Apple Cobbler With Vanilla Ice Cream

September 28, 2008


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Nothing makes my heart ache like fall. It is the most beautiful time of year if only because the passage of time becomes so suddenly apparent and so seemingly spurred. The cool weather makes my blood rush a bit, but before I know it the afternoon light takes that tell tale gold hue and evening comes too soon. The days are definitely shorter, but the colors are so rich and the air is so clear that I wish they would last forever. I woke up on Saturday morning last weekend in Connecticut and felt spurred to make the most of the day. I hope someday to have the luxury of waking every morning and making some kind of seasonal dessert—especially in the fall. The apple crisp I made let me hold the season and the place in my hands: cool, red apples that sat outside in a basket over night were peeled and squeezed with acidic lemon and sticky brown sugar. The smell of baking cinnamon, nutmeg and walnuts perfectly complemented the warm wooden kitchen and the early yellow daylight. On Saturday I had a dinner party for several people and all through the day' s preparations my little apple tart and its autumnal aromas filled the room, an ideal fall garnish. It was gobbled with vanilla ice cream late at night, and I was sad to see it go: but happy that it was so appreciated—like the perfect fall day.

The recipe I used came from Edible Nutmeg. The apples were from a neighbor' s orchard and were very tart Macintoshes. I worried that they would be too acidic for the cobbler, but they turned out perfectly—aided by a few extra spoonfuls of raw sugar.

Which reminds me: I started the process presuming that my parents would have both brown and white sugar in their pantry. No such luck. I had to use a big jar of raw sugar in lieu of each. It was so good that I will probably use raw sugar again when next I make this crust. The crust itself was tremendous and I will absolutely use it when I make the same tart with blackberries next weekend.

The recipe is actually for a blackberry cobbler, from Dawn Bruckner at La Belle Aurore in Niantic, CT:
4-5 c fruit (apples or blackberries, or a mix of any!), cut, peeled, picked over and rinsed (I peeled, cored and cut each apples into 1 inch half moons.) * 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice * 1/3 c sugar (raw works great) * 2/3 c flour * ¾ c brown sugar (again, I recommend raw) * ½ c old-fashioned rolled oats * 1 tsp cinnamon * ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg * 6 tbsp cold butter, cut into bits * ¾ c coarsely chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds.

In a 9 x 13 ( 3 Q) baking dish, toss fruit with lemon juice and 1/3 c sugar. In another bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, pastry blender or two forks, incorporate butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit. (I also sprinkled more cinnamon, nutmeg and raw sugar on top for added sweetness, flavor and garnish.) Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until done and the top is golden. Serve warm, late at night with vanilla ice cream.

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