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Hearty whole wheat breakfast cobbler

Whether or not you're a lumberjack, this wedge demands a plaid shirt, or a napkin.

Last summer I was browsing for cobbler recipes, and I fell in love with one that used a batter underneath the fruit filling, instead of biscuit dough dropped on top. The weather forecast calls for snow tomorrow, which in turn calls for warm, nourishing meals. Instead of pouting and crossing my arms until summer's stone fruit is at its peak (a good six to seven months from now), I decided to be productive and reworked a recipe so that it packs in all four food groups.

Adapted from a recipe by Whole Foods, this cobbler is now whole wheat, and savoury as well as sweet. Apples and pork sausages are one of my favourite breakfast pairings, and in this dish, they become superfriends in what can be likened to a giant, fluffy, oven-baked pancake.


Hearty Whole Wheat Breakfast Cobbler
serves 4 to 8
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 30 - 35 minutes

2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

2 apples, cut into 5 mm thick slices
2 Italian sausages, skins removed, crumbled
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cornstarch

Preheat your oven to 375°F and move a rack to the center level. Put butter in a 10-inch round or square glass or metal baking pan, and set it in the oven until the butter melts. Turn the pan to coat afterward.


Warm up a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat.  Add meat and turn, browning the outside without cooking through. Set aside.

Combine 1/4 cup maple syrup and cornstarch, add apples and sausage. Toss to coat.


Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and buttermilk until no lumps remain. Pour into the buttered pan, and scatter or arrange apples and sausages to cover, making sure to dunk most of the sausage under the batter so that they don't get dried out. Drizzle remaining syrup on top.


Bake until cooked through, but still soft and moist on the inside, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove cobbler, set oven to broil, drizzle 2 tbsp maple syrup on top, and return to oven for 2 minutes until golden.

Serve warm.


Notes: Chorizo, breakfast sausage, merguez, or ground beef or pork that has been mixed with herbs and spices and a binder (a little egg or moist bread) are great alternatives to the protein that was used in this recipe.

If you don't have buttermilk at home, pour a generous teaspoon of vinegar (white or cider) into a large measuring cup, and add enough milk to make 1 1/4 cups. Let it sit for a few minutes, then stir and use.

I used gala apples, my favourite, but you can use any variety that bakes well.

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