Apple Cobbler-ish Tart-ish Delight

or a half risen, half sweet, completely tasty breakfast dessert

So, what's the best part of cobbler?  The delicious doughy sweet topping of course!  And what have I been craving lately?  You guessed it - cobbler - but not all of the cobbler, just the top.  As I was reminiscing about picking away at the tart cherries that were always nestled so nicely in this delicious dish each Spring after we went cherry picking, I began thinking - what else can I do with that doughy goodness?  As much as I'd love to make just a large dish of the topping, and trust me I've considered it, I really did want to make it a little more universally appealing.  Because no one, even me, should sit down and tackle a dish of that all by themselves.  So to force moderation I was determined to transform it in a way that other people would enjoy it too.  Remember - momma always taught you it's only polite to share. 

So where were we... oh, right!  Tart cherries are nice, but the tangy bite in their flavor can be a bit much for me when I'm really craving some comfort in my breakfast.  My mom's recipe suggested raspberries but I suspect I may have a similar problem with them, plus they are distinctly out of season and therefor not found anywhere in my house.  So, what did I have in the house?  Apples.  Lots and lots of apples.  Not only did I have a bag of Gala apples sitting on the counter, but I also had about 8 jars of sliced baking apples (Northern Spies and Gala mixed, no real reason, those were the seconds they had at the orchards this year).  So now toss into the equation a bit of the end of the weekend laziness, and wouldn't you know it - those apples are still sitting on the counter and we are down to 7 jars of baking apples.

These thinly sliced apples do not carry the same weight as tart cherries so I expected a bit of difference in the resulting dish, and I was not disappointed.  The magical process of the lower layer of dough rising victoriously through the cherries to form a golden delicious crown over the top was not exactly where this dish ended up going.  When it came out of the oven, cooked to golden delicious perfection, the slices of apples were nestled nicely in the top half of the dough.  The beauty of this?  Once cooled to room temperature, this is easily sliced into sections that can be picked up and enjoyed sans fork!  It'll be sticky, but definitely worth it. 
Check it out:

Butter - 1/4 cup
Flour - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Sliced apples - 1 1/2 - 2 cups

Hardware: 8" round baking dish

1. Add the butter to the baking dish and place it in the oven.  Turn it on to preheat to 350 degrees.  Keep an eye out over there to check on it while you toss the rest together.  You want the butter to melt and brown a bit, not burn.  So don't neglect it, comfort food can't really be made without a bit of doting here and there anyway.

2. While that is happening, get out a medium sized mixing bowl and add in the flour, sugar, and milk.  Stir well to combine, ease out any large clumps as you go.

3.  When the butter is ready, take the dish out of the oven and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.  Once the appropriate amount of time has passed, evenly pour in the batter. 

4. Top with the sliced apples.  If you are using fresh apples you will want to drizzle about 2 tbsp of apple juice over top.  If you are using canned apples, homemade or otherwise, you'll want to use only a couple tablespoons of the syrup they are stored in so you may need to drain them first over a bowl so you can get a better idea of how much is going in.  I only use a small amount of light syrup when I do my home canning so I just dumped the jar out over the batter.  Evenly of course.

5. Bake for 45 - 60 minutes.  Or until the crust starts to rise up amidst the apples and the top gets a nice golden tint overall.  I use a clear glass dish, if you do as well you'll also notice a nice golden crust around the sides.

6. Remove and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing to serve.  If you want to be able to eat this as finger food, don't be embarrassed deep down we all really do, let it cool to room temperature before serving.  It's not terribly sweet so if you have a prominent sweet tooth you may want to sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar when it comes out of the oven, but for me the balance is perfect just as it is - perhaps with a bit of whipped cream on top...   mmmmm...

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