Sunday, June 21, 2015

Blackberry Cobbler

I've had a cobbler problem. And when visiting my cousins Dan and Carolyn Hale last week in Maine, I realized I'm not the only one. A lot of cobblers call for leavening agents like baking soda or baking powder. Last summer, I made a cobbler that called for four TABLESPOONS of baking powder. The result was acrid, bitter crust. I had to throw the whole thing away. I tracked down the contributor of the recipe to a compendium cookbook from B&B owners and she confirmed that she uses four TBSP. in her recipe and likes it just fine. Blech. Last week, Carolyn's otherwise delicious blueberry cobbler suffered the same fate; dough that wouldn't quite cook through and vaguely fizzy from baking soda. I took a look through six or seven of my cookbooks and found this gem. No leavening required. It's a little more like an upside down pie, but nonetheless perfect. 

Blackberry picking with Boy #2

Looking for the tiny crayfish in the creek

Hyde Farm Blackberry Cobbler (Adapted from Rob and Suzanne Boas, All Saints Cookbook)

5 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen
¾ cup sugar (I used 2/3 cup)
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter

Place berries in bottom of 9” square baking dish. Combine sugar, starch and salt and sprinkle over berries. Dot with butter. Set aside.

1 c. All Purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
Quite a haul; next week there will be way more
1/3 cup shortening
~2 Tbsp. cold water
1 tsp. almond extract (my addition for flavor)
1 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. sugar

The finished product. Perfect! 
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine flour and salt in bowl. Cut in shortening until coarse. Sprinkle with water and add almond extract and stir with fork until mixture holds together. Roll out onto wax paper (I fold wax paper in half and put the dough in the middle of the “sandwich” before rolling, so both sides of dough are on wax paper). Place rolled dough over baking dish. Cut slits into top. Brush top with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.