Today was one of those spring days that felt like a fall day that makes you start to dread the coming winter, and after spending two hours trying to dig all the quack grass out of my hedge in a wind that was blowing my (half full) yard waste can away, I gave up on yard work, took a hot bath and decided I needed to cook something to warm my insides. So, while this is definitely more of a fall/winter dessert, I thought I would give it a shot (plus I needed to use up my last bag of frozen apples from last year’s crop). I stumbled across this recipe on Everybody Likes Sandwiches and made a few modifications to suit my tastes and supplies and was happily surprised with the results. This was a warm, spiced, rich in flavour dessert that was quite simple to produce. I can envision a lot of similar desserts made with a biscuit topping in the future; this was much simpler than pie – not a replacement, but simpler – and much heartier than a crisp or crumble. That said, the flavour was a bit intense for my kids, so I am going to write this as I plan to make it next time. The original has candied ginger in it, which was nice, but quite powerful, and I think the molasses was already strong enough for their little taste buds, so I have taken that out. Also, this had a lot of liquid, so I am cutting the addition of water and reducing the molasses slightly. I made my topping using my handy-dandy biscuit mix and buttermilk, instead of the yogurt biscuit recipe provided. And of course, I had to add some Grizzly aged gouda from Sylvan Star cheese to the topping instead of sugar, which was fantastic (oh how I love cheese, let me count the ways)! So, here it is, as I enjoyed (and envision) it.
1/4 cup fancy molasses
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
2 cardamom pods
1/4 tsp each, ground cloves and salt
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup sugar
Enough sliced apples to fill a 9″ round deep casserole dish (with lid) – about 5-7 large granny smith or other tart variety (I used whatever grows in my back yard)
2 Tbsp butter, cubed
Preheat oven to 375. Mix molasses through sugar in casserole dish and stir to combine, then add in apples, mixing until apples are fairly well coated. Add butter and stir just to spread it out. Cover and bake for 25 min.
1 cup Grandma’s Biscuit Mix
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup grated old gouda, divided
Stir together biscuit mix, buttermilk, sugar, and 1/3 cup of the gouda in bowl until just combined. Knead on counter top 2-3 times until it all stays together – DO NOT over-knead or it will get tough. When filling comes out of the oven, remove lid and flatten the topping between your hands into a large round to fit the top, or do it in four or five pieces for a more rustic finish. Sprinkle with reserved cheese and bake for an additional 25 minutes.
Let cool for 30-45 minutes before serving. Trust me and have this with ice cream, a bourbon or irish whiskey one if you have an ice cream maker and can swing it, otherwise a good vanilla gets the job done.