Thursday, August 14, 2008

Blackberry Cobbler!

One of my favorite things about living in the Northwest is the blackberries! And one of my favorite things about blackberries is blackberry cobbler.

I mentioned in a previous post that my grandparents house was surrounded by blackberry bushes. This meant that my sister and I went down (were driven, dragged, forcibly carried) to my grandparents every summer to pick blackberries.

We didn't love it. It was hot. The bushes are full of thorns. The blackberries stained your fingers. They stained your brand new San Francisco Riding Gear jeans! Being there meant you weren't watching Gilligan's Island. Or talking on the phone with your friends. When you are 15, anywhere is better than your grandparent's house picking blackberries.

There was one payoff, though. My grandma made the world's best blackberry cobbler! I don't know where she got the recipe (later in life I asked her and she didn't remember where she got it either), but it is unlike any blackberry cobbler I've ever had, or ever seen a recipe for. The difference is the crust. Unlike most cobbler recipes, the dough isn't dropped on top of the fruit. It is pressed on to the fruit almost like a pie crust. But the dough is tender almost like a biscuit.

My only complaint about my Grandma's recipe is that it is a little too sweet for me. My family loves it but for me it needs less sugar. Shhhh . . . don't tell but I've been surreptitiously lowering the sugar content over the years and no one has noticed. I'm posting the recipe as originally written and you can decide for yourself.

Blackberry Cobbler

Place appropriate number of berries in pan.

Yeah, ok, I know that is very vague and not very helpful. I use a 2.5 quart Pyrex oval casserole dish and I fill it approximately half full of berries. I'm guessing about 5-6 cups of berries? It would work in a 9 inch square pan also but you would probably need less berries and the crust would be slightly thicker. It would still be wonderful.

So, but the berries in the pan then sprinkle on top a mixture of:

1 cup sugar (I use less)
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt

Don't mix the sugar and berries, they will combine while they bake. In a separate bowl, mix together:

1 1/2 c. flour (I use 1 c. all purpose flour and 1/2 c. whole wheat)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking powder
3 Tbs sugar

Then cut in:

1/2 c. margarine or butter

You want to cut it in like you would if you were making a pie crust. I use my KitchenAid stand mixer with the beater attachment, but you could use a pastry blender or a couple of knives. Cut it in until the mixture looks like really course cornmeal. Then sprinkle the dough on top of the berry/sugar pile. Then press the dough flat. Really use force - not so much that you crush the berries but enough that the dough is compacted. There will probably be a berry or two that don't get completely covered, that is fine.

Then bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. When it is done it will look something like this:
Doesn't that look good? The yummy, thick purple goodness bubbling up on the sides, the golden buttery top. Heaven!

  • This is wonderful served with ice cream. The warm cobbler and cold ice cream really compliment each other.
  • You can supplement with other berries if you don't have enough blackberries. We often do "Black and Blue Cobbler" with blackberries and blueberries. We have even made it with the triple berrie mix you can buy at Costco. It has marionberries, blueberries, and raspberries. It was great.



Lynn said...

That looks really good!

Heidi said...

this might be a silly question, but if you use the mixed berries from Costco, do you thaw them first? :) This sounds really good and I happen to have a bag of those berries in my freezer right now!

Jill said...

No, you don't need to defrost them first. You may need to bake them a few minutes longer but probably not. We bake them from frozen all winter long.


Nancy M. said...

This sounds so good, and looks delicious! I never liked picking the blackberries either, but I sure love eating them!

Anonymous said...

Just printed your recipe and making it this evening. Looks good and easy to make.