A perfect last minute Thanksgiving Dessert
Things are pretty exciting around here right now.
We had barely finished our fall cleanup chores, when deer season started. Then we ordered a half of a pastured pig. And a split quarter of an organic grass fed steer. And on the second day of deer season, Larry got a deer. So – we had to buy another freezer, which meant we had to completely reorganize our spare room, which also doubles as a spare bedroom.
This is all part of our determination to stop buying factory farmed, or CAFO sourced meats. I’m sure this is going to come up again soon, because once you figure out what the government has decided is good, wholesome food, you pretty much never want to eat anything again. That is where we are right now, but even though locally sourced food is all around us, it’s more time consuming to get connected with it – it gets you busy.
On top of all that excitement, we are getting ready to travel for our annual Thanksgiving get-together at my sister and brother in law’s. This year, Lauren and Steve will get to join us us for the first time, and in addition to the already fabulous grandchildren that we already have, there is now a new baby for us to all dote upon.
I have spent the last couple days baking breads, roasting pumpkins and getting as much stuff done here at home as I can before leave. But I needed a post for this morning, and that got me thinking how, quite often, you need a fast and easy last minute dessert over the holidays. You know that feeling, where you suddenly wonder if you’ve made enough pies so that everyone can get their favorite?
So, a fast and easy recipe for a fast and easy, but absolutely scrumptious dessert turns out to be this Molasses Apple Cobbler.
I love it because it starts cooking before you even finish preparing it. You mix the apples and what-not together, pop that in the oven, and while it bakes you make the biscuit topping. In a pie, or a crisp, the crust or topping takes about the same amount of time to cook as the apples, but the tender sweet biscuits on a cobbler don’t take nearly as long, so you need to cook the apples for a little bit first. Otherwise, you have underdone apples, and the underside of the biscuits won’t get done.
Did you know that a cobbler gets it’s name from the similarity in appearance to a cobblestone street? I guess early cooks were reminded of the streets in town that were constructed of lots of little rocks.
- 2 pounds of assorted apples, peeled, cored and cut in thin slices. [about 4 good sized apples]
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 3 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 & ½ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons very cold butter, cut in small cubes
- ¾ cup cold buttermilk, well shaken
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- white sanding sugar, or raw sugar for sprinkling on top
- Set the oven at 350º, and butter an 8 x 8 inch flat baking dish or pan.
- Place the sliced apples in a large bowl, with the sugar, molasses, flour, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
- Fold together gently until evenly combined.
- Add the lemon juice, and fold again briefly, to combine.
- Spread the apples evenly in the buttered dish, making sure to get all the juices scraped out with and place in the oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, In the same bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Cut the butter into the flour mixture, using a pastry cutter, or a couple of knives, or your fingers - it should resemble cornmeal, with some larger pieces of butter in there. Stick this in the fridge to stay cold.
- When the apples have been in the oven about 25 minutes, pull the flour mixture and the buttermilk out of the fridge, measure in the buttermilk, and stir gently with a large fork. It should not be smooth - very irregular and shaggy, though without any big spots of flour.
- Take the apples out of the oven, and quickly scoop the dough on top - a medium cookie disher works well for this, or a couple of soup spoons. You want it bumpy and rustic.
- Sprinkle the top with the sparkly or raw sugar - a tablespoon or two will do it.
- Return to the oven for another 30 minutes, until the top of the biscuits is nicely browned and the apple filling is very bubbly all around the edges.
- Serve warm, with lightly sweetened whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.
- Refrigerate leftovers.
The molasses gives you a very deep and rich flavor, and even a bit of tang, which goes really well with the sweetness of the apples, and the light crunch of the “cobbles” on top.This recipe is also easily doubled, though it will need to bake a little longer.Finally – please accept my wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving, if you are in the states. May you be acutely aware of your blessings and I hope you are celebrating them with those who you love!