So since today’s a holiday in the US, I thought I’d continue my intermittent tradition of blogging the occasional food prep with something that might be useful. Blackberries are still very much in season here in the Northeast, and I just made this yesterday: blackberry cobbler. I made it with freshly picked blackberries, which I can of course highly recommend. Store-bought ones tend to be more astringent, since they’re picked earlier, so you might need to adjust the sugar towards the higher end with those. A good alternative, especially if you’re coming to this recipe out of season, are frozen blackberries (since they’re cooked here, the texture won’t matter, and the flavor is better than the low end of the fresh commercial ones). The recipe below is slightly modified from the Cook’s Illustrated version:
Heat an oven to 400F (a bit over 200C). Take 6 cups (36 ounces, fresh or frozen, just over 1 kilo) of blackberries, and add between 1/3 and 1/2 cup of granulated white sugar (that’s about 70 to 100g), along with one and 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch (about 12 grams). Add 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract, and stir to mix the ingredients. Place this in a bowl or deep-dish pie pan, cover with aluminum foil, and heat for about 15 minutes, which should start the berries releasing juice.
While the berries are warming up, take 1/2 cup flour (about 70g) in a small bowl and add 1/4 teaspoon baking powder (about 1g). Stir these to combine – if you’re American, you’ll probably want to add a pinch of salt to this as well. In a slightly larger bowl, add 8 tablespoons of butter (1 stick, which is about 115 grams), softened to room temperature (I never have any around like that, so I microwave carefully to get it there) and 1/2 cup of sugar (100g). Mix these together by hand or mixer until well blended, then mix in one egg yolk, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (1.25mL or so). Add the flour mixture to this, in portions, stirring just enough to blend everything.
By now the berries should be ready. Taken out the berry dish, remove the foil, and add the dough in spoonfuls across the surface. Put the dish back in the over for about 25 minutes, or until the top is browned, and there you have it: blackberry cobbler. Pictured above is the one that I made last night, although I can tell you that it’s in somewhat more used shape by now.