Saturday, August 27, 2011
What we call blackberry cobbler might not be what you all call cobbler, but this is how I learned to make it. I had to really struggle through some of this because I'm not used to making it with measurements, so just hang with me.
In the Pacific Northwest, blackberries are starting to come on. Picking them is a "must-do" for us. Not only do the juicy berries supply me with some of our favorite jam, I like to dehydrate some for granola and snacking as well as freezing some to enjoy the bounty all year long. Blackberry cobbler in December? Yes, please!
First, you need to make a pie crust. I've been using this recipe lately that I found in our family cookbook:
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups lard (or shortening)
2 teaspoons vinegar
3 1/2 Tablespoons ice water
Mix flour and salt together. Using a pasty blender or 2 forks, blend in the lard. When it is fairly mixed in and looks like tiny lumps, set aside. Mix together the egg, water and vinegar. Stir well. Add to the flour and mix until just combined. Roll out immediately or wrap in plastic and refrigerate.
Now that you have your pastry, roll it out to fit your pan. I usually make my cobbler in a 9x 13 inch pan so I roll it out to overlap the edges and put a crust on the bottom, like so:
Don't mind the patch job, it'll work out just fine. Work your dough to fit the pan even if that means tearing off a piece and squishing it onto another piece. I don't always put a bottom crust down, it depends on how much time I have but I can tell you that it is equally delicious with or without it!
Next, take your berries and mix with some sugar and flour. Sugar is totally up to you. We like ours to taste a little more like the berries taste off the vine, so I don't use as much~ maybe 1/2 cup for 6-8 cups of berries. The flour is also approximate. I sprinkle it on and stir until all the berries have a nice dusting, maybe 1/3-1/2 cup as well for the 6-8 cups. It'll look something like this:
The white lumps are sugar. Someone in my house *small children* were caught dipping strawberries into the 5 gallon bucket of sugar in the pantry. Now it has some clumps....I'm not concerned about them in here, they'll melt while they are cooking.
Now you're going to dump the berries into the crust. I didn't have as many berries as I would have usually used in this sized pan, it should fill it up almost to the top and I was a little short. Not that that matters at all, I'll show you how I made it work perfectly.
Since the berries didn't come all the way up, I folded the edges down and put another piece of pie crust over the space that was left. It's not very pretty, but hey, not all good food has to be pretty....it just has to be pretty tasty :)
Poke some holes in the top for vents:
Sprinkle on some clumpity sugar for crunch:
Ready....Set.....BAKE! Bake at 350 for about an hour, or until the juices are bubbling and the crust is golden brown.
Serve this warm with a scoop of ice cream, or cold with a dollop of whipped cream. Or, you could eat this in your pj's in the middle of the night straight out of the pan. Whatever floats your boat!