For years I have tried to make the dessert pictured above. There are lots of desserts that I consider a variation of a pie. There are crisps, “brown betty’s”, cobblers, etc, and I have always liked the cobbler for its rustic appearance, and the fact that it gives equal billing to the crust and the filling.
The perfect cobbler for me is one that has a fabulous filling that could stand on its own and then dots the top with something that is in between a crust and a cookie, almost biscuit-like.
i recently discovered the key for the texture and consistency I was searching for and it is VERY EASY! After reading this brief post, you will be able to make your own, and even better, this is a technique, not a recipe, so you can make it your own, change it up, use seasonal ingredients, and experiment!
You could literally chop up any fruit and put it in the dish and move on to make the crust! It can be that easy if you need it to be, and if you are limited on time, or if the fruit is so ripe and perfect that it needs no enhancement. You can use apples, pears, berries, peaches, etc, etc.
Here’s an idea that I did combining a few flavors. It worked out well and you’re welcome to try this but remember, you can’t go wrong, try different combinations.
I took 2 apples and 2 pears, peeled, cored and sliced them. I melted butter in a pan and sautéed them, adding fresh thyme and a little bit of cinnamon. As they were beginning to brown and getting soft, I added a couple tablespoons of brown sugar. What I had in mind was a variation on Bananas Foster. The sugar melted and began to caramelize, and that’s when I added a quarter cup of bourbon. Apples and bourbon are a great flavor combination. Knowing this was going to bake afterward, the quarter cup was a good amount to impart flavor without the dessert tasting boozy.
Safety Note: Liquor is highly flammable! Never pour from the bottle into a skillet on the stove! Instead, pour the amount you need into a separate measuring cup and put the bottle away.
I used bourbon but rum would have worked, as would brandy. I did not bother with flaming it but that might have added caramelization. When the bourbon was almost cooked off, I added just a couple shakes of salt and put all the fruit in my baking dish.
The crust is very easy. Simply, it is equal parts butter, flour, and sugar. For a standard baking dish you can use a stick of butter, half cup of flour, and half cup of sugar.
Melt the butter,
Stir in equal parts flour and sugar,
Dot the top with crust. Do not worry if there are gaps. It’s not a pie and does not require uniform smooth coverage. Some spots can be thick, some bare. Think rustic.
Bake at 350º for as long as it takes. If you put uncooked apples in, they will take longer. If you sautéed first as I did, you need only cook the crust. Probably about 30 minutes. Watch it toward the end and pull it out when the crust is “GBD”, or golden, brown, and delicious!
Send me comments on your version and good luck!