Individual desserts are simply fun. Anytime I can make something in a cup, mug, small bowl, or ramekin, I do it. (This is also a boundary keeper; you eat this much and that's it.) This cobbler was one I came up with one day when I had some beautiful green apples on the counter, but needed to write a blog post using apricots. The biscuit topping is Marion Cunningham's. Why mess with a very good thing? (Fresh figs work nicely, too, if you have them.) Note: Servings are approximate and determined by size of your oven-safe cups or ramekins. —Alyce Morgan
Large apples, peeled, cored, sliced
Walnuts, toasted and chopped
Each: Dried apricots and dried figs, chopped
White sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for biscuit topping
Cinnamon (I like Penzey's Vietnamese)
Each: Ground nutmeg and ginger
Cold salted butter, divided (4 T ea for apple mixture and bisuit topping.1 tablespoon is melted for brushing dough.)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. For the fruit mixture: Mix together apples - cloves in a medium bowl. Divide the mixture evenly between greased oven-safe cups (or ramekins) while you make the biscuit topping. Dot each cup of fruit mixture with a bit of the diced butter (4 tablespoons total.) Set aside.
For the biscuit topping: Combine the flour, the other 2 tablespoons sugar, salt, and baking powder in a bowl or in the food processor fitted with the steel blade. Stir together with a fork or by pulsing the machine. Cut 4 tablespoons butter into bits and using either a pastry blender, two knives, your fingers or by pulsing the machine, work it into the flour mixture until it resembles fine crumbs. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly with a fork or by leaving machine running. Gather the dough together on a floured board and knead ten times. Roll or pat dough until it's no more than 1/2 inch thick. Cut dough in circles (size of the top of the cup diameter) and top each cup of fruit mixture with dough.
Brush the top of each circle of dough with a little melted butter. Place cups on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbly and golden brown. Let cool 20 minutes or more before serving warm or at room temperature with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream. Store leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.