Apple-Cranberry Cornbread Biscuit Cobbler

October 26, 2021
1 Ratings
Photo by Bette Blau Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine Food Stylist: Yossy Arefi
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Dessert on Thanksgiving. Did your mind immediately jump to apple pie? Mine did too. Mine did too. And this cobbler evokes just that. But it also calls up tangy cranberry sauce and grainy cornbread. Aka, combines three favorites into one new-favorite dessert—just the sort of thriftiness needed for a $30 Thanksgiving Menu. Let’s start from the bottom up: toss sweet-crisp apples ($3) and fresh or frozen cranberries ($1) with lemon zest and juice ($0.50) and a bit of brown or granulated sugar (you’ll also use some in the biscuits, $0.20.) And speaking of that topping, a cornmeal and buttermilk-based batter ($2.50) comes together in a flash. Drop over the fruit and bake until the whole thing is golden on top and juicy below. I’d say it’s easy as pie, but it’s in fact way easier. Psst: If you have a few bucks to spare, or one of your guests offers to bring something, you can’t beat a scoop of vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream on top of each bowl of cobbler. —Rebecca Firkser

Test Kitchen Notes

$30 Thanksgiving Menu
Tender Chicken Legs With Schmaltzy Croutons
Blistered Green Beans & Sweet Potatoes With Tahini
Apple-Cranberry Cornbread Biscuit Cobbler

Nickel & Dine is a budget column by Rebecca Firkser, assigning editor at Food52. Rebecca usually shares an easy, flavor-packed recipe that feeds four for $10 or less—this is a special edition: a $30 Thanksgiving for six. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Cornbread Biscuits
  • 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (138 grams) fine or medium cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup light brown (53 grams) or granulated (50 grams) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (12 grams) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1/2 (114 grams) buttermilk
  • Filling
  • 1 cup (130 grams) fresh or frozen and thawed cranberries
  • 4 (about 1½ pounds) sweet-crisp apples, such as Fuji or Gala, cut into ¾-inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon or orange zest (from about ½ orange or 1 lemon)
  • Juice from 1 large lemon or 1/2 medium orange (2 to 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon (7 grams) cornstarch (or 1 tablespoon/15 grams all-purpose flour)
  • 3 tablespoons (40 grams) brown or granulated (37 grams) sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, for serving (optional)
  1. Heat the oven to 400ºF. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Use your fingers to cut in the butter until it resembles a coarse meal with butter pieces no larger than peas.
  2. Gently mix in the buttermilk with your fingers or a wooden spoon until just combined. Place in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
  3. In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, or 9- or 10-inch cake pan, toss together the cranberries, apples, lemon zest and juice, cornstarch, sugar, and salt.
  4. Drop 6 large dollops of cornmeal batter over the surface of the skillet, leaving some areas of fruit exposed. Place the pan on a sheet pan to catch any drips. Bake the cobbler until the fruit is bubbling and the biscuits are golden brown, 45 to 55 minutes, tenting with foil after 35 minutes to prevent the biscuits from getting too brown. Let cool slightly (or completely) before serving, with ice cream or whipped cream if using.

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1 Review

garlic&lemon November 2, 2021
This looks lovely. What a clever way to combine multiple Thanksgiving tastes! You might want to correct the cooking time at the beginning of the recipe. It says 25 minutes. Reading through the recipe, the cobbler should be in the oven 45-55 minutes. And then it needs to cool. Experienced cooks will actually read all the recipes they are trying to juggle for a meal. But newbies might take your word for it, just reading the heading, and then be sad and stressed.