We celebrated my dad's 65th birthday this weekend and I was in charge of making dessert for his birthday dinner. My family is definitely more of a pie family than a cake one. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my mom hardly ever made cakes when were growing up. For whatever reason, her cakes never rose- and I mean never! One time she and my aunt were making a cake using the exact same recipe at the same time and my aunt's came out perfect and my mother's was perfectly flat. But she is one amazing pie baker!
Ironically, a few weeks ago my mom and I were flipping through a Southern Living cookbook looking for a chocolate cake recipe to send my aunt when we came across this recipe. The picture in the book looked amazing and blackberries are in season, so I decided to go for it.
Armed with $16 worth of blackberries, I set all the ingredients out and began to read through the directions. It kind of struck me as odd, but you are supposed to make the crust and then roll out and bake half of it, crumble it, and mix it in with the berries. I wasn't too sure about this, but went out on a limb and followed the directions. I really liked the crimped edges of the crust in the cookbook's picture, but I don't have pastry wheel to make the pretty little edges. So I got creative and used a vegetable slicer my mom picked up for me a few years back. Its supposed to cut raw veggies with a little wave pattern, similar to waffle fries. It worked like a charm and now I have a multi-use kitchen tool!
Although it probably would have been a little prettier in a nicer baking dish (I don't have a great picture of it either), the cobbler was delicious, crumbled crust and all. My dad loved it which is what really mattered! Despite the fact that its a little expensive to make, its a wonderful recipe and one I will definitely make again in the future. Oh, and one more thing... the recipe calls for 2 1/4 cups sugar which seemed a little excessive to me. I guess it is supposed to cut the tartness of the berries. I used 1 1/2 cups and I think the flavor was perfect.
Southern Living Annual Recipes 1999
8 Cups Fresh Blackberries
2 1/4 Cups Sugar
1/3 Cup Flour
1 t Lemon Juice
4 T Butter (optional)
2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 3/4 t Baking Powder
3/4 t Salt
1/2 Cup Shortening
2/3 Cup Milk
Stir together the filling ingredients and let stand for 10 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.
Begin to make the pastry by combining the first three ingredients in a medium bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly (I used two butter knives). Add milk, stirring with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened and mixture forms a soft ball.
Turn dough onto a floured surface a knead 6-8 times. Roll out half of pastry to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into 1 1/2 inch wide strips. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet (I used parchment paper).
Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack and cool. Break strips into pieces.
Spoon half of blackberry mixture into a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with pastry pieces. Spoon remaining blackberry mixture over pastry. Dot with butter (optional).
Roll remaining pastry to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 1 inch strips and arrange in a lattice design over filling. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Place cobbler on a baking sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream and blackberry syrup if desired.
A couple notes...
- I found it easiest to make the pastry first. While the first part is baking, mix together the blackberries. Roll out the second part of the pastry while everything is cooling/combining.
- I reduced the sugar to 1 1/2 cups.
- I added about 1 t lemon zest in addition to the lemon juice.