Pomegranate gives apple cobbler a tangy twist and takes a standard fall dessert to a new level.
Ah, the fruits of fall. As youngsters, my siblings and I would look forward to the day when pomegranates would appear on the kitchen counter. After supper, my father would cut one open, split it apart and carefully remove the ruby gems from the bitter pith. He’d pass the fruit around and we’d savor every tiny morsel.
If, per chance, a single pomegranate kernel would fall to the floor (actually, a Persian rug), everything would stop. We weren’t allowed to move and woe be to the child whose feet touched the rug. My mom and dad would get on their hands and knees, carefully searching every inch until the offending morsel was found. Stain-causing juice, even that small an amount on an expensive rug? Not a good thing.
The memory has served me well. I have wood floors in my dining room.
I must do something wrong with the whole reduction process because it always takes me a lot longer than the instructions say it should. I brought my pomegranate juice to a ‘boil over moderately high heat’ and left it there for the fifteen minutes called for by the magazine. I still had well over 1/3 cup. It took almost 40 minutes for the juice to reduce down enough.
Waiting for the boiling to do its work gave me plenty of time to peel and cut apples and pull together the topping. It was an easy matter to finish up the cobbler and put it in the hot oven. 60 minutes later, it was perfectly baked. The instructions did say to tent the dish with foil if the topping browned too quickly, but I didn’t have an issue with that.
Even though Sophie isn’t a fan of pomegranates as a fruit (poor kid), she loved the cobber, especially with ice cream. I enjoyed it as well. The tart juice replaced the more common lemon juice and balanced well with the apples.
That being said, Doug wasn’t a fan. He thought there was something wrong with the cobbler (I had failed to mention the use of pomegranate juice). In addition, both Sophie and I thought there was too much topping. We found ourselves digging underneath it to make sure we got more apples than dough, but after a few servings that’s all that was left. Finally, because the juice turned the apples a weird grayish/brownish/red color, it’s not a dessert I’d serve to company.
All that to say, this was a good one-time recipe, but isn’t something that will make a repeat performance in our house.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
Pomegranate juice: $3.99
Granny smith apples: $5.99
Heavy cream: $2.79
Apple-Pomegranate Cobbler Recipe
- 2 cups pomegranate juice
- 6 Granny Smith apples (3 pounds)—peeled, halved, cored and sliced ½ inch thick
- 1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup cold heavy cream, plus more for brushing
- Pomegranate seeds and vanilla ice cream, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Place an 8-by-8-inch glass baking dish on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. In a small saucepan, bring the pomegranate juice to a boil over moderately high heat until reduced to ⅓ cup, about 15 minutes.
- Pour the juice into a large bowl and fold in the apples, ¾ cup of the sugar, ¼ cup of the flour and ½ teaspoon of salt. Scrape the mixture into the baking dish.
- In another large bowl, whisk the remaining 2 cups of flour with the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, the baking powder and ½ teaspoon of salt. Add the butter and, using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles very coarse crumbs, with some pieces the size of small peas. Gently stir in the 1 cup of cream just to combine.
- Gather the topping into small clumps and scatter over the apple filling. Brush the topping with cream and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake the cobbler for 60 to 70 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the topping is golden. Tent with foil if the crust browns too quickly.
- Let cool for 20 minutes. Serve sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and topped with vanilla ice cream.