Packed with fall flavors, this Bourbon Apple Cranberry Cobbler with Anise and Vanilla Bean recipe is a delicious and easy dessert to pull together for your most festive dinners. Disclosure: Star Anise and Vanilla Bean Gifted by: Rodelle Kitchen. All opinions are my own.
This time of year is aligned with all things comfort like Bourbon Pecan Pie, warm cozy socks, a crackling fire, Mamaw’s Holiday Coffee, and your most favorite cozy sweater. There’s another comfort to add to your list; bourbon apple cranberry cobbler with anise and vanilla bean.
My friends over at Rodelle Kitchen sent me a goodie pack a few weeks ago. Included was a bottle of anise extract. I’ve had anise in chai, apple cider and pho but had not discovered its unique flavor in baking, so I wasn’t really sure what I would do with this fragrant extract.
Contemplating how it would pair with other flavors, I was first drawn to apples and cranberries, because, well, they’re in season, and we had a nice bunch of apples from our apple pick a few weeks back.
Since it’s the season of festivities, I thought I’d break out my favorite baking booze; bourbon is always a winner with apples.
I adapted this from a grunt recipe, yet after doing a bit of research on what a grunt is, I had to change my title from grunt to cobbler. A grunt is in the same group as crisps, pandowdys, cobblers, brown betties, slumps and buckles.
While all of these desserts focus on seasonal fruit, the difference between most of these is the crust or topping; from the ingredients to how the dessert is assembled and/or baked. I realized, what I created was a cobbler, not a grunt (splitting hairs?).
A cobbler is a comforting baked mix of seasonal fruit with a biscuity dough topping. This dough is creamy and tender, not flaky, with a hint of crunch on the surface. I’m a little in love with dough, so I tend to go a bit overboard with this particular component. I find it imperative to have a tender, creamy bit of dough with every mouthwatering bite of sweet apples, tart cranberries, anise and caramelized bourbony, buttery syrup.
Pure comfort. Delicious served after a festive meal or a cozy night by the fire.
Serve fresh from the oven in single serve 10 oz ramekins with a heaping scoop of vanilla bean ice or whip cream. This recipe will also fill an 8×8 baking dish for community servings. Either way, their bowls will be clean.
Bourbon Apple Cranberry Cobbler with Anise and Vanilla Bean
- 1 C Fresh Cranberries 100g
- 1/3 C Bourbon such as Jim Beam Reserve or Makers Mark 78mL
- 3/4 tsp Star Anise Extract or two star anise I use Rodelle
- 2 Tbs Brown Sugar 30g
- 1/2 Vanilla Bean I use Rodelle
Tender Dough Topping:
Serve With Your Choice:
- Sifted powder sugar
- Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
- Vanilla Bean Whip Cream
Prep the Cranberries:
- The evening prior to making this dessert, prepare the cranberries for maceration. Place the cranberries in a bowl with the bourbon, star anise extract (or anise) and brown sugar. Scrape out the vanilla bean and put the beans and pod in the cranberry mixture. Stir, cover and refrigerate over night or for at least 8 hours.
Prep 4, 10 oz Baking Ramekins or 8x8 Baking Dish:
- Take 1 Tbs of unsalted butter and spread it on the bottom and sides of the baking dish(s) of your choice.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silpat.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
Prep The Apples and Filling:
- Peel and dice the apples into 1/4"-1/2" pieces, place in a bowl; compost the peel.To the apples add the lemon zest, juice, brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt.
- Remove the vanilla pod from the cranberry mixture and pour the cranberry mixture into the apple mixture. Stir to incorporate all the flavors. (Rinse the vanilla bean pod and set it out to dry overnight. When dry, add it to your sugar bowl or sugar container for vanilla sugar).
Prep The Dough:
- In a mixing bowl add the sugar, flour, salt and baking powder. Whisk. Add the heavy whip cream and stir just to incorporate the ingredients. Do not over work the tender dough. It will be a shaggy mess.
- Place the fruit mixture into the baking dish(s) of your choice. If using ramekins, divide the fruit equally among the ramekins. Pour the remaining juice evenly over the fruit. Divide the remaining butter evenly among the ramekins and place it on top of the fruit.
- Spoon the dough evenly over the fruit mixture. Pack it down if needed. The ramekins will be full, but the fruit mixture will breakdown as it bakes.
- Sprinkle the top of dough with turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes at 400F. Start watching the crust at about 20 minutes. You want a golden brown crust.
- Remove from oven and allow to set for at least 10 minutes before serving