Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Have an Hour...Have Dessert

The weekend had been a busy one with no time to drop by the market. I had exactly four eggs safely tucked into the fridge and was pondering what to make for dessert at our Grandparents Sunday dinner. I had quite a bit of time to ponder as I was mopping 2000 feet of hardwood floors. I was settling on a cake as I wandered back into the kitchen to wring out the mop and was overtaken by the wonderful smell of poached eggs. Poached eggs? There goes the cake...you can't make any sort of acceptable Southern cake without eggs. Time was closing in. I pulled out more cookbooks. I was falling flat. There was no way I could arrive with something store bought- this is just not done for Sunday dinner around here. As it most always happens, the family cookbook came to the rescue. In 2007, my sister in law had painstakingly put together a published book gathering all of our family recipes. We all joke that it may very well be the last cookbook anyone could ever need. Betty Lou's Berry Cobbler was the point of inspiration. I had an hour and a couple of apples. This could work.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Peel and dice two apples (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 stick melted butter
3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
3/4 cup milk
Combine the white and brown sugars in a small bowl and set 1 cup aside.
Mix the apples in a glass bowl with the one cup of the mixed sugars and cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and vanilla. Let marinade.
Using an 8 by 8 baking dish, mix flour, the remaining 1/2 cup of mixed sugars, baking powder, salt, and milk to form a batter. Spread evenly in bottom of pan.
Pour melted butter over batter in baking dish. DO NOT STIR!
Spoon marinated apples over batter. DO NOT STIR!
Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
Serve warm in deep dish bowls with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream.
Needless to say I walked into dinner an hour later with this amazing spiced apple scent wafting everywhere. Granny had made Southern fried chicken, mashed potatoes, a squash casserole, biscuits, fresh corn on the cob, green beans from her garden, mixed fresh fruits, and a huge pitcher of iced tea. Someone else had brought an enormous layer cake. The weather that Sunday was glorious for the beginning of August. Breezy and cool and most people took their dinners to the long porch on Granny's house. Everyone was talking about gardens. We were stuffed to the gills. And then someone mentioned dessert. The cobbler was incredible, and when I went back for seconds...well, it was gone. Definitely a new family favorite, and we promptly sat at the kitchen bar and put notes in the margin of Granny's family cookbook too!