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Berry good cobbler, just in time for berry season

By Lisa Tindell

It’s berry season and for this country girl, that makes it one of the best seasons of the year.

Last week I shared a favorite recipe and some information regarding strawberries. If you haven’t tried the recipe, I hope you’ll take the time to give it a try. And, if you like the strawberry cobbler, there’s a really good chance you’ll like this week’s recipe as well.

I have seen photos of the bounty of blackberries and dewberries being picked over the last week or so around the area.

As you may know, there is a difference in blackberries and dewberries. Although they are both delicious black morsels of wonderful, the difference can make a significant impact on the finished product.

Dewberries are a little more of a purple berry with a red hue as they ripen. The blackberry is just that – a black berry.  The difference in taste is where you’ll see even more impact on recipes. Blackberries are slightly sweeter and less acidic than dewberries. Picking dewberries may seem more productive than picking blackberries because dewberries are larger and usually ripen a week or so sooner than blackberries. Dewberry seeds are also larger and tougher than those found in blackberries.

The acidity of the two berries might be something to consider as you get ready to prepare cobblers, pies, jams and jellies with them. Personally, I don’t care which berry you use for the cobbler. I just need you to call me when it’s done. I’ll bring the ice cream.

 

Blackberry or Dewberry Cobbler

1 stick Butter

1-1/4 cup Sugar

1 cup Self-Rising Flour

1 cup Milk

2 cups Blackberries (frozen Or Fresh)

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13 baking dish and set aside. Melt the butter in the microwave. In a large bowl, mix one cup of the sugar and the flour and whisk in the milk. Continue whisking until well blended. Add in the melted butter and continue whisking until well blended. Rinse the berries and pat them dry with a few paper towels or a tea towel. Pour the batter into the buttered dish and sprinkle the berries over the top of the batter making sure to distribute them evenly over the mixture. Sprinkle the remaining quarter-cup of sugar over the top of the cobbler. Bake for about an hour or until it’s gold and bubbly. Adding a little more sugar on top during the last 10 minutes of cooking will add to the sweetness of the dish. Serve warm with fresh whipped cream or your favorite ice cream.

 

I gave you a tip or two on how to freeze strawberries last week, but these berries lend themselves to being turned into jams and jellies and what could be better on a bagel or toast than homemade blackberry (or dewberry) jam? Yeah, I can’t think of anything either.

 

Blackberry Jam

5 cups crushed blackberries

7 cups sugar

1 pkg. Pectin (Sure Jell)

 

Be sure to only crush the berries, don’t puree them. It’s best if you use a potato masher or some similar instrument to gently crush the fruit. Pour the prepared fruit into an eight-quart stock pot or other heavy pot. In a separate bowl, measure the sugar. Sprinkle the pectin over the fruit in the pot and heat on high, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble and comes to a full, rolling boil. Add all of the sugar at once, stirring to combine as quickly as possible. Allow the mixture to return to a hard, rolling boil and boil for one minute. Remove the pot from the heat and skim off any foam (not absolutely necessary but will result in a more beautiful jar of jam). Ladle the jam into clean, hot jars remembering to leave a quarter-inch headspace at the top. Clean the rim of the jar and put on the lid and the ring until hand tight. Place the jars in a water bath canner and fill with hot water to cover the jars by about an inch. Process the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove from the canner and allow them to sit upright at room temperature for about 12 hours or so to allow the jam to set.

 

This jam is especially good served over ice cream and is even better if you give it a quick 30 to 60 second warm up in the microwave before drizzling over the top.

 

See? I told you these would sound good and just remember, my offer for bringing the ice cream still stands.

Happy berry picking!