I have to admit that Civil War history is not my area of interest, but I was curious to give this famous dramatic novel a try. It has been several years since I read anything on the topic and I have to say I was a little rusty on the events. I was encouraged to give it a go since my son is avidly devouring history books. He was a little impressed to hear that I was reading about the Civil War, though at 8, he was rather sad to hear they had cavelry and cannons instead of tanks back then.
As you might remember, each month a new book is selected by a new host. Started by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, we are reading and cooking our way through The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's FavoriteBooks and Authors This month, Ashley from Cheese Curd in Paradise chose the title and invited us all to cook along with her. The story was a great inspiration for many fabulous recipes. Be sure to check out Ashley's post wrapping up the recipes for February - coming soon.
The book was a great glimpse into history for me. The author, Michael Shaara, did a wonderful job of bringing Gettysburg to life and the Civil War into perspective for me. The characters kept me reading and the details really helped to place me into a time that I am not ordinarily drawn to. Overall, it was a great story and not as dry as other Civil War literature I have encountered.
After reading and enjoying the book, I was excited to whip up something for my family that would represent this month's selection. Because my kids just love fruit and dessert, I had to stick with the original suggestion of Civil War Cherry-Apple Cobbler with Sweet Vanilla Custard.
With tart cheeries and silky baked apples, the flavors were well complimented with the vanilla custard. My hens have been very good to me lately and I was able to use up some fresh eggs for this little creation.
The beauty of a cobbler is how simple it is to create. Just start peeling and slicing those apples, mix the ingredients and top it with a sweet, cinnamon cookie topping. The custard just ends up being icing on the cake and whips up very quickly.
Civil War Cherry-Apple Cobbler with Sweet Vanilla Custard
recipe from The Book Club Cookbook pg. 211
You will need:
For the filling
- 1 15 1/2 oz. can of unsweetened cherries, drained
- 5 c. peeled and thinly sliced cooking apples
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/3 c. all-purpouse flour
- 4 Tbsp. cherry preserves
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract
- 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
for the crust
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp. cold butter, cubed
- 1/4 c. milk
- 1 egg beaten, divided
- Sanding sugar for the top
for the custard
- 2/3 c. sugar
- 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 c. milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp. butter, cubed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9"x13" baking sheet with non-stick spray.
In a large bowl, combine all the filling ingredients and mix to coat with flour and sugar. Pour the fruit into your prepared baking dish. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. With a pastry cutter, cut in the cold butter till the mixture resembles sand. Whisk together the milk and half of the beaten egg. Reserve the remaining egg for brusing the crust. Stir in the milk mixture and add flour till it will form a ball. Between wax paper, roll out the top crust the size of your baking dish. Cover the fruit mixture, Mix 3 tablespoons water into the egg mixture and brush on the crust. Sprinkle the top with sanding sugar.
Cut several steam holes into the crust. Place in the oven and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the cobbler is bubbly and the top is lightly browned.
In the last few minutes, start making the custard.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the sugar, flour and salt. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk as it comes up to a simmer over medium heat. Keep whisking until it starts to thicken. It should coat the back of a spoon. Take off the heat.
Beat together the egg yolks and when the mixture has thickened, begin tempering the eggs. Pour in a small amout of hot milk while whisking the eggs vigorously. Once half the mixture is added, pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook for another 2 minutes over medium heat.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and butter till smooth.
Serve the custard over the cobbler immediately, or chill and serve later.
This month Ashley at Cheese Curd in Paradise, this month's host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!
One of our lucky readers - US and Canada only! - can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from February 1st till February 29th at 6 o'clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.
*Disclosure: Ashley received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.