Apple pie with cheddar cheese is a classic combination, the sharp cheese contrasting with the fruit’s sweetness. In the cobbler, the cheddar flavor is baked in.
Pears and apple make a great combination, but a tart apple would overpower the milder pear, making Empire a good choice for the cobbler.
The recipe takes a lot of fruit — about a dozen medium-sized apples and 15-16 pears to make four pounds, more for the smaller Seckel variety — and effort. Leaving the peels on the fruit saves time and makes the cobbler more nutritious.
6 T butter
4 lbs Bartlett, Seckel, or other pear, cored and cut in ½” pieces
4 lbs Empire, Gold Delicious, or other New England apple, cored and cut in ½” pieces
¾ c sugar
2 T flour
1 t cinnamon
½ c whipping cream
½ c fresh apple cider
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Melt 3 T butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add half of pears and half of apples. Sauté until fruit is soft, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes. Transfer fruit to large bowl.
Repeat with remaining 3 T butter and remaining pears and apples.
Mix sugar, flour, and cinnamon into fruit. Stir in whipping cream and apple juice. Transfer to 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes before adding topping.
1½ c flour
½ c whole-wheat flour
2 T sugar
1 T baking powder
¼ t salt
10 T chilled butter, cut in ½” cubes
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 c milk
Whisk flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in cheese.
Beat milk and egg in small bowl to blend. Mix into flour mixture with wooden spoon (dough will be stiff).
Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto fruit, spacing evenly. Bake cobbler about 45 minutes, until filling is bubbling and toothpick inserted into crust comes out clean. Serve warm. Like many apple baked goods, cobbler is good with vanilla ice cream.