Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Michelle Obama's Apple Cobbler - no politics here...

This was featured for Presidents Day in Yankee Magazine.  The apple filling is refrigerated overnight so the spice seeps into the fresh apples - making them sweet & flavorful.  The cobbler is then baked low & slow - very uncharacteristic for pastry.  The result is one fantastic, flaky cobbler like no other.

My first thought when examining this recipe back in February was that this couldn’t actually BE a cobbler.  But I am now enlightened.  Cobblers originated in early British American colonies, where the English settlers weren’t able to make their beloved suet puddings because of lack of ingredients and equipment.  So - being innovative - they covered a stewed filling with a layer of uncooked plain scones or biscuits.  When baked, the surface resembled a cobbled street.  Who knew?  (not I...)
The US variations of the traditional cobbler include the Betty, the Grunt, the Buckle, and the Sonker.  Grunts, Pandowdy, and Slumps are a New England variety of cobbler - slow-cooked on the stove-top or cooker in an iron skillet - which get their name from the grunting sound they make while cooking.  
A Buckle is made with yellow batter (like cake batter), with the filling mixed in with the batter.  The Sonker is from North Carolina - a deep dish version of the American cobbler.  So - I would feel fairly safe to call this a Sonker!
An apple peeler/corer/slicer makes this step much easier.

Apples brown easily if not baked immediately.

I was surprised the apples held up so well after refrigerating overnight.  I expected them to be an ugly dark color, but the rich brown spices and brown sugar must have masked the inevitable browning.  It was convenient to prepare it and not have to immediately finish it up.  
Filling after refrigerating overnight - soaked in spices.

Dotted with butter before the top crust is added to make it even more rich.

I loved this version of (what I would call) a deep dish apple pie.  My only reservation is the amount of nutmeg called for.  If you are a nutmeg lover - don’t alter it.  But my preference is to only use 1/4 tsp.  I wondered about brushing a pie crust with butter - it just seemed like overkill, but that is what prevented it from overbrowning and made it so amazingly flaky.

I had to add what my kids have come to expect on all my apple pies - a powdered sugar glaze drizzled over the top.  Just makes it a little more special.

For the recipe with photos & detailed instructions (and a pastry recipe that works well with it) go to:

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing!