Apple & Butterscotch Cobbler with Pecan Streusel
This cobbler courtesy of Chef Thomas Keller is baked right in the pot used to make the butterscotch sauce, which both minimizes cleanup and makes for a fun, casual presentation.
For the streusel:
- 2 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) very finely chopped pecans
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 2 Tbs. cold unsalted butter
For the apples:
- 2 1/2 lb. (1.25 kg) Granny Smith apples (about 6)
- 1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) all-purpose flour
For the butterscotch:
- 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (7 oz./220 g) firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) heavy cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
For the crust:
- 2/3 cup (3 1/2 oz./105 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (3 oz./90 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) crème fraîche or sour cream
Vanilla ice cream for serving
Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
To make the streusel, in a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, pecans, cinnamon and salt. Cut the butter into 1/4-inch (6-mm) cubes and toss them in the bowl to coat them with flour. Quickly work the mixture between your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Peel the apples, cut in half and scoop out the core. Cut the apples into 3/4-inch (2-cm) pieces and place them in a bowl. Add the flour and toss to evenly coat the apples.
To make the butterscotch, in a 3-quart (3-l) sauce pot over low heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) of the cream and slowly stir until smooth and homogenous. Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil and cook without stirring for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for about 30 seconds. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) cream, vanilla and salt.
Add the apples and any flour remaining in the bowl to the butterscotch and stir to coat the apples evenly. Tap the sauce pot on a work surface to settle the apples into an even layer and dislodge any air pockets. Use a rubber spatula to clean the sides of the sauce pot above the surface of the apples.
Now, quickly make the batter for the cobbler crust. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the crème fraîche until the mixture just comes together to make a very thick batter. Do not overmix.
Spoon the batter randomly over the top of the apples; it’s okay to leave some apples exposed on the surface, as the batter will spread out as it bakes and form a uniform crust. Sprinkle the streusel on top of the batter, then place the sauce pot in the center of the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Remove the pot from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes. Serve the warm cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream. Serves 6.
Recipe by Thomas Keller, Chef/Owner, The French Laundry