Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375° F. Butter a 3-quart baking dish.
To make the fruit filling, with your hands, rub the brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Add the apples and toss to evenly coat. Gently stir in the lemon juice. Let the apples sit for 15 minutes to release some of their juices. Mix the filling more than one time before scraping the contents into the prepared pan. Cut the butter into small cubes and scatter over the apples.
Cover the pan with foil and bake in the lower third of the oven for 20 minutes. This gives the apples a jump start on cooking while you make the biscuits.
To make the biscuits, whisk the flour, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, the baking powder, and the salt together in a bowl. Add the cheese and toss until evenly coated. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the buttermilk. With a rubber spatula or fork, or by hand, stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. The dough will be shaggy and moist. If the dough seems dry, add a bit more buttermilk, no more than 1 tablespoon at a time.
Take the baking pan out of the oven and remove the foil. In 1/4 cup portions, place the dough atop the fruit, distributing the biscuits evenly. (You should end up with about 9 biscuits.) Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar over the biscuits.
Return the cobbler to the oven (this time without the foil) and bake for an additional 30 to 40 minutes, or until the apples are tender, the juices are bubbling, and the biscuits are golden brown.
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