Servings: 4 to 6
Honey, cinnamon, and coarse sugar lend a sweet sparkle to the topping on this rustic cobbler. A few McIntosh apples in the filling break down during baking to form a sauce that ties everything together. Serve this right from the skillet for a casual alternative to apple pie.


For the topping
3-3/8 oz. (3/4 cup) finely ground yellow cornmeal, such as Indian Head Old Fashioned Stone Ground
2-1/4 oz. (1/2 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
3 Tbs. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. table salt
1 large egg, at room temperature, beaten
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
2 oz. (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
For the cobbler
2-1/4 oz. (1/2 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tbs. finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 tsp. ground ginger
1-1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 lb. tart apples (about 6 medium), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
12 oz. McIntosh apples (about 2), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
2 Tbs. spiced rum
1 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
1 to 1-1/2 Tbs. white sanding sugar
2 Tbs. honey
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving


Make the topping batter
Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350ºF.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
Fold in the egg and sour cream with a silicone spatula until just combined.
Fold in the butter a little bit at a time until just combined.
Prepare the cobbler
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, brown sugar, crystallized ginger, ground ginger, 1 tsp. of the cinnamon, and the nutmeg. Toss the apples in the mixture to coat. Add the rum, and toss again.
Grease a 10-inch cast-iron or other heavy-duty oven-safe skillet with the butter. Add the apple mixture, including any unabsorbed flour mixture.
Dollop the batter in scant 1/4-cup mounds over the apples. Sprinkle the batter with the sanding sugar.
Bake until the top is golden brown and the apples are tender, 55 to 65 minutes, rotating the skillet halfway through. If the top becomes golden brown before the apples are tender, loosely cover with foil to prevent overbrowning.
Whisk the honey with the remaining 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Drizzle on top of the hot cobbler. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.