The time to make this all-American dessert is in the fall, when you can get apples that are crisp and snappy.
Blend 1 cup sugar with the cornstarch and cinnamon in a large saucepan. Add the water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add 2 tablespoons butter or margarine and the apples to the hot sauce. Pour into a shallow baking dish. In a mixing bowl, combine the baking powder, salt and 2 tablespoons sugar with the flour. Cut in the additional 2 tablespoons butter or margarine. Add the cold water and stir with a fork to soft dough. Smooth the dough into a ball on a floured board. Knead five or six times. Roll out _ inch thick. Cut with a 2-½-inch cookie cutter, then cut each piece in half. Arrange around the baking dish.
Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the orange peel. Sprinkle on the dough. Bake in a 450 degrees F oven for 25 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the biscuits golden brown. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.