I can’t stop eating warm berry desserts. I know I should post a main dish, or a preserving recipe, but all I seem to do is make the simplest dinners of steamed corn, sliced tomatoes and zucchini pancakes and then I luxuriate in dessert because – well – BERRIES. I just love berries. Let’s talk about blackberry cobbler.
Swap one berry for another or stir them all together and make jams and cobblers and pie with the sure to be delicious combination. You people in the Northwest U.S. have the BEST assortment of berry names. Ollaliberries and huckleberries and marionberries (as a DC resident, this one cracks me up.)
I came home last weekend with two raspberry half-pints, half a flat of blackberries, two containers of blueberries and local wild wineberries, a gift from farmer Sandra Kay Miller of Painted Hand Farm. (Sandy has great chickens and those pretty Arucana blue green eggs and wonderfully tasty lamb, goat and more. I see her most weekends at the Bethesda Central Farm Market.) There were so many berries.
I made the blackberry hazelnut conserve from my book. We ate berries on granola and berries stirred into yogurt. And there were still berries. So many berries.
There was nothing else I could do but make my favorite cobbler. It’s as easy as pie. Well, easier. Mix and match any berries. Grab pantry staples like flour and sugar and cornstarch and baking powder. Add sugar incrementally, starting with a whisper for super sweet berries. These blackberries were a little too tart on their own so I added a touch of acacia honey which made the berries somehow berry-er. A darker honey would be too invasive. Use a light hand when sweetening berries especially if they will be cooked.
Serves 2 with a little leftover for breakfast
2 pints of beautiful blackberries
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar
Juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons acacia honey
1/2 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch kosher salt
2 Tablespoons butter, ice cold and cut into little cubes
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375°. Generously butter an 8-inch oval baker.
In a medium bowl, combine the berries, cornstarch, sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle the honey over the fruit. Stir gently and pile high in the baking dish.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Pinch in the butter until the flour feels sandy. Add the cream and stir together (I use my fingers) for a wet dough. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured board and gather by folding over, patting down, repeat this fold no more than three times. The dough will be sticky and challenging.
Pinch off pieces of dough and place on top of the berries. Try to cover most of the berries, but leave some exposed.
Pour the remaining cream over the top of the cobbler and pop it in the oven for 25 torturous minutes while it fills the house with lovely fruity scents.
Cool well before eating. Seriously.