This apple and pear cobbler is a little more sophisticated, due to a light, cardamom-scented brioche crust.
I've loved cobbler ever since elementary school in Indiana, when gooey apple crumble in huge pans was spooned onto our trays by the school cook. Looking back on it, I'm not sure it was always entirely baked. But in those days, cobbler was a huge treat. It was Fall, apple harvest time, and Thanksgiving wasn't far off. Time to make construction paper autumn leaves or turkey feathers............
And here in Vermont, the fruit is really that beautiful. Fall is upon us; patches of color are showing up on the hillsides, and frost is forecast in the North country. Today I brought up another trug full of tomatoes, and must bring up all the basil to make pesto before the frost touches it. But first, I'll make a cobbler deserving of the fruit.
Apple-Pear Brioche Cobbler
Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray
Preheat oven to 375F
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 T instant yeast
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup barely-warm milk
1 stick (1/4 lb) unsalted butter, very soft
1/4 cup thick, active sourdough starter (optional but very nice)
3 cooking apples, like Ginger Gold, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-in pieces
1 ripe pear, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 T flour
1 T corn starch
1 cup sugar
1. In electric mixer bowl with beater attached, combine all dry ingredients
2. Whisk the egg into the warm milk, and add to the mixer bowl. Mix 30 seconds medium.
3. Add the sourdough starter, mix 30 seconds medium.
4. Add the softened butter, mix 1 minute more on medium. Batter will be thick and light.
5. Make the fruit filling:
Take half of the apple slices and pulse several times in food processor to 1/4-in chunks
Stir together the chopped apples, sliced apples, pears, raisins, cinnamon, flour, corn starch and sugar in a glass or microwave-safe bowl.
Place in microwave for 2 minutes or until bubbling.
Scoop filling onto a plate to cool off.
Drop half of dough, by spoonfuls, into the prepared springform pan. Butter your fingers or a spoon, and smooth the dough together and out to the edges of the pan.
Pour filling into the center of the pan.
Take a few pieces of the remaining dough, and fit around the edge of the pan, around the filling, stretching to go around.
Put a few more pieces of dough on top of the filling here and there. Press them down into the filling a bit.
With the tip of a pointed knife, swirl the dough and filling around a few times.
Let the dough rise in a 90F area for about 20 minutes or until almost doubled in height:
(optional) Brush crust edges lightly with beaten egg
Sprinkle with Sparkling White Sugar or similar decorating sugar.
Place in 375F oven.
Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350F and continue baking for another 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a dough area in the center comes out clean.
9. Remove from oven, cool to warm on rack. Remove sides from springform pan, and slice.
Serve slightly warm.