Cheddar Biscuit Apple Cobbler

September 30, 2021

Upstate New York is known for a few different things, but two of my favorites are the apples and the sharp cheddar cheese. They are a perfect pairing, fitting together so naturally in this skillet apple cobbler with cheddar biscuit topping.

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My fridge is officially full of apples, so it’s definitely fall. Around here, we tend to each eat at least one fresh apple per day this time of year. One of my favorite ways to enjoy mine is layering slices with pieces of sharp cheddar cheese. That snack inspired this fruit bake, which makes a perfect fall brunch.

I love the simple process of this cobbler. Starting on the stove gives you better control over the thickness of your filling, and the ability to try it and add extra sweetness as needed. Finishing in the oven means that you can set this aside while working on other parts of a meal and serve a perfectly warm apple-y treat.

What You Need to Get Started

You can easily find all of the ingredients for this skillet apple cobbler at your grocery store:

Let’s Make a Skillet Apple Cobbler

This recipe has only eight different ingredients, so you know that each one is going to be working hard to provide you with the perfect fruit bake. But apples is where you will be beginning. They are the star of this dish, so choosing the right ones can make a big difference in flavor.

I used Paula Reds, which are a very early-season apple. However, you can use any variety that is good for cooking but is not too hard or tart. Cortland, Fuji, and Gala will all work well and tend to be readily available.

If you go with something like Granny Smith, you may need to adjust both the apple cooking time and the amount of honey to taste. You may also want to consider peeling apples that have a thick or waxy skin.

When I first start developing any apple recipe, the first question is: slice or dice? It really can make a difference in the texture of your cobbler, but there’s no wrong answer. I like using diced pieces in this recipe because it makes for a nice, thick filling. Each piece ends up keeping its shape nicely, but having a soft, jammy interior.

Get started with this recipe by adding all of those apple chunks into a cast iron pan. A standard 10-inch pan is your best bet here, but if yours is a little bit bigger, it will be fine. If you don’t have cast iron, you can use another oven-safe skillet, or transfer the apple filling to a casserole dish once it’s ready to bake.

Add in the butter and honey, and begin cooking the apples on the stovetop over medium heat. This cobbler is sweetened only with honey and the natural sugars from the apples, which makes it refined sugar free!

Stir gently as the butter melts, allowing the apples to become fully coated. At that point, keep cooking the apples for about ten minutes. Stir them occasionally, as the apples release their juices and those juices begin to thicken slightly. When the filling is ready, the apples will be fork-tender, so be sure to check for that before turning off the heat.

Once you are done cooking the apple filling, make a cornstarch slurry to thicken it up. Stir cornstarch and water together until they are fully combined. The water allows the cornstarch to mix in without clumping. Add the slurry into the pan with the apples, and stir to combine it with the liquid in the pan. You may not notice it thicken up right away, but don’t worry, the cornstarch is doing its job.

Set aside the pan until you are ready with the biscuit dough. If you want to work ahead, you can store the cooked apple filling in a sealed container in the fridge for a couple days before topping with the biscuits and baking. If needed, add an extra few minutes to the baking time.

How to Make Cheddar Biscuit Cobbler Topping

To make the most efficient use of your time, you can start preparing the biscuit while the apples are cooking. To begin, combine the flour and salt together in a medium bowl, and whisk them until they are fully combined.

Add in the cubes of cold butter. It’s always a good idea to use cold butter in biscuits, because it helps give them that flakier texture. I suggest using a pastry blender to cut it into the flour. You can also use butter knives or your hands. However, your hands may begin to melt the butter, so place the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes if it gets too warm.

Whichever way you decide to cut in the butter, continue to do so until the butter pieces are thoroughly coated in flour and they are about the size of peas at the largest. The whole mixture should have a soft texture with some clumps.

At this point, add and mix in the shredded cheese. I used sharp cheddar, because I love the way the flavor pairs with apple. However, it can be too strong for some people. A mild or medium cheddar will work just as well in these biscuits. If you are starting with a block of cheese, use the large side of a box grater to shred it.

Then, make a well in the center of the flour, and pour in half of the milk. You don’t want to add it all at once because you may not need to use all of it. Knock the flour mixture from the sides of the bowl into the milk, and then mix it together with a spoon or your hands.

I like to really get in there and knead biscuit dough with my hands. The more you do it, you will get used to what the texture of the dough should feel like, and become more confident with how much liquid to add.

For now, slowly add the rest of the milk as needed in small splashes. As you mix and add liquid, the dough should begin to form into pieces that stick together when pressed. It’s ready to use when all of the dough stays together in one big ball.

At this point, separate the biscuit dough into twelve equal-sized balls. You can use a bench scraper if you’d like for cleaner cuts, or weigh each piece to ensure they are equal. For a more rustic, lazy-baker feeling, just rip the dough with your hands and roll it into a ball.

Flatten each ball into a disk that is about three-quarters of an inch thick. You can definitely do this part with your hands. There’s no need for a rolling pin or biscuit cutter for these. As you flatten them, arrange the dough disks on top of the apples in the pan you set aside earlier.

Bake the cobbler for right around twenty-five minutes. It will be done when the biscuits are cooked through and golden on top. You can check with a toothpick to ensure they aren’t doughy inside. The filling is precooked and thickened, so you don’t need to worry about that bubbling.

Transfer the pan to a trivet, and let it cool for at least five minutes. This tastes best served warm. Scoop out a biscuit and all the filling under it and nearby for each portion. I don’t think it needs anything added on top, but if you’d like to drizzle a bit of honey over the biscuit, it would be extra sweet.

If you are prepping this in advance, store the baked cobbler or individual servings in a sealed container at room temperature for a couple days. You can serve it at room temperature or warm individual portions in the microwave.

Celebrate apple season with this simple skillet cobbler! Sweetened with honey, and topped with cheddar biscuits, this fruit bake is the perfect balance of sweet and savory.

How to Serve Cheddar Biscuit Skillet Apple Cobbler

After my first bite of this cobbler, I knew that it would make the perfect centerpiece for a fall brunch. I absolutely love the idea of serving this sweet and savory dish to kick things off, and then following it up with avocado, tomato, and cheddar omelets. Don’t forget the hard apple cider sangria!

You can also serve this tasty fruit bake as dessert. Try it alongside cinnamon roll cupcakes, persimmon jam and rye thumbprint cookies, and sweet corn fritters with bourbon-maple syrup.

When it comes to drinks, an apple brandy alexander is great to serve with dessert for a cozy nightcap, or try a warm pear cider for something without alcohol. Finally, get extra into that fall spirit with a candy corn latte macchiato.

Other Apple Dishes

It’s apple season! If you went a little overboard with the apple picking, one of these delicious treats is sure to save the day:

More Fruit Bakes

Love cobblers, crisps, and crumbles, but want to try something other than apples? You are sure to find the perfect selection from these:

Skillet Apple Cobbler with Cheddar Biscuits

A sweet and simple fall cobbler featuring seasonal fresh apples, topped with savory cheddar biscuits. Refined sugar free.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 261kcal

Ingredients

Apple Filling

  • 6 Cups Apples small diced, about 4 large apples
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • ¼ Cup Honey
  • ½ Tbsp Cornstarch

Cheddar Biscuits

  • 1 ½ Cups All-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¾ Cup Butter cold, and cut into cubes
  • ¾ Cup Cheddar Cheese shredded
  • ¼-½ Cup Milk

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center.
  • In a cast iron (or other oven-safe) skillet, combine the apples, honey, and butter, stir to combine over medium heat on the stove until the apples are coated.
  • Continue cooking the apples, stirring occasionally, allow the liquid to cook down and thicken, about 10 minutes. Check that the apples are fork tender, and if not continue cooking.
  • Turn off heat. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch with 1 Tbsp water until thoroughly combined. Add the cornstarch slurry into the pan with the apples and stir to coat.
  • While the apples are cooking, begin the biscuits. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add in the butter, and use a pastry blender to cut it into the flour until the butter pieces are thoroughly coated and about the size of peas. Add and mix in the shredded cheese.
  • Then, make a well in the center, and add the first ¼ cup of milk. Knock the flour mixture into the milk, and mix with a spoon or your hands. Slowly add rest of the milk as needed, as you mix, until the dough sticks together into one ball.
  • Separate the biscuit dough into 12 equal-sized balls and then flatten each into a ¾-inch thick. Arrange the dough pieces on top of the apples in the pan.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the biscuits are cooked through and golden. Let cool at least five minutes on a trivet. Serve warm.

Notes

Make ahead tips:
  • You can cook the apple filling and store it in a sealed container in the fridge for 2-3 days before topping with the biscuits and baking. Add an extra 5 minutes to the baking time.
  • Store the baked cobbler or individual servings in a sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days. Serve at room temperature or warm individual portions in the microwave.
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