My Recipe Box

Apple-Pear Cobbler with Crisp Brown Sugar-Pecan Topping

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Serves 6 to 8

  • by Abigail Johnson Dodge from Fine Cooking
    Issue 112

Any kind of sweet-tart apple will work well in this cobbler; I like Braeburn and Cortland. For the pears, try Anjou or Bartlett, two of my favorite pears for baking.

For the topping
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2-1/4 oz. (1/2 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • Pinch table salt
For the filling
  • 1-1/2 oz. (3 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
  • Pinch table salt
  • 1/2 cup applejack or apple cider
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 lb. firm, semi-tart apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 lb. ripe pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.

Make the topping

In a food processor, combine half of the pecans with the brown sugar, flour, butter, ginger, and salt. Pulse the ingredients until they begin to form moist clumps. Add the remaining pecans and pulse briefly until the pecans are broken up but not pulverized. Refrigerate the topping in the work bowl while you prepare the filling.

Make the filling
Tip:
Cast iron skillets are great, but not for this cobbler; their reactive surface can lend a metallic taste to the finished cobbler. Stick with a nonreactive skillet, such as stainless steel or enamel-lined cast iron.

Melt the butter in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet (8- to 10-cup capacity) over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar, flour, ginger, and salt; cook, stirring and smearing with a rubber spatula, until the sugar is melted and the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Whisking constantly, add the applejack and lemon juice and cook until boiling, about 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low and add the apples. Cook, stirring gently, until just barely tender, about 4 minutes. Add the pears and gently toss until coated and hot, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Assemble and bake

Spread the fruit into a relatively flat layer. Scatter the topping evenly over the fruit. Bake until the fruit is very tender when pierced with a knife and the topping is browned, 25 to 35 minutes. Let sit for about 10 minutes to allow the juice to settle and thicken before serving.

Make Ahead Tips

You can make the topping store it in the freezer (in a zip-top plastic bag) for up to 3 months.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 370; Fat (g): 18; Fat Calories (kcal): 160; Saturated Fat (g): 7; Protein (g): 2; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): 45; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Sodium (mg): 45; Cholesterol (mg): 25; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Had some apples and pears I wanted to use so I decided to try this. Very easy. Had very good flavor. I prepared it in a stainless steel pan and came out of the oven tender with a crisp topping at 25 minutes. I used Bartlett pears and Granny Smith and Crispin apples. In preparing this again I would transfer the hot fruit from the skillet to a casserole dish and then top with the topping and bake. I served it warm with ice cream. It was delicious. I only gave it 4 stars because unless you eat the entire cobbler you lose the crisp topping when transferring to another dish for later.

Yum! Initially I was not sure of the ginger but tried it anyway. So glad I did! The ginger in this recipe sets it apart and takes the crisp to a new level. I used 6 C of cortland apples as no pears were on hand. Added 2 T Calvados & 1 T Ginger Liqueur along with the 1/2 C of apple cider. Took this to a friends house who was serving Beef Sukiyaki. The ginger added an asian flair and everyone loved the crisp. My reason for 4 stars is that the topping sightly burned on the top at the 400 degrees for 23 minutes of cooking. Will definitely make the crisp again.

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