Friday, March 23, 2007

Food Porn Friday!!!

Blackberry Cobbler

Blackberry liquor bubbling up from a slit in the crust.

I usually save this post for blackberry season...but peach season is coming up and I use the same exact recipe for it.

Cobbler is to southern desserts what apple pie is to American desserts. We just associate it so much with our region. Actually each area of the country, I have found, has their own version of something like cobbler.

In a way, it is a very old dessert dating back to colonial times. When I lived in the U.K. there were tons of desserts similar to cobbler. They are traditionally served with hot custard in the winter. They are very "rib sticking" which you don't actually mind if you are bundled up working on a film set in the cold drizzle. So, I'm relatively sure that our Scots/Irish/Brit ancestors brought something like cobbler with them.

I remember fondly the first time I saw the words "Spotted Dick" on a menu. It's such an outrageous name for a hot rolled up bread pudding log with raisins that is then served with treacle sauce and hot custard.

So, cobbler does come from the long and honorable tradition of stodgy hot desserts. We prefer to serve it with ice cream.

I have several cobbler recipes in my cookbook, but I'm going to share the most unusual and most satisfying one with you. It has some odd steps and it's a very old recipe. When I say very old, I'm talking 1900. My oldest cake recipe from my family is from around 1810. I have copies of the same recipe written in the hands of 5 generations of women.

But this one, this one was from my grandfather's sister, Emma. I have tested it, and it has quickly become my favorite cobbler since the boiling water step produces an extremely satisfying crunchy/chewy crust. You can substitute your favorite seasonal berry or stone fruit for the blackberries.

Emma's Blackberry Cobbler

2 cups berries
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 and 1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp. Flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. cornstarch or flour
1 and 1/4 cup boiling water

Dredge berries in 1 tsp. flour and place in a deep baking dish or pan. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Cream together 1/2 cup of sugar and butter. Add flour, baking powder, salt and milk, making a batter. Pour this over the berries. Sprinkle 1 cup of sugar and cornstarch on top of batter, then pour boiling water over the sugar. Bake for one hour at 375.


Emma and Floyd Coats ca. 1910

8 Comments:

  1. BBC said...
    Apple Betty is a sort of cobbler isn't it?

    I remember my last year in school, I worked in the cafeteria for two periods because I didn't like the class's.

    The ladies there made the most delicious Apple Betty with lemon sauce over the top of it.
    bluemountainmama said...
    rosie- so cool that you have those family recipes. and i loved seeing the picture of emma and floyd.

    i have some of my grandmothers' recipes, but i don't know how far back they go. i always feel a connection to them when i use them, b/c they are both gone now.
    i think of them in their kitchens making it for their familes and i'm honored to carry on the tradition......
    seejanemom said...
    OH...YEAAAAAAH, baby.

    I think you have finally shared the secret to my Great Aunt Josie's cobbler. The funky crust that no one could replicate.

    She passed over three years ago, but not before she went around the bend and no one thought to ask. Her only child was a girl, but not so into the domestic arts. Shame because my grandmother's sister Josie was THE best cook of all the sisters, teaching my own grandmother everything she knew.

    Except THIS. THAAANK YOU....I DO SO HOPE this is finally the magic missing step!
    seejanemom said...
    OH>>>AND MAY I POINT OUT>>>MISS ROSIE

    That is no mere "slit" in the crust, but a huge, yawning GOUGE where the photographer CLEARLY helped HERself to a heaping helping before SHE snapped the shot.

    "Slit",... my Aunt Josie...Ppffft..
    Hayden said...
    oh yumm! that process is really interesting, I'll have to try it. I love buckles and cobblers and apple dumplings and all of those deserts - they're the best!
    Erica said...
    There's something very Georgia O'Keefe/"Our Bodies Ourselves" about that photo. I can't quite put my finger on it, nor do I think I want to, heh.
    Mallow said...
    I didn't fall for the "slit in the crust" either Rosie. No self respecting cobbler baker/photographer would DREAM of photographing a masterpiece like that without first digging out a large bite with a tablespoon. Fess up.

    I've copied the cobbler recipe and hope to try it soon. I believe it will be my first attempt at cobbler makin', since I am a Rooskie who grew up in So. Cali.. cobblers weren't exactly in my culinary vocabulary.

    The new web page layout is nice. Hopefully you didn't get too many grey hairs with the frustrating phone line problems. Get those possums out of the phone box soon, because I can't go too long without food porn fridays & mountain livin'/goat updates. :-D
    Deborah Gamble said...
    I'll be back to see what is cooking up on Food Porn Fridays. The cobbler looks scrumtious! I have more of a cookie fettish myself so I'll be on the lookout for some cookie recipes on your site as well.

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