Cobblers….even better than the shoe kind!

As promised, the recipe for my deep dish blackberry cobbler, complete with pictures and what can go wrong and how to avoid it! Every good Southern Girl has a go to recipe for cobbler (and if you don’t take this one, I promise I won’t tell!) Most of these recipes are handed down as a dowry when a girl gets married and are guarded family secrets. Lucky for you, I’m willing to chance excommunication from my family (o.k., that’s an exaggeration, another great Southern quality I was blessed with!) to share this with you!

Without further ado…..

Cobblers Necessities.

Cobblers Necessities.

The Players:

2 cups self-rising flour (yes it makes a difference! All purpose won’t give you the fluffiness you need to wrap a nice pillow of dough around your fruit that cobblers are known for)

1 stick of butter (8 tablespoons)

1/2 cup water

4 cups fresh blackberries, washed and drained (you can use any fruit you like, just make sure if it’s a fruit with a skin, i.e. peaches, you peel and slice them)

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream (you can use milk if you would like, but why not live a little, besides, there’s already a whole stick of butter in this thing, so your already over your diet allotment just from looking at this recipe. Yes I know the picture has 2% milk in it. That was a slip on my part, I promise mine are always made with heavy whipping cream!)

2 cups of sugar, divided (1 cup will help to cook the berries, the rest will go into your batter. Really you just get out one cup and then another, this is just a fancy way of letting you know you’ll need 2 cups!)

Hopefully ya'll are a luck as I am, and your Mom brings you back cooking ingredients when she goes out of the country. If not, this is one item I wouldn't skimp on. Buy a more expensive Vanilla Extract. It really does make a difference. I try to stay away from imitation when my wallet allows me too! (Which means I was able to buy it on a shopping trip without my husband :) )

Hopefully ya’ll are a luck as I am, and your Mom brings you back cooking ingredients when she goes out of the country. If not, this is one item I wouldn’t skimp on. Buy a more expensive Vanilla Extract. It really does make a difference. I try to stay away from imitation when my wallet allows me too! (Which means I was able to buy it on a shopping trip without my husband 🙂 )

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional Garnishes:

Cinnamon

Ice-Cream (the way we eat it in my house!)

The Game Plan:

As always, we start by preheating our oven. This time it will go to 350 degrees. Next we are going to cook our blackberries by combining them with the water and 1 cup of your divided sugar, in a saucepan large enough to accommodate the ingredients and leave some room so it doesn’t boil over and make a mess (yes, one of those I’ve learned from experience moments).  I like to use to largest saucepan I have, 4.5 quarts, just to be sure, but if you are daring, you can use a slightly smaller one. After you’ve dumped everything in the saucepan, give everything a quick stir with a large wooden spoon  to coat the berries with the sugar and water (another great Southern family necessity, no not the wooden spoon, superstition! My grandmother believes with all her heart that none of her baked goods will turn out if she uses anything other than a wooden spoon that’s been in her family for generations. Lucky for me, I inherited one from my Mother In Law when I got married. If you are less superstitious or don’t have a wooden spoon, you are more than welcome to use a plastic spatula, or  bless your heart, a metal spoon!) Put your saucepan full of goodness on a burner set at medium heat. You don’t want to scorch your berries, just cook them enough to make a beautiful juice. It will start to simmer and will need to cook for about 10 minuets.

Starting point for your blackberry syrup.

Starting point for your blackberry syrup.

In the mean time, while your checking your berries on the stove every so often, and giving them a quick stir so they don’t burn, you can take your 3 quart baking dish and put the whole stick of butter right in the middle of it and stick it in the oven. If it’s not all the way preheated (I have one of the slowest heating ovens on the planet, so if your in my boat your not alone!) don’t worry, you just need to melt the butter.

Just plop the butter right in the middle before you put it in the oven. It will spread all on its own.

Just plop the butter right in the middle before you put it in the oven. It will spread all on its own.

While the oven is doing it’s magic to the butter, and the stove is taking care of the berries (that you are checking on every so often), you can start to make your batter. Take your remaining cup of sugar (or just go back to your sugar canister and grab another cup!), and the self rising flour and give them a quick stir to mix them together.

This is about the consistency you need your dough to be, before adding it to the melted butter.

This is about the consistency you need your dough to be, before adding it to the melted butter.

Now you are going to start slowly adding the heavy whipping cream to the dry ingredients. Stir with your wooden spoon while you are adding the cream to help the dry ingredients from clumping (this may be where the wooden spoon superstition started! I have never had a problem with clumps, but I’ve never used anything other than a wooden spoon. Coincidence? I’m a true Southerner, so I think not 🙂 )  Once you have your batter mixed pretty well, add the vanilla extract with a final stir to get all this goodness married together.

At this point your butter is probably melted (if you notice it starting to turn brown before you get it out of the oven , don’t worry, you’ve just made the beginnings of a brown butter sauce that you see on the menus at all those fancy restaurants. Didn’t know you had it in you, did you? Believe it or not, this will help to enhance the flavor of your cobbler), and your berries are probably cooked. Take the baking dish out of the oven and put it on something that’s heat tolerant if you are afraid your counter top can’t handle hot things. I like to use cooling racks, but if you don’t have one, a counter top rag works as well. Just something to absorb the heat and protect your counters.

See..It spread out all on its own!

See..It spread out all on its own!

Take the cooked berries and juice off the burner. There’s no need to let any of this cool, so we can move right along to the next step; pouring the batter in with the butter. That’s right, you heard me, just pour it all directly in the baking dish with the butter. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure you get all the gooey goodness out so you’ll have the deepest dish cobbler of anyone on your street! You may notice the butter starting to cook the batter as it’s added. That’s o.k., it’s doing what its suppose to. Next is my favorite part, adding the berries and juice. Don’t over-think this part, just start spooning the berries out of the saucepan and into the baking dish with the batter and butter (that would be a great name for a bakery! I’ll write that down for later 🙂 ).

Just start pouring. You'll notice the edges already starting to puff up in the hot, melted butter.

Just start pouring. You’ll notice the edges already starting to puff up in the hot, melted butter.

You’ll want to spread your spoonfuls fairly evenly, however, the batter will bake and rise around the berries, giving them a nice place to stay until you eat them! When you’ve spooned out everything that you can, go on ahead and pour the rest of that juice over everything. You want as much of those flavors as you can get! Resist the urge to stir everything together. The oven will work it’s magic and everything will come out tasting (and hopefully looking) good!

This is one of my favorite desserts to make, mostly because you get to be messy! Just spoon the berries throughout the butter and batter to make sure you get blackberries in every bite!

This is one of my favorite desserts to make, mostly because you get to be messy! Just spoon the berries throughout the butter and batter to make sure you get blackberries in every bite!

You can sprinkle the ground Cinnamon over the top of the cobbler now if you would like. Stick the baking dish back in the oven for about 30 to 45 minuets. The top and edges will start to turn a brilliant shade of golden brown when it’s done. You can use a cake tester (a glorified metal tooth pick) or a knife to test it if you would like. If you insert your chosen tester in the middle of the cobbler and it comes out clean (meaning no batter, there’s nothing you can do about the berries!) your done. If you see some uncooked batter come out on the tester, you need a few more minuets in the oven.

Let the cobbler cool a little and serve it with ice-cream (I use vanilla, because that’s what we’ve always used, but start your own tradition, use whatever flavor speaks to you!). Cobbler is best right out of the oven , but it also keeps really well. Whatever isn’t eaten that night (your family may have better impulse control than mine!) cover it tightly with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. You can heat it up by the piece in the oven or microwave as you want it. As always, I like to take pictures of my masterpieces! Make sure you show off your creation in the best way possible. I like to put mine right on the dining room table for pictures. This is where it would be served to my family, so why not take its picture on the most important table in the house!

Finished Blackberry Cobbler

There you have it! Now you can add cobbler to your arsenal of Proper Southern Girl Recipes!

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