Apple Cobbler with Raisin Sauce

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I love a good road trip. And with a son out East at Bard College in the Hudson Valley, New York, I am blessed with new purpose to jump in the big red van to explore. First trip out, we made it up as far north as Albany, just a bit north of Bard, and were delighted to discover a stack of regional cookbooks including Peter Rose’s Foods of the Hudson at the visitor center there.

Peter’s a “she” (the name’s Dutch) who relocated to the Hudson Valley 17 years ago and has been writing about foods of the area ever since. Many of the recipes in her book were gathered from archives kept at historic sites, or, from families that go back several generations in the area. This simple cobbler recipe, for example, has been made for generations by the Bartholomew family of Stanfordville, New York.  My husband calls it “mincemeat apple cobbler,” thanks to the richly spiced raisin sauce that goes on top.

Makes 8

Raisin Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

Apple Cobbler Ingredients

  • 8 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 stick butter, divided
  • 2 cups biscuit mix (Bisquick light version works fine)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk


  1. Make raisin sauce:  (NOTE: if you can make this the day before you want to serve the cobbler, do. Allowing the sauce to sit overnight lets the raisins plump even more, to maximum tenderness.) Place raisins in a saucepan with 2 cups of water, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt and brown sugar. Heat to boiling.Turn heat to lowest setting and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly. Whisk cornstarch with 1/2 cup water to make a slurry. Slowly whisk this into warm sauce. Return saucepan to heat and cook for five more minutes, whisking frequently. Sauce will thicken.
  2. Make cobbler: Preheat oven to 450. In a large bowl, combine sliced apples, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Turn the mixture into a 13 x 9 inch ovenproof baking dish. Dot with 4 Tbsp of butter. Melt remaining 1/2 stick of butter. Mix melted butter with biscuit mix, sugar and milk to make a soft dough. Drop spoonfuls of the dough all over the surface of the cobbler. Bake for 10 minutes at 450; lower heat to 350 and continue baking for about 20 minutes until topping is done and apples are tender. Warm raisin sauce. Pour over each serving of cobbler.

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