Friday, November 20, 2020

You'll Probably Eat the Whole Thing!


That's because it's so good! Amy Traverso, who wrote the Apple Lovers Cookbook, came by Tonia's Kitchen with a fantastic fall recipe for Apple Pear Cobbler with Cornmeal Lemon Biscuit Topping. Amy told Tonia one of her secrets is to pre-bake the apples and pears for about 20 minutes while you're mixing the dough. Amy says that way everything will cook more evenly and just taste better. She says only rarely makes this dish, because she could probably eat the whole thing at once! That's how good it is.

Equipment: 3- to 4-quart Dutch oven or other deep baking dish with sides at least  3½ inches high
Makes: 8 servings • Active time: 45 minutes • Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
For the filling
2½ pounds (1.13 kg, or about 5 large) firm-tart apples
1½ pounds (680 g, or about 3 large) ripe pears, such as Bosc or Bartlett
⅓ cup (75 g) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ tablespoons (21 g) chilled salted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
For the topping
1 cup (145 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (170 g) cornmeal (white or yellow, not stone-ground)
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1½ tablespoons (21 g) chilled salted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup (240 ml) plus 2 tablespoons chilled heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 400ºF, and set a rack to the middle position. Peel and core the apples and pears. Cut the apples into ¼-inch-thick slices and the pears into ½-inch-thick slices. Put in a Dutch oven. Add the sugar, lemon juice, flour and butter, and toss to combine. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, the 3 tablespoons sugar, the baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Sprinkle the butter on top and use your fingers to work it in, forming thin flakes. When the dough begins to look like cornmeal, add the 1 cup cream and stir with a fork until the dough just comes together. Gently pat out on a well-floured surface to a ¾-inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter or juice glass with a 2- to 3-inch diameter to cut out biscuits, scraping and re-rolling the dough as needed. Chill the biscuits in the refrigerator while the fruit finishes the first round of cooking.
Remove the fruit mixture from the oven and give it a quick stir—it should look softer and a little glossy. Arrange the biscuits on top, overlapping slightly in concentric circles, brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons cream, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar. Bake, uncovered, until the top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling, about 35 minutes. Cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes, then serve warm.