• Amy Traverso

This relish is actually a bit different from the bread-and-butter pickles you may know from childhood. It’s also much simpler. It does have a similar flavor profile, though: sweet and bright, with warm spices.

It’s a quick pickle in every sense, just a thirty-minute bath in the vinegar before it’s ready to serve, and I simply keep it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, rather than canning it. It never lasts long enough to put up, anyway. Serve as a side salad, or on sandwiches and burgers, or chop up and mix into potato salad.

Apple Notes: Red-skinned apples look prettiest here, I often use Jazz, Baldwin, and Melrose.

Equipment: Mandoline

Total Time: 25 minutes Yield: about 4 cups

  • 1 large seedless (English) cucumber (about 14 ounces or 400 g), unpeeled

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 2 large firm-sweet apples (about 1 pound total), unpeeled and halved lengthwise

  • 2 medium shallots

  • 1 cup (240 ml) rice vinegar

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) honey

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 sprig fresh tarragon, cut into 4 pieces

First, prep your cucumbers: Cut off the ends and discard, then slice on a mandoline. Put in a colander and toss with the salt. Let sit for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prep the apples: Trim the seeds and core from each apple half, then halve

lengthwise (the apple will now be in four pieces). Thinly slice each quarter on the mandoline. Slice the shallots on the mandoline as well, then put in a medium bowl with the apples. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, water, honey, and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add the cinnamon stick and tarragon, and pour the mixture over the apples and shallots. Rinse the cucumbers well and lightly blot dry (still in the colander) with paper towels. Add the cucumber slices to the bowl with the apples and stir well. Let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. Refrigerate for up to two weeks.

  • Amy Traverso

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

A fresh take on a cozy dessert that proves an old adage: "The fruit that grows together goes together."

Apple-Pear Cobbler with Lemon-Cornmeal Biscuits

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. This is a fresh and unexpected take on a New England classic, topped with tender but crunchy cornmeal biscuits, laced with lemon and glazed with cream and sugar. The apples and pears in the filling are fully complementary (remember: fruits that sweeten together can be eaten together!) and really pop with a hit of lemon juice. Serve with vanilla ice cream, a drizzle of fresh cream, or simply by itself.

Notes: The lemon flavors in this dessert make it a natural match for the Rhode Island Greening, Pink Pearl, or Roxbury Russet, while pears go very well with Ribston Pippins. However, you can’t go wrong with any firm-tart apples.

Make-Ahead Tip: You can prepare the fruit through step 1 up to a day ahead of time (you may need to drain the excess juice), but don’t make the biscuits until just before baking.

Equipment: 3- to 4-inch Dutch oven or other deep baking dish with sides at least 3 ½ inches high, or individual ramekins.

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes Hands-On Time: 45 minutes Yield: 8 servings

For the Filling

  • 2 ½ pounds (about 5 large) firm-tart apples (see Apple Notes)

  • 1 ½ pounds (about 3 large) ripe pears, such as Bosc or Bartlett

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ tablespoons chilled salted butter, cut into ½ -inch cubes

For the Topping

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup cornmeal (white or yellow, not stone-ground)

  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

  • 1 ½ tablespoons chilled salted butter, cut into small pieces

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons chilled heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 400°F, and set a rack to the middle position. Peel and core the apples and pears. Cut the apples into ¼ -inch-thick slices and the pears into ½ -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. 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 ¾ -inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter or juice glass with a 2- to 3-inch diameter to cut out biscuits, scraping and re-rolling the dough as needed. Chill the biscuits in the refrigerator while the fruit finishes the first round of cooking. 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.