3 lbs of a variety of good cooking apples
2 Tbsp lemon juice
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon lemon zest or orange zest
Prep the apples: Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut them into 1/4 to 1/2 inch chunks. As you prep the apples, add them to a bowl and toss with lemon juice to keep them from oxidizing (turning brown).
Make the apple filling: Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chopped apples (and the lemon juice from the bowl), sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss to coat with everything so that the spices and sugar are well distributed throughout the apples. Partially cover the pot and cook until the apples are just tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vanilla, and toss to coat with a tablespoon of flour.
Transfer filling to cobbler dish: Transfer the apple cobbler filling (including any juices from the apples) to a 10-inch pie dish, a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish, or a 9x9-inch baking dish.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Make the cobbler topping: In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the cubed butter and toss to coat with the flour mixture. Use your fingertips or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until the largest piece of butter is no bigger than a pea. Stir in the candied ginger and zest. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Use a fork to stir the flour and buttermilk together until the flour is all moistened. Do not overwork the dough!
Crumble topping over apples: Crumble the cobbler dough over the top of the apples in the baking dish. (If you want extra pizzaz you can sprinkle the top with a little brown sugar.)
Bake: Place a rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack in the oven (to catch any drippings), and place the cobbler on the next lowest rack. Bake for 10 minutes at 425°F until the top is beginning to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for 30 more minutes until the topping is cooked through and the filling is bubbly. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
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