There’s no better way to get infested with ticks and chiggers than picking wild blackberries. Yet I can’t resist. Stained fingers, sticky palms and scratched ankles and arms are another side effect of berry pickin’. But this past weekend I lucked out. My daughter picked a bucket of blackberries and a friend showed up at the farm with even more. Possibly because of the rains, the vines scattered about our farm are producing abundantly this summer.
But instead of picking the fruit in the 90 degree heat, I had agreed to do the baking if others would do the picking. (You get wiser and craftier as you get older.)
Blackberry cobbler is one of the simplest of desserts and agreeable to many variations. I made my usual version, that includes lemon peel, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon as well as sugar. Joining me in the kitchen, my friend made hers according to a hundred-year old recipe that was her grandmother’s—a very simple recipe that was basically sugar-coated berries topped with a bit of butter and covered with a crust.
Each cobbler was later pronounced excellent by my dinner guests, who willingly tested both in the interest of “food science.”
Bloggers normally photograph their food and often the food on the plates of others. I apologize for not getting a photo of the ice cream-topped dessert. While enjoying the camaraderie of the evening, I ignored my camera. Would you believe it: no one stopped mid-spoonful to remind me of my failure. I was tempted to photograph a group of empty plates smeared with blackberry drippings and melted ice cream, but it didn’t seem right.
The recipe below makes a 9″ pie. For a 9″ x 13″ cobbler, I increase the ingredients half again and use just a single crust.
- Pastry for a double-crust 9” pie
- 5 cups blackberries
- 2/3 to ¾ cup sugar, according to taste
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp. grated lemon peel
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbs. butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pasty; roll out half the dough and line the pie plate. (If making a cobbler, roll out just a single, top crust to fit dish.) Toss the blackberries with the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon peel, and salt.
Place the filling in the crust and dot with butter. Roll out remaining dough for the top crust and place over the fruit. Flute the edge and score top crust.
Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Serve with ice cream.