Tasked with bringing dessert to a frontier-themed book group meeting, I gravitated toward seasonal, homey comfort food. We read “Oh, Pioneers” by Willa Cather, so traditional American seemed the route to take.
There was a mention of Apple Dumplings in the book, but that involved rolling dough for individual turnovers, and I strenuously avoid that. Plus, making separate apple dumplings for everyone in our group of 10 seemed daunting. But apple cobbler accomplished the same mission with far less fuss. Cobbler gets its name from the crust’s top. When it bakes it creates a bumpy, or cobbled texture. Now, full disclosure, desserts of this ilk seem–to me–overly evocative of breakfast, so I have to sugar them up. Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and/or caramel sauce does the trick.
Here’s what I did:
1. Peel and slice 6-8 apples.
3. In bowl, mix 2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/3 cup Crisco, and 3 tablespoons butter cut in pieces. Use electric mixer, pastry cutter or two knives to mix; it should look like coarse crumbs.
4. Add 1 egg and 1/3 cup buttermilk or regular milk to flour mixture. Mix gently, and knead a few times to blend.
5. Take small handfuls of the dough and place it on top of apples in pan, pressing slightly to cover. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over top of dough, and bake 40 mins at 375, or until crust is brown and apples are softened.
6. Serve warm with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or caramel sauce.