Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snow and a Strawberry-Apple Cobbler

We had snow and sleet on Friday -- a big even in our parts. Fortunately, we did not receive any of the crippling freezing rain that is so treacherous. I think folks further east saw more freezing rain. Thank God we didn't lose power. The winds were gusty and I was concerned about a power outage. I was able to work from home Friday. My husband also stayed home, but he took the dogs on their usual long hike. I made sure to put Ella's coat on her. There aren't many opportunities for her to wear it. Actually, I put it on her because she is so stinkin' cute in it, not because she really needs it. Our dogs love the cold weather! Paul has adjusted to it too, spending much of Friday and yesterday outdoors. He even suited up and went for a run with Yaktrax on his running shoes!

I chose to stay inside and bake. I made another recipe from Bake from Scratch magazine, a strawberry-apple cobbler. I was drawn to the recipe's combination of fruits, and since I just bought my first cast-iron skillet this month, I thought this would be the ideal first recipe. It calls for frozen strawberries, perfect during these cold winter months when fresh strawberries are impossible to find. The biscuit portion of this cobbler is delightful -- sweet and buttery, crisp on top and cakey below, but not soggy. I used organic all-purpose flour to make the dough. The cobbler filled the house with the most wonderful aroma as it was baking!

When I told my husband I was making a cobbler, he turned up his nose (he is not a fan of cobblers, but I was going to make it anyway). Of course, he's always willing to try anything I bake. He's open minded like that. Well, he loved it! This is the first cobbler I can recall him really liking. The strawberry flavor dominates over the apple, which appeals to him, but the two fruits pair very well. I think this is my favorite cobbler recipe ever. It would be fantastic served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Strawberry-Apple Cobbler

16 oz. bag frozen strawberries, thawed
1 cup granulated sugar, divided in half
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 1/2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (the recipe calls for two, but I suggest increasing the amount of apple)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a cast-iron skillet, combine the strawberries, cornstarch and 1/2 cup sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until bubbly and thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the 4 tablespoons of cut-up butter and the sliced apples. Stir to combine and set aside.

2) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in 4 tablespoons butter until mixture is crumbly. Gradually add cream and vanilla, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

3) Divide dough into 5 equal parts and dollop on top of the fruit in the skillet. Bake until browned and bubbly (Note: recipe says to bake for 25 minutes, but I had to leave it in for an additional 8 or 10 minutes in order to fully bake the dough). Cover top with foil if needed to prevent cobbler from getting too brown. Serve warm.

Recipe: Bake from Scratch
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  1. Hello! Finally my new laptop is letting me post something without (hopefully!) losing it, both my comment and patience.

    It's great to get a snow day before a weekend. Happy to hear that you didn't get freezing rain, which is always the worst. I hope you managed to dig your way out.

    Your cobbler looks great. Nothing like baking something comforting while the snow falls. I'm sure you're going to get lots of mileage out of your Lodge pan. I use mine a lot. Every kitchen should have one or two.

    Ella sure is a cutie! Take care and stay warm!

    1. I'm looking forward to making more things in my Lodge skillet! Like frittatas and other desserts. I recall an Everyday Food skillet brownie recipe that sounded great ... I'll have to dig that one out.

  2. Our dog Poppy came alive in the snow! She sniffs everything and bounds through the tall grasses like a gun dog. Beautiful to watch such a joyful animal.

    That cobbler looks amazing and is one I will try especially now that I've bought my first Lodge dutch oven. It cooks so evenly, I love it. The first thing I made in it was my family's favorite Mexican dish. I make a chili con carne on the stove, put it in the dutch oven and then put biscuits on top and baked that with shredded cheese on top. Gorgeous.

  3. A reader by the name of Janice emailed me to ask how my tummy is handling the organic all-purpose flour. Well Janice, I'm happy to say that I've had none of the previous symptoms I had before I went gluten-free for two years. I bought a round loaf of organic wheat bread recently and have been enjoying a slice here and there, and feeling just fine. Thank you for asking!

    1. I was wondering how you were feeling so I am happy to read your comment. I bake almost exclusively with organic flour, because we are lucky enough to have a mill nearby. Can you make flour in your Vitamix?

    2. Yes, the organic flour is working very well for me. My surmise is that it's the herbicides and other chemicals used in conventional wheat crops that bother me. Apparently it's not gluten. I still follow a mostly gluten-free diet though. I feel more tired when I eat wheat.

      You are lucky to have a mill nearby. Yes, I can make flours in the Vitamix, though the rep said there's a special dry container for that. Maybe the blades are different. I don't see the need to invest any more money in the machine than I already have. Every once in a while I use our old blender because I like the way it leaves little bits and pieces in my smoothie. My husband thinks I'm crazy.

  4. First of all: Ella in that coat!!! What a cutie :)

    Claudia, my Panda, who is almost 17, isn't doing too well these days. Poor guy :( And Mocha, who is almost 16, is starting to slow down. But they are loving the cold. Tibetan Terriers have thick, double coats. We are giving them both extra TLC.

    Why doesn't your mister like cobblers? I luvvvvvv blueberry cobbler with ice cream. Yours looks so yum!

    PS - Such a small world that your friend knows a friend of mine. Want to know who!!

    1. Hey Loi. Sorry to hear that Panda isn't doing well. That is the hardest part about dog ownership, seeing them age and knowing they won't be with you much longer. So sad, but you have to find peace in knowing you have your dog a wonderful life. Giving them extra TLC is the best thing you can do!

      I think Paul doesn't usually like cobblers because they can be goopy and the biscuit part gets soggy. He's not a fan of baked apple desserts in general (like apple pie) but he loves berry desserts so the strawberries in my cobbler won him over.

      I'll find out who that person is my friend knows and will email you privately. When I first mentioned your name to my friend, he replied "I know Loi Thai," then he clarified with "I know of Loi Thai." Apparently you are famous!!


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