March 30th, 2009

tired

Caramel Apple Cobbler

This was tonight's dessert. So good, oh yes. We had venison stew for the main course; I'll try to type that recipe later.

Caramel Apple Cobbler


Ingredients:
2 Golden Delicious apples
4 small (or 2 large) Granny Smith apples
1/8 cup fruit juice
1/3 cup loosely packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
12 soft caramel candies
1/2 cup quick rolled oats
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup butter

Directions:

Slice and core the apples, mixing the types together.

Pour the fruit juice into a large pot. Put about a third of the apple slices into the pot. Sprinkle with half the lightly packed brown sugar and dot with 1 tablespoon of butter. Add more apples and the remaining brown sugar and butter, and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.

Turn the heat on Low and simmer for a while. Stir apples occasionally, until they start to soften. The Golden Delicious will pretty much turn to mush, binding together the slices of Granny Smith. This takes about an hour or two, depending on the heat and the apples.

Meanwhile, cut the soft caramels into quarters.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

To prepare the topping, stir together 1/2 cup quick rolled oats, 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup tightly packed light brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger. Slice 1/3 cup butter and add to bowl, then cut it in with a butter cutter until the mixture is loose and crumbly.

Spray a ceramic or glass pie plate with cooking spray. Spoon in about a third of the apples and spread them on the bottom. Top with half the caramel pieces. Spoon in another third of the apples; top with the remaining caramel pieces. Spoon in the remaining apples and spread them smooth. Use another spoon to sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the top of the apple filling.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until filling is bubbly and topping melds into a lightly golden crust. Serve hot.


Notes:

The four Granny Smith apples were the tiniest of this type I’d ever seen. Normal ones are twice that size, hence the optional numbers.

Using two or more types of apples lets you take advantage of different textures and flavors. Unlike most cobbler fillings, this one is firm rather than sloppy, thanks to the mushed Golden Delicious, the brown sugar, and the caramels.

You can peel the apples if you dislike peels in cobbler. I didn’t peel mine.

The fruit juice should just cover the bottom of the saucepan so the apples don’t stick to it. I used pineapple-orange juice. Any similar breakfast juice, or apple or white grape juice, should work fine.

Precooking the raw apples makes it possible to have nice tender apples in the cobbler without burning the crust. You could probably make big batches of partly cooked apples and freeze them for later use. Just don’t overcook them because they will cook more in the oven.

To quarter the caramels, cut in half once and then cut each part in half again. This is easier than trying to slice them several times.

This cobbler was a huge hit with everyone. Our housemate had to leave right after supper and asked to have some left … otherwise it would all have been devoured. This recipe takes a bit more effort than the usual thaw-and-dump fillings I use in cobblers, but it is totally worth it!

I meant to make this as a double-crust pie, but I forgot to buy pie crusts. The cobbler version was so good that I may never bother to try a pie version.
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Social Network Meme

I found this meme on another blog.

1. List the social networking sites you have either tried or still use.

MyBlogLog, Blog Catalog, FriendFeed, Digg, Blog Explosion, Google Friend Connect.

2. Of the social networking sites you’ve actually tried, which one is your favorite?

Probably MyBlogLog. Most of my traffic on "Hypatia's Hoard of Reviews" comes from there.

3. What’s the biggest drawback to such sites, in your opinion?

The time investment. GIGO: If you don't spend time building up a bunch of connections, they do you very little good. I try to spend a little time frequently, and not get too lost in them. I have several hundred contacts on MyBlogLog because I often check the 6 "people who have recently joined communities I belong to" lineup. If their profile indicates that we have common interests, I add them, and maybe send a message.

4. Other than it being the “hip thing to do,” what’s the main reason you’d at least consider joining such a site?

It boosts my audience and makes it easier for people to find my writing.