Regional USA Recipes
From Yankee Magazine, this recipe combines the best of late summer and early fall fruits – the pear and apple – topping them with a tender lemony flavored cornmeal biscuit. The old addage “Fruits that sweeten together can be eaten together” holds true especially with pears and apples. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for dessert, or just call it breakfast!
Make-Ahead Tip: You can prepare the fruit through step 1 up to a day ahead of time (you may need to drain the excess juice), but don’t make the biscuits until just before baking.
Apple Notes: The lemon flavors in this dessert make it a natural match for the Rhode Island Greening, Pink Pearl, or Roxbury Russet, while pears go very well with Ribston Pippins. However, you can’t go wrong with any firm-tart apples.
Equipment: 3- to 4-inch Dutch oven or other deep baking dish with sides at least 3 ½ inches high, or individual ramekins.
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Hands-On Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
For the Filling
- 2 ½ pounds (about 5 large) firm-tart apples
- 1 ½ pounds (about 3 large) ripe pears, such as Bosc or Bartlett
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons chilled salted butter, cut into ½ -inch cubes
Preheat the oven to 400°F, and set a rack to the middle position. Peel and core the apples and pears. Cut the apples into ¼ -inch-thick slices and the pears into ½ -inch-thick slices. Put in your baking dish. Add the sugar, lemon juice, flour, and butter, and toss to combine. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the topping.
For the Topping
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cornmeal (white or yellow, not stone-ground)
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 ½ tablespoons chilled salted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons chilled heavy cream
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, the 3 tablespoons sugar, the baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Sprinkle the butter on top and use your fingers to work it in, forming thin flakes. When the dough begins to look like cornmeal, add the 1 cup cream and stir with a fork until the dough just comes together. Gently pat out on a well-floured surface to a ¾ -inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter or juice glass with a 2- to 3-inch diameter to cut out biscuits, scraping and re-rolling the dough as needed. Chill the biscuits in the refrigerator while the fruit finishes the first round of cooking.
Remove the fruit mixture from the oven and give it a quick stir – it should look softer and a little glossy. Arrange the biscuits on top, overlapping slightly in concentric circles, brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons cream, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar. Bake, uncovered, until the top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling, about 35 minutes. Cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes, then serve warm.