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Apple cobbler with hot sugar crust.

Apple Cobbler with Hot Sugar Crust

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5 from 8 reviews


Adapted from the peach cobbler with hot sugar crust recipe in Kristen Miglore’s Food52 Genius Desserts

Notes: Below is half of the original recipe from Genius Desserts, and, as you can see, I’ve used apples in place of peaches. If you would like to make a larger portion, view this recipe and use a 9×13-inch pan or two 9-inch pie plates.

Regarding apples: Opinions abound on what types of apples you should use when baking. Some people suggest using a combination of apples: one for sweetness, one for tartness, one for texture, etc. I say use what you like. I love Honey Crisp, and I can always find them at my Co-op, and so that’s what I use. This cobbler bakes for 80 minutes, which is long, and I find with Honey Crisps, some of the cubes are still intact at the end while others have softened nearly completely, which makes for a nice combination of textures. Note there is no thickening agent here — no flour or tapioca starches, etc. — just a long, slow bake, during which time, the apples thicken on their own.

Regarding spices: I’ve kept the recipe here more similar to the original, using lemon zest and juice as opposed to warm, wintry spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, or any spice you would associate with baking apples. If you like those sort of spices, go for it. I prefer apples with vanilla or lemon than with warm spices, but that’s just me, and I know I am in the minority here, so again, use what you like.

Regarding the tart pan: This summer, after realizing I didn’t have a good pan in which to make clafouti, I invested in this set of Toulouse tart pans from Food52’s Shop. I absolutely love them. I’ve used them to make eggplant involtini, quinoa-stuffed poblano peppers, and, as here, peach and pluot cobbler with hot sugar crust. They are dishwasher safe and clean up like a dream.


  • 3 to 5 apples, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks — about 6 cups total
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup (55 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar, divided
  • 3/4 cups (95 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/8 cup (93g) whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (60g) hot water
  • Heavy cream or ice cream, for serving


  1. Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C), with a rack in the center. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  2. Arrange the apples in a 9- or 10-inch pie plate. Using a zester or Microplane, zest the lemon over the fruit. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze half of it into a cup. Strain out the seeds and pour the juice over the fruit. Toss to combine.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and 3/4 cups of the sugar on medium speed until creamy but sandy, about 1 minute. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and beat on medium speed until all the flour is incorporated and the mixture is evenly crumbly, about 30 seconds more. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the milk. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the batter is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Scoop the batter in about 6 large blobs over the apples. With an offset spatula or the back of a big spoon, carefully spread the batter evenly over the fruit.
  5. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup sugar over the batter. Drizzle the hot water evenly over the sugar, using it to melt the sugar topping.
  6. Set the pan on the prepared baking sheet and bake the cobbler until the top is golden brown and cracked, 70 to 80 minutes. A toothpick stuck in the topping should come out clean or with just crumbs clinging—be sure to check in a few places.
  7. Let the cobbler cool for about 30 minutes to firm up. Serve warm, scooping it into big bowls and pouring a little heavy cream over the top. Refrigerate any leftovers airtight.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 80 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American