You can find 1000+ of my kitchen-tested recipes using the Recipes tab, watch nearly 100 of my Kitchen Encounters/WHVL-TV segments using the TV Videos tab, join the discussion about all of my creations using the Facebook tab, or Email your questions and comments directly to me--none go unanswered. Have fun!


~ Seriously Simple: Sweet Potato & Apple Cobbler ~

IMG_8767While sweet potatoes are always part of my traditional Thanksgiving feast, they also find their way to my dinner table on a regular basis during all the Fall and Winter months.  Well, they don't find their way to my table, I put them there, in as many forms as possible.  I love them.  If sweet potatoes were decreed by the food police to be unhealthy, even that could not stop me from eating them.  As a side-dish, this root vegetable pairs perfectly with amost any poultry or pork, and, due to their natural sweetness, they can be used to make super-healthy desserts too!

IMG_8780A bit about sweet potatoes:  Sweet potatoes were first introduced to North America when Columbus brought them over from the island of St. Thomas, where this large edible root (which belongs to the morning-glory family) is native to the tropical regions of the Americas.  There are many varieties of sweet potato, but the two most widely grown commercially are a pale sweet potato and a dark-skinned variety Americans erroneously call "yam" (the true yam is not even related to the sweet potato).  The pale potato has a thin, light yellow skin and pale yellow flesh. Its flavor is not sweet, and, after being cooked, the pale sweet potato is dry and crumbly, similar to that of a Russet potato. The darker variety (pictured above) has a thicker, dark-orange skin and vivid-orange, sweet flesh.  When cooked it has a very sweet flavor and a creamy texture. The dark-skinned, orange-colored variety is the only kind I use in my recipes.

6a0120a8551282970b01bb07b8e00f970dWhen buying sweet potatoes, choose plump, firm even-sized ones with no cracks or bruises. Like regular potatoes they should never be stored in the refrigerator, but they do need to be stored in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place.  If the temperature is above 60 degrees, they'll begin to sprout, get woody and/or shriveled.  Cooked sweet potatoes, if stored in the refrigerator, last for about a week.  Like regular potatoes, sweet potates are always eaten cooked, never raw.

IMG_8547With the Thanksgiving holiday in my wake, this is our weekend to relax, watch football, old movies, and, <feast on leftovers.  My pies (apple, pecan and pumpkin) disappeared on the evening of Turkey Day itself, but, thanks to a few sweet potatoes and apples (in a basket in my garage), and, a pie pastry (in my freezer), I can make a quick dessert this afternoon to keep us happy until the leftovers run out.

Let's talk cobbler (& how it differs from a crisp):

6a0120a8551282970b0168ebb21ba7970cA bit about cobbler:  Nowadays, cobbler is associated with a baked deep-dish fruit or berry dessert that emerges from the oven with a semi-crispy, biscuit-like top that has been made (depending upon where you are from) with a batter, a biscuit dough, or a pie pastry and sprinkled with sugar.  Don't confuse cobbers with crisps.  While both contain fruit or berries, a crisp is topped with a crispy, crumbly crumb or streusel mixture (a streusel contains oats, a crumb does not) that gets sprinkled or strewn over the top.

IMG_5843Note:  The sweet potato and apple cobbler I'm making today is topped with a classic pie pastry. For an example of a cobbler made with a batter (pictured just above), click into Categories 6 or 20 to get my recipe for ~ A Simple Summertime Treat:  Pineapple Cobbler ~.  

To learn how a crisp is made, click into the same Categories 6 or 20 to get my recipe (pictured here on the left) ~ Cozy Apple, Bourbon, Vanilla Bean & Pecan Crisp ~. Almost any crisp can be turned into a cobber and vice versa!

While cobbler recipes have been printed in European cookbooks since the early 19th century and started out as main-dish protein-based meals, many residents of our Southern United States claim cobbers to be their invention, which, sorry folks, is not true.  Cobblers in the US originated in the Colonies because the English settlers were unable to make their traditional suet puddings for lack of proper ingredients and cooking equipment.  The name is said to derive from the fact that the finished product takes on the appearance of a cobbled street!

Meet my version of a cobbled street (with pastry leaves on it):

IMG_8705Let's make sweet potato & apple cobbler:

Assembling and baking this cobbler is super-easy, but, a couple of tasks need to be performed ahead of time:  making pie pastry, enough for a double crust pie, and, baking sweet potatoes. If that sounds like too much fuss to you, by using some high-qualty store-bought pie pastry and microwaving the potatoes, all of the mess of making pie pastry can be eliminated, and, the time it takes to bake sweet potatoes to the desired degree of doneness in a conventional oven can be cut in half by using the microwave.  Guess what?  This is so good, no one cares!

This isn't one of my own recipes.  I found the original on the pages of Southern Living Magazine about 8-10 years ago.  I've tweeked it many times in many ways over the years to get it to exactly where I want it to be, but, it started out as theirs, and, I remain thankful to them for that! 

IMG_85842  8-ounce pie pastries, peferably homemade rolled into a 10"-11" circle (Note: You can find my recipe for ~ Making Pate Brisee:  Basic Pie or Quiche Pastry ~ in Categories 15 or 11.), or:

1  14-ounce box, high-quality, store-bought pie pastry, containing 2 pie pastries

IMG_8581Note:  Once the pastries are rolled out, or unrolled if using store-bought, using any shape of 3" cookie cutter that tickles your fancy (I'm using maple leaves), cut the dough into 15-18 desired shapes.  I've used the blunt side of a knife blade to make the vein imprints across their surface.  Place on a parchment lined baking pan as you work.  Place in refrigerator to chill for about an hour.

6a0120a8551282970b013487fcb432970c4-5  10-12-ounce sweet potatoes, microwaved until semi-soft and sliceable, not cooked through, about 10 minutes, cooled to room temperature (1-2 hours of cooling)

Note: Timing will vary depending upon the microwave.  Watch carefully and check often the first time you do this.  Make a note of the time on your copy of the recipe and never think about it again!

IMG_8589For the citrus & spice mixture:

In a 2-cup measuring container, whisk together:

1   cup orange juice

1  teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2  cup sugar

1/4  cup pure maple syrup

1/4  cup Wondra Quick-Mixing IMG_8595Flour for Sauce and Gravy

1/2  teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2  teaspoon ground ginger

1/4  teaspoon allspice

1/4  teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4  teaspoon sea salt

For the remaining ingredients:

4-5  large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced to a thickness of 1/4"

IMG_25751  cup chopped pecans or walnuts

6 tablespoons salted butter, divided in half, half chilled and half melted

a sprinkling of Sugar 'n Cinnamon, for topping pastry leaves

no-stick cooking spray, for preparing baking dish

IMG_8599~ Steps 1 & 2.  Prep the apples and pecans as directed, placing a layer of overlapping  apple slices evenly across the bottom of a 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish that has been sprayed with no stick spray.  

IMG_8607Scatter the nuts evenly over the apples.

IMG_8616~ Steps 3 & 4.  Peel and slice the cooled sweet potatoes into 1/2"-thick discs, arranging them in a single layer on top of the apples and nuts.  Rewhisk the spice liquid and pour it evenly over the top.

IMG_8623Using the 3 tablespoons of chilled butter, thinly slice and place butter pats over the top of the sweet potatoes.

IMG_8639~ IMG_8635 Steps 5 & 6.  Melt the remaining butter and let it cool about 5 minutes.  Remove pastry leaves from the refrigerator and arrange them evenly over the top.

IMG_8648~ Steps. 7 & 8.  Using a pastry brush, lighly paint butter evenly over the tops of the pastry.  Discard any leftover butter.  

IMG_8656Sprinkle the Sugar 'n Cinnamon over all.

~ Step 9.  Bake, uncovered, on center rack of preheated 350 degree oven 50-55 minutes.  

IMG_8662Liquid will be thickened & bubbly and pastry leaves will be crisp & golden:

IMG_8686Place on a cooling rack for 1-2 hours, or longer...

IMG_8722... prior to slicing and serving warm or at room temperature...

IMG_8803... topped with ice cream or whipped cream:

IMG_8790Seriously Simple:  Sweet Potato & Apple Cobbler:  Recipe yields 12-16 servings.

Special Equipment List:  3" cookie cutter, preferably leaf-shaped; paring knife; 17 1/2" x 12 3/4" baking pan; parchment paper; 2-cup measuring container; whisk; vegetable peeler; cutting board; chef's knife; 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish, preferably clear glass; pastry brush; cooling rack

6a0120a8551282970b019b01635911970b-800wiCook's Note:  For another way to use sweet potatoes in a dessert, check out my recipe for ~ From a Potato to My Southern Sweet Potato Pie ~ by clicking into Categories 6 or 18!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2014)


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment