Friday, February 24, 2012

Blackberry Cobbler

So, if you want to be eating this blackberry cobbler, you have to start with pie crust. You can use the recipe of your choice.

Pie crust is really far simpler than many people would have you believe. Two things you need to know:
1. Keep it cold
2. Don't overwork it

What makes pie crust flaky are the "layers" of shortening and flour. If you mush it all together by overworking it, you get rid of the layers and the crust is tough. If you let the shortening get warm enough it "melts" into the flour, the same thing happens. Experiment. You'll get it.

Once you have your pie crust rolled out, put it in the fridge while you make the filling.

Many cobbler recipes will suggest you only put crust on top. Ignore them. The best part of this is the blackberry juice soaked crust.

Other cobbler recipes will suggest using a mixture that results in a cake-like topping. Some even, heaven forbid, suggest using cake mix. Do it the old-fashioned way with pie crust - top and bottom - and you will not be sorry.

Blackberry Cobbler 

1 pint blackberries (roughly - more or fewer will work)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, melted

That's it... four ingredients. If you find recipes that call for vanilla, ignore them. It's one of the most over-used things in the American kitchen, especially since most people are using supermarket psuedo-vanilla. Don't do it. You'll just ruin the natural flavor of "real" ingredients by pouring this chemical mixture over them.

Mix together and taste. If your berries need it, add a little more sugar. If you like a more tart pie, add less. This is not chemistry, it's baking, do it to suit yourself!

Put berry mixture into your prepared (raw) crust and bake at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes. The crust will be golden, the berries will be bubbly, you will be happy.

If you like, you can make a lattice top on the cobbler - just because it's pretty and it reminds you of grandma. Even though my grandma never made pie like this, it still makes me nostalgic. Go figure.

Sprinkle a little sugar on top. Why? Because it's sweet, and it's pretty. (Really, what kind of question is that? I can only assume you are taken aback by the idea of blackberry cobbler and can't think straight right now.)

After it's baked, it will look like this...

... and you will love it. You will probably love it even more warm, with some ice cream on top.

Then you can take photos and put them on Facebook and your blog and love it when your friends say nice things about you. (Yes, I'm somewhat like the SNL skit where the woman is saying, "Please don't make me sing, Please don't make me sing" while inching toward the piano. I know, it's sad, but true.)

Enjoy the fruits of your labors!

(I have to give extra credit to my big brother, Jackie, who picked these blackberries and froze them last summer. The cobbler is a gazillion times better because of that. Thank you, Jackie!)
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