Blackberry Cobbler

It wasn’t until this summer that I discovered the wonder that is the blackberry. It probably seems odd, but it’s just one of those fruits that has never really been on my radar. I mean, I feel certain that I’ve HAD a blackberry or two – but I have to assume that any blackberries I’ve tried up to this point have been of the sort-of-sour variety, because I’ve never felt compelled to eat one again. For some weird reason, I decided to buy a pint of blackberries earlier this summer (you know, just trying to expand my fruit portfolio), and they were deliciously sweet with just a bit of a tart edge, and I decided that I loved them. And here we are.

While at Sam’s Club this week, I spotted a giant package of blackberries, and they looked AWESOME. A quick, illicit tasting proved that they were (what, like you’ve never done that??), so I scooped them up, knowing I wanted to make some kind of dessert with them. As is my usual method, I took a brief spin around the internet for ideas, and was convinced that blackberry cobbler was the way to go.

Blackberry Cobbler
modified from this recipe
serves 4

18 oz blackberries
1/4 cup plus 2 T sugar, divided
zest of half a lime
juice of half a lime
2 T raw/turbinado sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/8 t salt
2 T cold butter, cut into cubes
2 T shortening, cut into cubes
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 an egg (I realize this sounds dumb – but just beat the egg well, then use half of it)

1.) Preheat your oven to 425°. In a large mixing bowl, combine the blackberries, 1/4 cup of sugar, the lime zest, and the lime juice. Gently mix everything (being careful not to break up the berries) until all the berries are evenly coated in sugar and lime juice. Set aside.

2.) In a second bowl, whisk together the flour, 2 T of sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the butter and shortening (using this method) until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

3.) Pour the milk and egg into the flour/butter mixture, and use a fork to gently mix everything it’s all evenly moistened. The dough should be very moist, but not overly sticky.

4.) Divide the blackberry mixture evenly into 4 (oven-safe) ramekins. Try not to fill them more than about 2/3 full – otherwise the blackberry juices will bubble up and over the sides, and make a huge mess. You’ve been warned.

5.) Take your cobbler dough, and crumble it into pieces the size of small marbles; cover the top of the blackberries with bits of dough. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar evenly over the dough in each ramekin.

6.) Arrange the ramekins on a foil-lined baking sheet (this just makes it easier to get them all in and out of the oven, and also catches any drips from the cobblers). Bake for about 20 minutes, until the juices are bubbling around the edges, and the dough has browned nicely. Serve warm, topped with vanilla ice cream.

This is just an awesome summer dessert. The blackberries keep it light and fresh and summery, and I love that the cobbler dough isn’t super sweet. In a berry cobbler, it’s typically more traditional to use lemon to brighten everything up – but I chose lime, wanting to add a slight edge in flavor, and I think it worked really well. You still get the citrus brightness, but with an extra, just-barely-noticeable flavor addition. And, obviously, any dessert that is served warm, topped with vanilla ice cream? Is a winner in my book.

Why didn’t you TELL me blackberries were so good?!
Tina

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