When I was a kid, we had a row of blackberry bushes behind the playhouse out back. Each year, we would wait in anticipation for the day when we’d pick our first ripe, juicy berries. When the first few were ready we’d bring them in and pop them straight in our mouths, still warm from the sun. But the real excitement came when there were finally enough berries for blackberry cobbler.
Mom would quickly whip up a cobbler and by 6:30 we’d be gathered around the table with bowls and spoons, waiting and happy.
Cobbler is, in my humble opinion, the perfect dessert. It is at once warm and cold, creamy and fluffy, sweet and salty. It is exactly what I want after a summer BBQ or cookout. Something simple and unfussy, something that showcases the best flavors of the season (or whatever happens to be ripe in your backyard).
There are two cobbler recipes in our family, neither of which are of the more traditional fruit-topped-with-sweetened-biscuit-dough variety.
Truthfully, I’ve never been a huge fan of biscuit-topped-cobbler. I prefer a more cake like topping, probably because it’s what I grew up with.
This recipe comes from one of my aunts. It’s incredibly easy to make and only requires one mixing bowl. The unique thing about this recipe is that the batter is placed both below and above the fruit, not just on top. The bottom layer helps thicken up the fruit mixture and provides a nice gooey texture, while the top retains it’s light, fluffy cake texture. Once the cobbler is assembled, you pour a cup of boiling water over top of the whole thing, which helps quickly steam the top layer. It feels strange, I know, but trust me, it works. The resulting cobbler is puffy, golden, sweet, and a tad salty with a delightful burst of tartness from the blackberries.
Are you still wondering about the other recipe? It’s my mom’s and it delivers a thinner, almost crispy cake that is sinfully buttery. It’s the bomb, but it’s made specifically for blackberries, so I’m saving it for a little later this summer.
There’s a certain way, I feel, to eat a cobbler. First, it always, always must be warm. Of course, fresh from the oven is best, but even leftovers should be given a turn in the microwave before eating.
Second, if patience will allow, it should be given at least ten minutes to set up after it’s taken out of the oven. This gives the fruit time to bond and gel, so you don’t get a soupy mess with your first scoop. The sweet spot is when the cobbler is still warm, but has firmed up just enough to hold it’s shape when you scoop it.
Thirdly, there must be ice cream. Or at the very least, whole milk. You must scoop the ice cream directly onto your warm cobbler and let the cream make lazy rivers down the side of the cobbler. When there are a few ice cream pools at the bottom of your bowl, it’s time to dig in.
Finally, ratio is everything. Each bite should be a perfect balance of warm cobbler and cool, creamy ice cream. If you start running out of ice cream at the end, add a little more. If you have ice cream left and no cobbler, you need more cobbler. Yes, I know this just sounds like a way to get you to keep you in a never ending spiral of cobbler and ice cream eating in which you’re always short on one and must add more of the other. Maybe it is. But it’s cobbler and ice cream. Are you really sad about that??
This is my ultimate summer BBQ dessert. It’s quick to throw together and can bake quietly in the oven while you and your guests party it up by the grill outside. Just as the sun starts to set and the fireflies make their glowing debut, it’ll be ready for you. A bowl of warm, creamy comfort to finish a perfect evening.
For the fruit:
Recipe by NeighborFood