No Thanksgiving meal can be complete without dessert! Friend, artist and baker extraordinaire Michael Coates is with us today to share his delicious recipe for Apple-Cranberry Cobbler with Cheddar Biscuits.
A Little Bit about Michael: I work full-time for Rockwell Automation as a Photographer & Senior Designer. For 6 years now I’ve also ran my own creative business under my name. I started out doing mostly graphic design work but I’m now a full service business offing photography, web design, commissioned art, and even interior design. I will be partnering up with a friend quite soon to venture into a dessert focused catering business. We’re going to offer fine pastries, cakes and tarts to our clients for any kind of event.
Favorite Thanksgiving Tradition: Thanksgiving is my favorite meal of the year. I love food flavors in autumn, and I just adore a good turkey. Being from California, I don’t often get to go home to visit my family, so I have adopted the family of my best friend from college each year. She has a large family, and it is always entertaining to be part of a “big production Thanksgiving Dinner.” While I love all of the food during the actual dinner, it’s reinventing the leftovers that I have the most fun with. Cranberry-Turkey sandwiches, Mashed Potato Pancakes, and roasted vegetable salads have all become cherished leftover dishes.
Apple Pie or Pumpkin Pie?: Apple Pie, hands down. You can do so much more with it. Plus I enjoy the amount of time & effort that goes into a home-made apple pie. I’ve had some amazing varieties, but no Apple Pie will ever beat Mom’s.
Cooking Mantra: Simple and local is best. If you can’t grow it yourself, find someone who can locally. It’s cheaper and always tastes better. As for deserts, don’t layer tons of flavors and textures just to be fancy. Sometimes just highlighting one or two great flavors delivers the best results.
What are you thankful for this year? I am supported by an astounding group of people. My parents and best friends have never let me down, and have always been the stability and comfort in my life. The holiday’s are about celebrating them, and thanking them for their unconditional love.
Apple-Cranberry Cobbler with Cheddar Biscuits
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature, for dish
For fruit filling:
1 cup packed (7 1/2 ounces) medium brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
1 cup fresh cranberries
8 large apples (I used Granny Smith & Golden Delicious), peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick (3 1/2 pounds prepped)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups (4 ounces) grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1 1/3 cups cold buttermilk, or more as needed
1 tablespoon bakers sanding sugar
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375° F. Butter a 3-quart baking dish.
For the fruit filling, with your hands, rub the brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Add the apples and cranberries and toss to evenly coat. Gently stir in the lemon juice. Pour the filling contents into the prepared pan. Cut the butter into small cubes and scatter over the apples.
Cover the pan with foil and bake in the lower third of the oven for 20 minutes. This gives the apples a jump-start on cooking while you make the biscuits.
To make the biscuits, whisk the flour, tablespoon of granulated sugar, the baking powder, and the salt together in a bowl. Add the cheese and toss until evenly coated. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the buttermilk. With a rubber spatula or fork, or by hand, stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. The dough will be shaggy and moist. If the dough seems dry, add a bit more buttermilk, no more than 1 tablespoon at a time.
Take the baking pan out of the oven and remove the foil. Using an ice cream scoop, place the dough atop the fruit, distributing the biscuits evenly. (You should end up with about 9-12 biscuits.) Sprinkle the tablespoon of sugar sanding over the biscuits.
Return the cobbler to the oven (this time without the foil) and bake for an additional 30 to 40 minutes, or until the apples are tender, the juices are bubbling, and the biscuits are golden brown.
Storage: This dessert is best served the day that it is made, but any leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap (or foil) and kept at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
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