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End of Summer Organic Prep: Blackberry Cobbler

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.

15 comments on “End of Summer Organic Prep: Blackberry Cobbler”

  1. Mark Thorson says:

    But but but . . . that amount of sugar will cause oxidative stress on your vascular endothelium, leading to uncoupled endothelial nitric oxide synthase, resulting in the scourge of mankind PEROXYNITRITE! Run for the hills!

  2. Lane Simonian says:

    And hopefully they have not sprayed Roundup anywhere near the blackberry bushes.

    I am assuming the flour is wheat flour which I cannot eat, but this looks delicious. Everyone else enjoy it.

    1. SW says:

      There is a simple test for that: if the bush is dead, it was sprayed with roundup.

    2. dearieme says:

      You could try making a blackberry and apple crumble using oats. Here’s an American recipe for an apple crumble; just add blackberries.

    3. dearieme says:

      Here’s a British recipe but the units include grams and British teaspoon sizes.

      Maybe the main lesson is the ratio of 7 apples: about a quarter pound of blackberries.

    4. Scott says:

      Heh, you need a flamethrower to get rid of blackberry brambles in Washington state, RoundUp won’t cut it. I’ve seen blackberry brambles 200m long by 50m deep before!

      If you’re allergic to gluten, there are other options you can work with. Rice or potato flour, for example, and I think even buckwheat flour is safe.

      1. tangent says:

        In my experience you need a flamethrower, and a flamethrower, and a flamethrower, and a flamethrower, and likely more flamethrowers after that. A couple of times a year for a few years.

    5. Attila the pun says:

      Substituting ground almonds for flour makes a delicious crumble.

      1. Lane Simonian says:

        Thanks for all the advice regarding wheat flour substitutes. I should employ work arounds much more often than I do. This recipe would be a good place to start.

  3. Handles says:

    Its coming into Spring in this part of the world, so I will try this recipe using fresh mulberries.

  4. Anon the third says:

    On first sight (without reading) I thought the picture shows a petri-dish with a nasty fungus 😀

    After reading it looks much more delicious 🙂

  5. Yvar says:

    One of the strangest things shopping in Germany was the complete absence of vanilla extract and instead using dried vanilla in baking. We smuggled in American vanilla extract so never learned the conversion factor.

    1. Cedar Sanderson says:

      Vanilla extract: a 750 ml bottle of vodka, and 8 vanilla beans, slit lengthwise. Open the bottle, pop the beans in. Cap, shake well, and store in a dark place for 2-3 months before using. I order my beans on Amazon.

      1. NJBiologist says:

        I’ve never tried this, and I’m not a baker, so please forgive a naïve question–why vodka instead of bourbon?

  6. Ann O'Nymous says:

    @Dr Lowe, if I recall from your earlier recipes your wife is Iranian. Would love to see what a Persian end of summer fruit recipe would look like. Do you do a sour cherry pie?

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