Apple Cobbler (GFCF)

From Z's Cup of Tea

There are two variations of this cobbler, making it a kind two-in-one recipe, which depends on whether you choose to leave out the xanthum gum or choose to use it. Making the cobbler without the xanthum gum gives a very thick, wet mix that’s kind of in the middle, between dough and batter – as I describe in the instructions. The second version, with the xanthum gum, is a thick batter that I would say much resembles wheat bread dough but slightly stickier – and that’s the consistency you should get if you’re making the lemon millet biscuits (see above paragraph) – and when it’s baked, it’s like dumplings. Break the dumplings up when you serve them and it’s like having bread pudding.

[Update] The other day I made a double batch of the dough for two cobblers. I was short of the double amount of cornstarch, ending up using 4.1 ounces of cornstarch with 1 cup millet flour and 1/2 cup sweet rice flour, along with the rest of the ingredients doubled. It still worked out and the dough was perfect: it was smooth enough to roll between my hands and I could hold it without it sticking to my skin.

I've also found that apple cider or apple juice works well if you're low or out of milk, although the batter does tend to separate (the fat from the coconut oil) if it sits. If you use the apple cider, you don't need to use honey.

Ingredients:

Apples

About 1 tsp. coconut oil, butter, or Earth Balance
1 1/2 pounds apples, quartered, peeled, and chopped
1 tsp. ground cinnamon or more, suited to personal preferences
1/2 to 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Topping

1/2 cup millet flour
2.6 ounces cornstarch
1/4 cup white or sweet rice flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. xanthum gum (optional, see head note)
4 tbsp. solid, soft coconut oil (not liquified), unsalted butter, cold or room temperature, or Earth Balance, cut into pieces*
3/4 cup coconut milk or soy milk, or 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
1/4 cup honey (omit if using apple cider/juice)
1/2 to 1 tsp. almond extract (optional)

*If you use Earth Balance, omit the salt.

Method:

Preheat oven to 435ºF. Partially cook the chopped apples with the coconut oil (or butter or Earth Balance). Sprinkle the cinnamon over the apples and stir to fully coat the apples. Continue cooking until the apples are slightly softened, and strings of a  gooey juice starts happening but the apples should still be hard and fairly crunchy. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Dump the apples into a baking pan, preferably glass (it can be lined with parchment paper or not – your choice) and spread across in one even layer. Drizzle with honey over top.

Biscuit dough: Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl and add coconut oil or butter, cutting with a fork or pastry cutter until balls about the size of small peas form. Pour the coconut milk or soy milk in, stirring until the dough just starts to come together, and mix in the honey last. If you’re making this without the xanthum gum, will be along the lines of a thick, wet mix that’s between the lines of dough and batter (see photos). If you’re making this with the xanthum gum, the dough will soon come together after you’ve added the milk. It is sticky and it should be thick enough that you can form it easily with lightly floured hands or it will stick to your skin (see photos). Either version of dough smells and tastes remarkably like wheat dough but slightly sweeter.

Assembly and baking: Plop spoonfuls of the biscuit dough over the filling – it’s okay if it doesn’t cover the entire surface. The first version of the dough (without xanthum gum) spreads a bit over the apples (as seen in the photos). The second version (with xanthum gum) stays put once plopped on and doesn’t spread at all as it is thicker and subsequently stiffer than the first version. Dust with extra cinnamon, if desired, and bake for 15 to 25 minutes, or until the biscuits are baked (they’ll feel solid and the tops may crack a little) and the filling is syrupy. Serve warm with coconut milk vanilla ice cream or other favourite cobbler accompaniment of choice depending on the time of day, or on its own. Enjoy!