Ryan and I will be moving to Austin, TX next Saturday. As I read through you warming comments yesterday, I realized that many of you knew little of our next plans. This fall, I will begin a Masters of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing. As an MFA student I will take a combination of graduate level English courses and Writing workshops. I'll also assist a large Sophomore level English course and then eventually beginning teaching my own composition classes next year.
I'm scared. But in that fluttery, anticipating great things, type of way. Being a writer requires vulnerability, dedication and the courage to write from the most hidden places of the universal soul. I don't know if I have the gumption yet but we're moving across the country in ten days so it better start trucking along.
In order to give you a small glimpse of some of my creative writing, I've linked you to a short story I had published a couple of years ago. Paradigm is a small literary publication out of Ohio, and I was honored to be included in their Vintage Issue.
And of course, in order to whet your appetite, I've posted a delightful recipe for a cheddar Apple cobbler. You will find the recipe and the link to the story by clicking below.
In the Midwest (and elsewhere I imagine) you can easily find restaurants that serve their apple pie with a layer of cheddar cheese baked beneath a flaky pastry crust. Some will even serve the slice of cheese on top, quickly broiling the pie to induce melting.
And these are delicious slices of pie. But I wanted to make a cobbler, and so a cobbler I made. Dropping cheese studded biscuits on warm apples made me nostalgic for those small Mom & Pop diners that still serve a variation of a cheddar apple pie. The cobbler was an easy dessert to prepare, no pastry rolling required, and yet the house still smelled like I had spent the day laboring in our kitchen.
*Adapted from Rustic Fruit Desserts
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves, nutmeg
8 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick (3 1/2 pounds prepped)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup unsalted butter (half of a stick)
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups freshly grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1 1/3 cups cold buttermilk, or more as needed
1. Preheat your oven to 375° F and butter a 3-quart baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, cornstarch, salt and spices with a fork or spoon. Add the sliced apples and toss to evenly coat. Gently stir in the lemon juice. Allow the apple mixture to sit for at least 15 minutes in order for maceration to occur. Gently pour your apples into your prepared baking dish and cut the butter into small cubes to scatter over the apples.
3. Cover the pan with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
4. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, the baking powder, and the salt . Add the cheese and toss until evenly coated. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and slowly add the buttermilk. With a rubber spatula or fork stir just until the dry ingredients are just moistened. The dough will be shaggy and moist. If the dough seems dry, add a bit more buttermilk.
5. Remove the baking pan from the oven and discard the foil. In 1/4 cup portions, place the dough atop the fruit, distributing the biscuits evenly. (You should end up with about 9 biscuits.) Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar over the biscuits.
6. Return the cobbler to the oven and bake for an additional 30 to 40 minutes, or until the apples are tender, the juices are bubbling, and the biscuits are golden brown.
Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream of a scoop of ice cream
Anecdotes and Apple Cores
*A link to my story....I'm in the Vintage Issue