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Old Fashioned Apple Cobbler

With warm apple slices and a homemade biscuity topping, this Apple Cobbler recipe is one of my favorite autumn baking traditions. It also happens to be the recipe that made my husband fall in love with me over two decades ago!

Apple cobbler in a pie pan with ice cream

More than 20 years ago, this is the recipe that made my future husband decide that I was “the one.” It wasn’t just about the food – although it didn’t hurt that this was the best apple cobbler he’d ever tasted. No, it was because I almost set his house on fire.

The Recipe that Kindled the Flames of Love

My husband and I met in college and one autumn evening – just a few weeks after we started dating – he invited me over to study together. At the time he lived on the first floor of a house, which meant he had a full-sized kitchen. I was excited. I still lived in the college dorms and access to a kitchen was a luxury. Plus, I really liked him and wanted to impress him with my culinary prowess! So I decided to make an apple cobbler.

I sliced the apples, added cinnamon sugar, made the biscuit topping, then assembled it all in a pie dish. Then I slid the cobbler into the oven and he walked to the market for ice cream. In the meantime, I went back to studying in his room. Let me tell you, I was looking forward to unveiling that cobbler when he got back – all syrupy and golden and delicious. He was going to love it!

Then about 15 minutes into the baking time, I heard something. What was that? An alarm? I cracked open the door of his room…and was met with an enormous cloud of thick, white smoke. Oh. my. god.

Apple cobbler in a pie pan with a spoon

I was the only one there aside from the landlord who lived upstairs. I dashed over to the oven and opened the door, jumping back with a yelp as flames came shooting out. I slammed the door shut and stood there, paralyzed. The juice from the cobbler had bubbled over the edges, pooling on the bottom of the oven and catching on fire. I had no idea what to do. This wasn’t my kitchen, I didn’t know where the fire extinguisher was!

And just as that panicked thought entered my head the landlord kicked down the door that separated the first floor from his upstairs apartment. “What the hell is going on?!” he screamed, phone in hand – he had just called 9-1-1.

“No! It’ll be fine!” I cried, “It’s just my cobbler! The apples were too juicy!” I opened the oven door again and saw the flames were dying down. Grabbing oven mitts, I quickly took the cobbler out – but the oxygen from my opening the door kindled the flames again. Shoot!

Yelling obscenities, the landlord shouted, “Are you crazy?!” He slammed the oven door shut again, then frantically began opening windows and the front door to let smoke escape. The sound of fire truck alarms grew closer and I could see the bright engine lights through the white haze. I ran onto the porch just as the fire trucks arrived and fully-suited firemen ran into the house.

And it is at that moment – with his landlord screaming at me on one side, fireman rushing past me on the other side and smoke billowing around me like an apocalyptic halo – that my then-boyfriend walked up the block, ice cream in hand.

Years later he said that was the moment he fell in love with me. Why? “Because it was funny,” he chuckled, “and I knew you’d be a source of endless comic relief in my life.”

So there you have it. That is how I won my husband’s heart. Do I know how to romance a guy or what?

In the end, the house did not burn down. The oven was ruined, but…. the cobbler was still good! I had saved it just in the nick of time. It had a smoky, cooked over a fire flavor, but we ate it right there on the porch after the firemen left and my boyfriend had assured his landlord he’d fix any damage. The landlord had some too – and while my cobbler didn’t make him any less angry, I like to think it took the edge off? A gal can hope. But at the end of the day I got an amazing husband out of this crazy scenario, so #worthit.

Apple cobbler with biscuit topping on a plate with ice cream

What You’ll Need

Alright so are you ready to make the best apple cobber ever? Here’s what you’ll need. There are no complicated ingredients! Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.

For the apple filling

  • Golden Delicious Apples – You can use other varities of apples too. If you choice is between Granny Smith’s from the grocery store or locally picked apples, go with the local variety. They will have more flavor!
  • Sugar
  • All-purpose flour – Just a bit. This will help thicken the apple filling.
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Freshly grated nutmeg – You can use pre-ground if you must, but if you have a microplane grater then fresh nutmeg is better.

For the biscuit topping

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Milk – Any kind of milk will work. Regular milk or plant milk.
  • Eggs

How to Make Apple Cobbler

This apple cobbler recipe has a generous amount of biscuity topping. I love the contrast between warm apple filling, fluffy biscuits, and cold vanilla ice cream! This cobbler is very easy to make! Here’s how to do it:

Sliced apples in a pot with cinnamon sugar

Prep your tools. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set aside.

Make the apple filling. In a medium bowl combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Slice the apples. Put the apple slices in a large pot, then add the sugar mix. Toss to combine. Cook over medium heat until almost tender, about 7 minutes. Give the apples an occasional stir as they cook.

Make the biscuit topping. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add the butter pieces and mix them into the flour with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. (You can also do this with a food processor and a pastry blade, but I prefer the hand method.) Add the milk, then the eggs, one at a time, stirring between additions with a wooden spoon. Mix until just combined.

Apple cobbler filling and unbaked biscuit dough in a pie pan

Assemble the cobbler. Transfer the cooked apples to a regular-sized (9-inch) pie dish. Use a tablespoon to drop spoonfuls of batter onto the apples, one next to the other.

Bake. Place a cookie sheet under the pie dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cobbler topping is golden brown. Check the cobbler at the 25-minute mark and if it is browning too quickly loosely cover it with aluminum foil. The cobbler is done when golden on top and the biscuits are cooked through.

Serve hot with vanilla ice cream. Whipped cream is tasty too!

Apple cobbler in a pie pan

Tips for Success

Although this is an easy cobbler recipe, it never hurts to have a few time-tested tips up your sleeve. Here’s what I recommend:

  • Do not skip the baking sheet under the pie pan. If the story above did not convince you I don’t know what will. 🙂 Depending on how juicy your apples are, the filling can bubble over the sides of your pie pan during baking. If this happens and there is not a baking sheet there to catch the juices, the juices will fall to the bottom of your oven and catch fire. Learn from my novice mistake 20 years ago!
  • Line the baking sheet. Here is another hard-won baking tip: line your baking sheet with parchment paper. This way if juices do bubble over they won’t bake into a hard mess on your baking sheet. With the parchment paper there you’ll only need to peel off the paper and throw it away. Aluminum foil also works for this!
  • Serve warm with ice cream. I supposed this depends on personal preference, but if you ask me you just can’t beat a warm bowl of homemade apple cobbler topped with cold ice cream. Especially when the ice cream melts into the apple filling – it’s heaven in every bite! You can also add whipped cream if you like.
Apple cobbler on a plate with ice cream

How to Store and Reheat Cobbler

You can store extras in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

To reheat, simply scoop your desired amount into a microwave-safe bowl and reheat for about 30-45 seconds, depending on the serving size and how warm you want your cobbler to be. You can also eat apple cobbler cold if you prefer.

Print

Old Fashioned Apple Cobbler

With warm apple slices and a biscuity topping, this Apple Cobbler recipe is one of my favorite autumn baking traditions. It also happens to be the recipe that made my husband fall in love with me over two decades ago!

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

For the apples:

  • 56 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and sliced (about 6 cups)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

For the biscuit topping:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set aside.

To make the apple filling

In a medium bowl combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Put the apple slices in a large pot, then add the sugar mix. Toss to combine. Cook over medium heat until almost tender, about 7 minutes. Give the apples a stir occasionally as they cook.

To make the biscuit topping

In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.

Add the butter pieces and mix them into the flour with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. (You can also do this with a food processor and a pastry blade but I prefer the by-hand method.)

Add the milk, then the eggs, one at a time, stirring between additions with a wooden spoon. Mix until just combined.

Transfer the cooked apples to a regular-sized (9-inch) pie dish. Use a tablespoon to drop spoonfuls of batter onto the apples, one next to the other.

Place the baking sheet under the pie dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cobbler topping is golden brown. Check at the 25-minute mark and if the cobbler is browning too quickly cover it loosely with aluminum foil. The cobbler is done when the biscuits are golden and cooked through. 

Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.

Notes

  • You can store extras in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • To reheat, simply scoop your desired amount into a microwave-safe bowl and reheat for about 30-45 seconds, depending on the serving size and how warm you want your cobbler to be. You can also eat apple cobbler cold if you prefer.

Keywords: easy cobbler, biscuit topping, green apple recipes

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