three-tiered goodness that will be the talk of the gathering. Make sure to share the recipe, it’s too good to stay a secret.
Ingredients for a 9” x 13” casserole dish:
- Around 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds apples (we used Empire and Cortland from Riverview Farm), cored and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp Orange peel, ground
- 1 1/2 tbsp Apple Pie spice
- 6 pieces Crystallized Ginger, cut into small cubes (optional)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar – we used our Organic Raw Cane sugar, but white or brown will work as well
- 1 1/2 cups flour – we used Italian 00 flour, but all-purpose will work as well
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons Saigon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup hot water
Heat the oven to 350°F, with a rack in the center. Arrange the apples in the casserole dish until you have a 4″ tall layer, pour the lemon juice on top of the apples, sprinkle the orange peel, apple pie spice, and the cubed crystallized ginger (if using it), and mix so the spices get distributed evenly.
Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar on medium speed until creamy but sandy, about 1 minute. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, then beat on medium speed until all the flour is incorporated and the mixture is evenly crumbly, about 30 seconds more. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the milk. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the batter is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Scoop the batter in about 6 large blobs over the apples. With an offset spatula or the back of a big spoon, carefully spread the batter evenly over the fruit so it’s no more than about 1/2 inch thick in any one place. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup sugar over the batter. Drizzle the hot water evenly over the sugar, using it to melt the sugar topping.
Bake the cobbler until the top is golden brown and cracked, around 80 minutes. You might still have some bubbling on the sides, that’s perfectly normal. Let the cobbler cool for about 30 minutes to firm up – this is quite an important step, so make sure not to skip it. Serve warm, with some heavy cream or vanilla ice cream if you fancy. Refrigerate any leftovers.