Thursday, September 29, 2011

Apple and Roasted Chile Pepper Cobbler

Once again I didn't think to take a picture until AFTER eating a slice.
I cook for two reasons: to feed myself, and to have fun.

I usually feed myself with thrown together pasta dishes, sauteed things (potatoes cooked with onion and sauerkraut, cottage fries, scrambled eggs, etc), hot cereals (oatmeal, cornmeal mush), and bread slathered with stuff (yogurt, cheese, peanut butter, jam). I also try to cook one or two "big meals" a week, and eat leftovers.

For fun I like to bake bread or make some sort of dessert. I love dessert (well, anything sweet really) much more than I ought to. I love it so much, I can eat half of a cake or pie all by myself... in a single day. I combat this love for sweets by maintaining a fairly healthy lifestyle in other areas (I walk a lot and rarely buy junk food), and generally only making desserts once every couple of weeks. Still, my roommates have seen me eat sugar right out of the bag more times than I'd care to mention.

My favorite type of dessert is the rustic baked variety. I love pulling something out of the oven that is basically baked fruit with a little cake mixed in. I love biting into a hot slice of something and taste... FRUIT. It's so much nicer than eating sugar cubes.

Then, about a month ago, I came across this recipe for an apple cobbler made with roasted chile peppers. I've been wanting to try my hand at roasting peppers for a while, so I bookmarked the page and promptly forgot about it... until about two weeks ago, when I decided that this Hatch Chile Apple Cobbler would be a fun thing to make on my day off.

The cobbler was amazing. It was spicy and sweet and crisp on the edges. It was perfect. I ate the entire thing by myself in a day and a half, and will certainly be making it again. This recipe has a lot of steps (you roast the peppers before assembling the cobbler), but it's definitely worth it:

Apple and Roasted Chile Pepper Cobbler

  • 2-4 Hatch green chiles, or Anaheim chiles, or 2 jalapeƱos, or 1 poblano I ended up using 2 small Hatch Chiles and 1 jalapeƱo... because I accidentally destroyed the third Hatch while trying to seed it
  • 4 granny smith apples. Peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1/2 t cinnamon It doesn't need any more than that
  • 1/4 t ground allspice
  • 1/8 t nutmeg
  • 2 t brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter you know you wanna, it makes it taste so good
  • 1 c flour
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • a little salt just a pinch 
  • 1 c milk   
Roast the chiles, by setting them on the floor of a very hot oven for about 5 minutes (put them under the broiler if you have one) or until the peppers are black. I didn't feel like cleaning my oven, so I put them on a cookie sheet on the lowest shelf, and they ended up hanging out in the oven for 15-20 minutes (I was helping my roommates make a music video at the time, so didn't keep track of how many times I reset the alarm). When the peppers are done seal them up in a food storage bag, or in my case a plastic pitcher with a lid (it's what I had on hand) and let them steam for about 20 minutes. Then stem, seed, and remove skin from peppers. 

Dice the peppers and toss them with diced apples, spices, and brown sugar. 

Preheat the oven to 350

Melt the butter in a cast-iron skillet. If all you have is a large-ish cake pan, then use the entire stick of butter to grease the bottom and sides of the pan (please don't use margarine, it really won't taste the same). In a separate bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and milk. Pour this batter over the butter in the cast iron skillet, do not stir the butter and batter together.

Spread the diced apples and chiles evenly over the top of the cobbler and bake uncovered for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling.

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