Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fall Apple Cobbler

I knew hearing Michael Pollan (author of Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food) speak at the 2009 Food for Thought Festival would be inspiring and eye-opening. I just didn’t realize how it might actually motivate me to make a few changes in my own kitchen.

Something resonated in me when Pollan asserted that cooking should be considered a life skill, and taught to kids. I have always believed this, but in the hurry to get dinner ready for a hungry family, it is often easier for me to efficiently pull a meal together than to include my kids in the process. I have had my son help me on occasion, and certainly given him a job if he expressed interest, but never made it a regular part of our schedule.

I know that if I want my children to make healthy food choices as a grown up, I have to give them the tools to do that now. My son and I have started incorporating cooking into our Monday afternoon mom-and-son time. We make omelets, pizza, dipping sauces and marinades—he loves to create “potions.” My two year old is a fairly reliable egg scrambler.

Today we embraced fall with apple cobbler. It is such an easy and delicious way to use the plethora of local apples that are literally falling from the sky right now. Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is my go-to cookbook for cobblers—and many other things! I love her fruit combinations and the buttermilk topping was perfectly sweet and tangy. We added a touch of rhubarb and strawberries to highlight the flavor and texture of the apples. This desert will undoubtedly serve as tomorrow’s breakfast. I taste a bright and delicious future!

Apple Cobbler (w/ mix ins)

6-8 cups, peeled, cored apples, sliced
½ cup each strawberries, rhubarb (optional)
½ cup sugar
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg

Cobbler Topping

11/2 cup all purpose or pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda (I omitted)
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
6 tbsp cold butter
½ cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, beaten (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Peel and slice apples into small pieces. Toss in bowl with zest, sugar, flour and spices.
3. Make cobbler topping by mixing dry ingredients in food processor or bowl. Cut in butter with pasty blender, or pulse in food processor until coarse.
4. Mix vanilla and buttermilk. Mix into flour-butter mixture until just moistened. You might need to add a bit more buttermilk.
5. Place apple mixture in bottom of skillet or 8 x 10 inch baking pan. Spoon cobbler topping over the fruit. Brush with egg and sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Bake about 25 to 30 minutes until bubbly. Serve warm as is, or with yogurt or ice cream. Guten Appetit!

Photo Credit (apples in boxes): Fran Boness


lisaiscooking said...

That's so true about cooking being a necessary life skill. And, this cobbler is a great way to apply that skill! Delicious.

Anonymous said...

I wish more parents would approach this the same way we teach kids how to ride a bike or drive a car, think of how much healthier we all would be as a society.

5 Star Foodie said...

The apple cobbler looks wonderful, I love the "mix ins" of strawberry & rhubarb, delicious!

Otehlia said...

It always helps to make something yummy, where even the raw ingredients or batter tastes good. Now we just have to work on the savory dishes...