Holiday cooking can get pretty complicated with all those geese and rib roasts and spiced cider and figgy pudding and myriad other dishes that only get made once a year. But I’ve found that when things get too complicated in kitchen, dishes get ruined, so I like to have some reliably simple (but also reliably delicious) standbys I know I can whip up easily even at the last minute. That’s why I love to cap off a big winter meal with this warm apple vanilla cobbler. Even if it’s an afterthought, it’s hard to go wrong with the combination of fragrant, piping hot apples, an airy biscuit topping, and melty vanilla ice cream on a cold December night.
Vanilla beans are small, sticky, and hard to work with. By rubbing both seeds and pods right into a bowl of sugar, you’ll not only capture every little bit, the sugar will convey the rich vanilla flavor through the dish beautifully.
What You Need
- 1 cup turbinado sugar, divided
- 6-inch vanilla bean, split
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 6 cups chopped apples
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup milk
Makes 8-10 servings
Before you begin, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Measure sugar out into a small mixing bowl. Scrape vanilla beans into the sugar; use fingertips to rub vanilla seeds and pods into the sugar. Discard pod or reserve for another use.
Set a 9-inch wide ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and then the apples, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Stirring occasionally, cook 15 minutes or until apples are soft and a light golden brown. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice and 1/4 cup flour.
Meanwhile prepare biscuit topping. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk to combine 1 cup flour, 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Fold in milk, mixing just until combined.
Spoon batter over apple mixture, using 2 spoons to spread dough as evenly as possible. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar over top.
Slide into oven and bake 20 – 25 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
Cool briefly. Serve cobbler warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Cobbler will keep well covered at room temperature for 1 day.