Apple-Pear Cobbler With Lemon-Cornmeal Biscuits

April 6, 2018

Amy Traverso from Weekends with Yankee shares the recipe from The Apple Lover's Cookbook, a love letter to classic New England recipes and using apples in the kitchen.

Stacy Buchanan
Apple-Pear Cobbler recipe

Amy Traverso, senior food editor at Yankee magazine says, "you know you have a good dessert when, after spending all day in the kitchen developing it, you still choose to eat another serving instead of a proper dinner."

When it comes to this dish, we couldn't agree more. During a recent visit to talk about the return of Weekends with Yankee, she brought this dish out – we all wound up having seconds... and thirds. The recipe comes from Traverso's The Apple Lover's Cookbook, which includes a full-color guide to 50+ apple varieties and tips on how to cook with them.

We were thrilled to find out that she'll be continuing her cobbler adventures in the premiere episode of Weekends with Yankee! But this time she'll be swapping out the apples and pears with real Maine blueberries, and the lemon-cornmeal biscuits with a "secret signature Traverso topping". You'll never guess how it's made.

Weekends with Yankee returns on Sunday April 8 at 12:30pm on WGBH 2.


Apple-Pear Cobbler With Lemon-Cornmeal Biscuits

For the filling:

  • 2 1/2 lbs firm-tart apples
  • 1 1/2 lbs ripe pears (such as Bose or Bartlett)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chilled salted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

For the topping:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal (white or yellow, not stone-ground)
  • 3 tbsp plus 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chilled salted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp chilled heavy cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F, and set a rack to the middle position. Peel and core the apples and pears. Cut the apples into 1/4 inch-thick slices and the pears into 1/2 inch-thick slices. Put in a Dutch oven. Add the sugar, lemon juice, flour and butter, and toss to combine. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the topping: 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  3/4-inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter or juice glass with a 2 to 3-inch diameter to cut out biscuits, scraped and re-rolling the dough as needed. Chill the biscuits in the refrigerator while the fruit finishes the first round of cooking.
  3. 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 along with vanilla ice cream, a drizzle of fresh cream, or simply by itself.

Traverso recommends using any of the following apple varieties for this recipe:

  • Rhode Island Greening
  • Pink Pearl
  • Roxbury Russet
  • Ribston Pippins
  • April 5, 2018