Autumn is my favorite time of year. The heavy sun-filled harvest of summer makes way for the onset of winter. The sun hangs on with it’s blanket of warmth while the air lends a comfortable chill. Bring on the sweaters, scarves and boots! yeah! September days always seem like the perfect time to pull a warm cobbler out of the oven filled with sweet apples and pears. There is something nostalgic about the scent of fresh sweet baked goods filling the house. I’m calling this a “cobbler-cake” because it’s not really just a cobbler it has the feel of a cake but it’s made in a cast iron skillet, in the tradition of a cobbler. I like the mix of apples and pears because the pears lend a sweet warm flavor while the apple, especially the green Granny Smith apple brightens the flavor with a little bit of tartness. The coconut is the star of the show here, making this cake moist with a slight nutty flavor.
Have you ever cooked with coconut sugar?
It acts like regular sugar but it adds a caramel flavor and a darker color to whatever it is you’re making. The coconut sugar paired with the coconut milk crates a caramel layer under the cake. You can see the caramel color in the image rise up above the cobbler batter when I add the apples and pears to the batter. You can substitute regular sugar but if you have coconut sugar in your pantry I highly recommend using it.
I pulled this out of the oven right as my kids are coming home and the house smelled divine. It holds it’s shape when it is sliced, like a cake and although it is delicious alone a scoop of vanilla ice cream seals the deal.
Our schedule has been so crazy that we haven’t had a free weekend to go to the apple orchard. It may be the first time we missed picking our own apples in years. We are so lucky to have grocers and farmers markets that bring fresh picked harvests to us.
Oh how I miss these sweet days, walking through the local orchards. I don’t think it will happen this year. I’m having surgery in a few days that will take me out of the game for a few weeks. I’m afraid apple season may be over by the time I’m able to get there. Next year for sure. Today my apples and pears from Heinen’s will do just fine. Mix the wet and dry ingredients and carefully pour it into your pan on top of the cooked coconut milk and sugar mixture. Your batter should be thicker than a regular cake batter. You can add extra butter milk if it is too thick. I spooned the mixture in to carefully place it throughout the pan covering the caramel mixture below. This takes a bit of finessing with a spatula. Don’t worry though it’s easy I promise. Then add your apple slices in a pattern on top of the batter allowing them to sink into the batter a bit. Don’t forget to give it a little sprinkling of sugar before it goes into the oven.
Coconut, Pear and Apple Cobbler Cake
- 14 oz can coconut milk
- ½ Cup unrefined coconut sugar, firmly packed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup raw sugar (caster sugar if you can find it)
- 1/4 cup plus two tablespoons chilled butter, chopped
- 1 cup buttermilk (If the mixture feels too thick add two additional tablespoons buttermilk.)
- 2 medium pears, peeled, cored and cut into 8 pieces then thinly slice each piece, see image
- 2 medium Granny Smith green apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 pieces then thinly slice each piece, see image
- 2 Tablespoons sugar for sprinkling on top
- vanilla icecream for serving, optional but strongly recommended
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place the conut milk, coconut sugar and vanilla in a 11in ovenproof frying pan over high heat. Cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has come to the boil and is a caramel color. Remove from the heat. set aside
- Place the flour, baking powder, coconut, caster sugar and butter in a large bowl and rub with your fingertips until the butter is combined. Add the buttermilk and mix to combine.
- Spoon the mixture over the caramel in the pan and top with the apple. Sprinkle with the extra caster sugar.
- Place on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the cobbler is golden and puffed.
- Serve warm with scoops of vanilla ice-cream, if you like.
Can you smell it?