- 10 large apples (about 4 1⁄2 pounds/2kg), pitted and peeled, cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) chunks
- 1 large lemon
- 1⁄2 cup (110g) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups (400g) sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3⁄4 cup (185g) whole milk
- 1⁄2 cup (120g) hot water
- Heavy cream, for serving
1. Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C), with a rack in the center. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Arrange the apples in a single layer in a 9 by 13-inch (23 by 33cm) or similar-size baking pan or gratin dish. Using a zester or Microplane, zest about 2 teaspoons of lemon zest evenly over the fruit. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze about 1⁄4 cup (60g) of lemon juice over the top.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and 11⁄2 cups (300g) of the sugar on medium speed until creamy but sandy, about 1 minute. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and beat on medium speed until all the flour is incorporated and the mixture is evenly crumbly, about 30 seconds more. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the milk. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the batter is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
4. Scoop the batter in about 6 large blobs over the apples. With an offset spatula or the back of a big spoon, carefully spread the batter evenly over the fruit so it’s no more than about 1⁄2 inch (1.3cm) thick in any one place.
5. Sprinkle the remaining 1⁄2 cup (100g) sugar over the batter. Drizzle the hot water evenly over the sugar, using it to melt the sugar topping.
6. Set the pan on the foil-lined baking sheet and bake the cobbler until the top is golden brown and cracked, 70 to 80 minutes. A toothpick stuck in the topping should come out clean or with just crumbs clinging—be sure to check in a few places.
7. Let the cobbler cool for about 30 minutes to firm up. Serve warm, scooping it into big bowls and pouring a little heavy cream over the top. Refrigerate any leftovers airtight.
—Try a mix of apples—some tart, some sweet, some that fall apart and some that hold their shape when baked. Granny Smith and Honey Crisp is great mash-up.
—If your apples are very sweet, cut the sugar in the batter by up to 1/2 cup.
—If your apples are very tart, cut the lemon juice to a tablespoon or two.
—Riff away! Add a pinch of your favorite apple pie spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Or swap in some brown sugar for the white sugar in the batter. Splash in a little bourbon—why not?