Sunday, January 17, 2010

Apple Tar-- er, Cobbler...

Tonight, I was feeling a little persnickety.

(See my Williams Sonoma bowls in the background there?  
Yep, my kid sister gave those to me for Christmas.  Such a smart little shopper!)

My original plan was to try out a new cupcake recipe tonight but I was missing a
ingredient that I need to get from a friend.

I know that sounds shady,

but that's how I roll.

So what was I to do??
I was all itching for some baketitude and needed SOMETHING to stick in the oven or else I feared I might

Thankfully, one of my favorite baking bloggers came to my rescue.
Whisk Kid, the crazy-talented baking teenager with so much skill in the kitchen it just isn't fair, posted a recipe for Apple Tarts.

So what if it's not cupcakes??  I can bake whatever I want!
(OK, OK, I take that back!! I'm sorry little cupcakes, I love you.  I only want to bake you.  I promise.)
(But sometimes cookies too, OK?)

I went through the recipe but when it came time to roll out the dough, I found it way too sticky to manage.  I wasn't sure how adding more flour would affect the recipe [I hesitate to add flour for rolling out dough if the recipe doesn't explicitly say it's OK] but I still tried to make one Apple Tart.  It was pretty pitiful and I began to throw the dough away when I realized it would be a  
total shame to waste it.

Therefore, undaunted (as my mom would say -- haha!), I charged onward and came up with this recipe:

Adapted from Whisk Kid's Apple Tart

Makes two 9-inch apple cobblers

Look over the recipe.

Grumble because the ingredients are measured in grams.  Ugh.

Convince myself that I can totally work in grams.  Who needs cups anyway?  
(I do, that's who.)

Note that my scale measures in kilograms.
Quickly Google kilogramsgrams to make sure I remember correctly from 5th grade.
Assure myself plenty of people need to do this sort of thing all the time.

Cream together:
125 g confectionery sugar
250 g butter
1 vanilla bean (seeded)

In case you've never seeded a vanilla bean before, here's a quick tutorial on how to do it:

Start with as fresh a vanilla bean as you can;
ones that are dried out get kinda fibrous when you cut into them.
(I got mine at Costco of all places!)

Split the bean in half lengthwise.

Use your fingers to pry apart the sides of the halves.

Use the dull side of your knife to scrape out the mushy meat from inside the bean halves.

This little pile of vanilla mush is exactly what you want!
This is what will give you those coveted vanilla specks that scream:

Add in 3 eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.

Sift in 500 g cake flour and 1/2 t. baking powder.  Mix until just combined.

•[Here is where my changes start to come in]•

Form a ball with the dough and wrap it in plastic.  Refrigerate for at least half an hour.

While the dough is in the fridge, start peeling and dicing up 6 granny smith apples.  Separate them into the two pie dishes.

Dice up 6 T. butter and divide evenly over the apples.
Over each pie dish, sprinkle:
•1/4 c. brown sugar
•1/8 c. granulated sugar
•1 t. cinnamon
•2 T. lemon juice

Take the dough out of the fridge and divide it in two.  Begin pulling off chunks of dough and plopping them on top of the apples.  Dust with sugar.

(There's WAY too much dough on top of this one, but I didn't find out that my apple-to-dough ratio was off until after I baked it.  Definitely make sure that you leave space between the dough lumps for the apple gooey-ness to bubble through)

Bake at 350° F for 30-35 minutes until you achieve a good, golden-brown exterior and the apples are bubbly:

Oh so GOOD!

Yep, definitely worth saving the dough.

I was really surprised by how cakey the dough was.  If the dough had been plain I think I would've scrapped the cobbler; however, the strong vanilla flavor combined really well with the apples and they went together perfectly.  It was less a biscuit and more a cake.  Yum :)

In case you're wondering,  
this is how my tart came out:

Not TOO bad visually, but taste-wise it was awful.  As you can see, the cake is incredibly puffed up due to my lack of ability to roll out the dough properly and the apples totally dried out and became tasteless, too.

I completely blame this on user-error, by the way.  If you're more tart-savvy, I know this recipe's for you!


  1. I'm lusting after those Williams Sonoma bowls for ages!! Too bad the tart didn't work out... the cobbler looks delish though! It's been too long since I've made a cobbler!

  2. OH now see I love me some cobbler.. I am a southern girl so when ya put brown sugar and cinnamon on anythign with fruit ya bake a cobbler out of it lol..

  3. Dear God,

    I propose an exchange, you exchange my lame non-foodie Mama for Miss Dot and her bake-tacular skills and I will give you whatever you want. Anyone up there need some stylish headbands??

    I'm open to suggestions.



  4. OMG! I love your apron!

    I'm so glad you were able to turn it into something else, but I'm so sorry that the whole thing didn't work like you wanted it to! What a bummer!

    Did it at least satisfy the itch you had to bake?

  5. You get an E for Effort. So lovin' your Carolyn's Kitchen Apron!

  6. Cute...Cute...Cute!!! Love the apron and your nails. Everything looks so yummy, I was laughing because your goo goo for apples and I am ga ga for bananas...LOL!!!

    Did you get my msg about the address?

  7. Okay, I love your nails! I’m going to have to bet mine done just the same. And I got a kick out of the fact that at the end of this very informative post you stated that the tasting results were just awful. :) Way to be honest!