Friday, May 21, 2010

Blackberry Cobbler w/ Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

When strawberry season was well underway, I wanted to go to a berry farm near where I live. I saw a link to all the picking farms in the United States (and many other countries) and found 2 places that sounded promising. Then, after I saw photos of some beautiful, enticing strawberries on Monica's photo site, Natural Lighting, I had to ask where she got the berries (actually, I just found out that strawberries are NOT berries. Read more about it here.). She told me that she got them from Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls, Texas.

Because I don't like to go to public places by myself (yeah, I have issues), I waited for my mom to arrive to go to the farm. Well, rain happened; my mom didn't want to go to the farm at first; and then, finally we went the day before she left....and guesss what?! We came the very day after the strawberries were in season there!! ARGH! I was so disappointed. I had been wanting to go for so long. Next time, I will have to get over my fears and go alone haha.

My mom washing her hands after berry picking. Her box was empty because we were going on our second round to look for any leftover strawberries. We were unsuccessful in our quest. :(

Anyway, even though the strawberries were no longer in season there, the blackberries were coming in with fury. So, my mother and I grabbed a box each and picked a bunch of these dark beauties. I thought I'd add that I picked the most berries*.*sidenote: Ignore the comment my mom is going to make about her picking the hard-to-get-because-they-were-deep-behind-or-in-the-middle-of-a-bunch-of-thorns blackberries for me. Don't believe her! She was just delirious from the hot sun! LOL!
So, what did I do with these luscious berries?! I made the only type of fruit cobbler I like - the one with a pie-pastry-like topping as opposed to cobblers with biscuits on top of the fruit.
I searched everywhere for the right recipe for a pastry-topping cobbler. I remember finding the perfect one over a year ago that I had made with peaches two or three times. Since I have a new laptop (I'M STILL A PC AND AM DARN PROUD OF IT! WOOHOO!), I no longer had that website bookmarked. Fortunately, I found the site again because the recipe is popular even though it was posted in 2006. In addition to his recipe, I picked and chose other ingredients and methods from three other recipes to end up with the one that is warm and settled in my tummy right now as I type. YUM!
This cobbler was amazing. My only mistake was not mushing up the berries. I think it is definitely a personal preference, but I didn't like tasting the less-hot interior of the berries after the first two bites. I think it would have been a better balance of crunchy, butter pastry taste and sweet, sour, berry taste if I had mushed them a bit. Nevertheless, it was still amazing.
I had run out of butter *GASP THE HORROR!* due to a 3-STICK ERROR (it still makes me sad to know I wasted that much butter) in a chocolate frosting I made, so I had to use butter-flavored shortening in the crust. I think the shortening caused the crust to be harder to handle. It still worked out in the end.

If you would like to use another pie pastry recipe, feel free to do so. I doubled the pastry recipe and used 2 extra cups of fruit because of the size of my dish (I will be blogging about this dish very soon). I like the double layer of pastry because you get a good amount of contrasting, yet complementary flavors.

Don't forget to make some vanilla bean ice cream to go with it!

Blackberry Cobbler - The Pie Pastry Variation
adapted from Stephen Cooks and other sites
Yield: 6 - 8 modest servings
Pastry (I doubled this for an 11" oval dish):
1-1/2 C flour
6 T butter
3 T shortening
1/2 tsp salt
3 T ice water
1/4 C sugar

Fruit Filling:
6 C blackberries
3/4-1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup AP flour
2 T cornstarch
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 T melted butter

To make the pastry, place the flour, butter, shortening, salt and sugar in the processor bowl with the steel blade. Pulse a few times until the mixture is like cornmeal. Add the ice water and pulse a few times, just enough to mix the water into the other ingredients. Turn the mixture out into a plastic food storage bag (it will be crumbly, not yet like dough) and quickly knead it through the bag a few strokes, till it just starts to hold together. Refrigerate for an hour or more.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 475º. Combine the blackberries, sugar, flour, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Stir mixture until you see mostly the color of the berries.Taste and correct seasoning and sugar content. Stir in the melted butter (I didn't have butter, so I added the 1/2 Tbsp left of COLD butter to the top of the filling right before baking. See photo below).

Reserve and keep cold 1/3 of the dough. Roll out the rest to the approximate shape of your dish. (I used an 11" oval baking dish with double the pastry, but with the recipe as is, you can use a 5" x 9" oval baking dish about an inch and a half deep or a 6" square dish or 7" round dish). Butter the baking dish and spoon in half of the fruit mixture. Lay the pastry sheet over the fruit.
Bake about 12 minutes in a preheated 475º oven, until the pastry is just starting to brown. Spoon in the rest of the fruit mixture.
Ooops! I messed up on the collage of process photos. Just ignore the first and last photos.

Roll out the reserved dough, cut in strips and lay in a lattice pattern over the fruit.

Sprinkle with sugar and bake about 15 minutes more, until the fruit is bubbling and the lattice is browned.

Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream.


  1. aha! I see that blue oval Le Cresuet and I know where you got it. hee hee!

    Memoria, I'm so sorry you missed the strawberries- what a bummer! But those blackerries are GORGEOUS! I've never picked those from the farm before because it's too hot and I'm a wuss :-)

    Your cobbler looks fantastic and I want some NOW!

    Thanks for the shoutout and for linking to my blogs- I appreciate it!

  2. You inspired me to blog about the strawberries I picked, so come on over and check them out!

  3. wow che meraviglia! complimenti!!

  4. Gorgeous photos! I've been wild berry picking, but never to a berry farm. Looks like so much fun. I've been looking for a good recipe to use up some blackberries, so this just might be it- LOVE cobbler.

  5. Love, love, love blackberries. I would have to say they are my fave berry. Your cobbler looks amazing, even though you had some issues?! (I don't see it. :))

  6. Oh, do I love fresh picked berries of any kind, but blackberries are in the top two for sure. : ) This sounds delish and I love that lattice work on top. So pretty.

    BTW, I don't like going to the bank. teehee I have issues too!

  7. This looks so amazing! I too prefer a pie-like pastry on my cobblers. I think it's sweet that your mom comments--I'm trying to get my hubby to do that--and I too have going out in public issues. I'll do it alone but I really really don't like to. At least we're not alone in our insanity. LOL!

  8. Hi! I found you over on the Lick the Bowl Good blog and thought I would let you know that your cobbler looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Wonderful recipe and gorgeous pictures - PURE PERFECTION! I'm glad for you that your Mom was visiting and you had such a great trip together, with or without the strawberries. Oh, and I completely understand the issue of not going somewhere by yourself... :) Have a wonderful weekend. Petra

  10. Se ve maravillosa esta receta. Tiene que estar de vicio. Un saludo

  11. 음!! 맜있겠다~~~

  12. Hi, Memoria

    Your blackberry cobbler looks so good and I can hardly believe that you and I, well, that I handpicked these, as you so aptly call them, "dark beauties." Yes, people, you cannot imagine the contortions I put my body through trying to get the specific ones that Memoria wanted, and she always wanted the darkest berries which were surrounded by the thorniest parts which were, of course, located at the bottom of the vines. As a result, my windfall was much less than hers, but that was because as I bent over and got pricked by thorns, she pushed her berry box right up in my line of vision so I would be sure to drop each hard-won berry directly into her box so she could claim it as her own. She worked me harder than a Hebrew slave! Ah, kids today! AND to top it off, I did not get one bite of her delicious looking berry cobbler. No, that would have been too much like right--the day she made the cobbler was actually the day I headed back home!

    Still, I gotta love her though! Maybe she'll hook me up next time; after all, she is my one and only favorite daughter. In all fairness, I have to say that she did make a mean chicken potpie which I brought home with me to enjoy at my leisure :o) Thank you!

  13. I'm glad your berry picking did not happen in vain! The blackberry cobbler that you managed to create is absolutely stunning.

  14. Me gusta moras mejor que las fresas. So I would love your cobbler. What wonderful way to spend time with you mom.

  15. This year I will go pick strawberries........too. Sorry about those but glad you got to make a berry cobbler, which looks divine!

  16. Even if you missed the strawberries, the blackberries look like they made up for it! They're gorgeous!

  17. What an amazing way to use spring blackberries. Homemade ice cream goes perfectly with this.

  18. you doubled up the pastry so you have saved me some :D this cobble is way beyound gorgeous, I know it must be all gone in a flash!

  19. Memoria

    you are so talented! The pictures are beautiful and god does that blackberry cobbler look good. Cobbler was one of my favorite desserts during my childhood, and exactly the way you have it too -- with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. YUM!

  20. Oh my gosh. This sounds amazing! My mom and I are always looking for fresh fruits for cobblers and pies! We also make our peach upside down cake with blackberries and it is amazing. I'm going to look into the berry farm because I would love to go visit.

  21. Hi Memoria, your cobbler sure looks delicious...and love the idea of the ice cream on it...yummie!

  22. Wow, now that is my kind of dessert! Gorgeous.

  23. Beautiful and fresh berries, nothing beat that. Sometimes, it's a good thing to have someone to with you, especially if you are not that familiar with the place.

  24. Arrghh..sorry you didn't get the strawberries but the blackberries look gorgeous. The cobbler looks awesome too. I hope you and your mom had a good time berry picking. Last time I went, I felt like I was going to pass out from the heat of the sun, so I can relate to your mom!

  25. Your mom is so funny. She's telling all your secrets! ha ha!

  26. Thanks for the link to the berry picking guide. I'm already plotting with my sister to plan a family excursion!

  27. I just found your blog and absolutely LOVE it. I'm an Italian living in the US and will continue to follow and learn from your posts! I'm so glad to have met you. Please stop by too someday if you can. Grazie, Roz (aka Bella)

  28. That blackberry cobbler looks really good!

  29. Wow, great job here. Awesome picture too! You should really consider submitting this to Recipe4Living's Fall Cobbler Recipe Contest! It looks delicious!


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