In the past week, my mother did the impossible.
She cooked a four course meal for eleven people with four separate sets of dietary restrictions. She did so while hosting an enormous group of out-of-town relatives, running her small business, and still managing to be a lovely human being. My mother is fucking magic.
I took over for her when it came to desserts. When I asked, “Mom, what fruits are in season?” she said, “None.”
When I said, “Mom, what fruits should I put in this dairy-free cobbler?” she said, “There are apples in the drawer and I bought you those frozen raspberries.” And I thought–her head is about to explode. Let’s just make this work.
The recipe for the crumble/cobbler/delicious fruit thing is adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s strawberry-rhubarb crumble. I used apples and raspberries and margarine. It was still delicious. The raspberry sauce on top was an unnecessary but delicious addition.
Frozen raspberries (8 oz, or however much you have)
Five apples, of whatever variety pleases your heart
One lemon, zested and juiced (in that order)
1/2 cup sugar, plus 3 tbsp of sugar (keep them separate)
3 tbsp corn starch
Pinch of salt
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp margarine, melted (tastes better with butter, but I was working with dietary restrictions)
Big fucking knife
Preheat the oven to 375F. Actually, you should probably wait to do this until after the fruit is prepped. Otherwise the oven will be hot for a long time and you will be single-handedly responsible for murdering the entire Earth. Well done, asshole.
First, select and peel your apples. I used the classic mix of apples known as “what I found in the produce drawer”: one honeycrisp, one granny smith, one golden delicious, and one mystery apple.
My parents have lovely counter tops.
Denude your apples using whatever method you prefer. I like to get really excited with a vegetable peeler and send pieces of apple skin flying all over the floor. Core them, again, using whatever method you see fit. I used a melon baller. This is totally unnecessary unless you, like me, feel a lot of guilt about kitchen utensils that haven’t seen the outside of a drawer in a decade.
The melon baller now has purpose in life.
Chop the apples into approximately 1″ square cubes. I blithely chopped along, content in my ignorance about the length of one inch. Then I remembered that, hey! I was in my parents’ house! Every small useful item in the world lives in the top drawer under the phone! That includes a ruler!
Turns out I have no idea how big an inch is, or what a cube looks like.
I tried to do better after this.
Put all your apple chunks in the casserole dish and half of your raspberries. Frantically pull out all apple chunks that have some skin or stem on them and take care of that. Then dump the lemon juice, corn starch, half a cup of sugar, and salt on top. Toss everything together. The raspberries will immediately begin to fall apart and give the apples an appealing murder color.
Blurry, blurry murder.
Put the rest of the raspberries on top.
The rest of the ingredients go in the topping. Prep this in the mixing bowl. Throw the flour, the rest of the sugar, the zest of the lemon, and the baking powder in together.
I wound up with slightly less than one lemon of zest. I couldn’t figure out how to get the zest off of the pointy side of the microplane section.
Seriously, what the fuck am I supposed to do with that?
Mix the topping bits up with the fork until you see delicious crumbs forming. Stop mixing immediately. Spread the topping on the fruit filling and pop it in the oven for 50-ish minutes. The fruit will bubble, and the crumbs will be slightly golden instead of pasty white.
While you’re waiting, you can make a raspberry sauce for the top! Put 4 oz of raspberries, 1/4 cup of water, some sugar, and a little squeeze of lemon juice in a small pot. Bring to a simmer and leave there until it looks like a syrup. Then put it in something with a pouring spout.
Once your cobbler is out of the oven, drizzle the sauce over the crumbs in a manner that pleases you.
Personally, I like wobbly M’s.
This cobbler should be served warm–either right out of the oven, or after being warmed up at a later date. Serve it with a ladle. It is tart and satisfying and super oozy in the best kind of way. As far as desserts go, cobblers/crumbles are low pressure, hard to fuck up, and incredibly delicious. If I was not such a persnickety, fidgety, maniacally-cackling bastard about baking, I would only make cobblers. Forever.
The Mess Report