Wild About Blackberries
Some of my fondest summer memories are from traveling to Lake Toxaway, near Cashiers, North Carolina, to spend time with my grandparents. Whenever I was with them, my grandmother always spoke highly of growing up on her family’s farm and the incredible aromas that came from her mother’s and grandmother’s cooking.
When my grandmother is in the kitchen, she carries on that tradition and many of her recipes have become family favorites in my household. One recipe in particular is her blackberry cobbler. It tastes amazing, but what makes this dish even sweeter are the memories behind the dessert.
During our visits we would often find ourselves on a treasure hunt for wild blackberry plants and once we scouted them out, we were in business! I usually ate almost as fast as I picked, but the fresh berries that actually made it back to her kitchen made one of the best and sweetest summer treats I know. Here is my cherished family recipe:
2 cups sifted flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk
6 cups fresh blackberries
1 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons for crust
4 tablespoons butter
Sift the dry ingredients together Add in the shortening until all ingredients are well mixed Add milk, stirring until all flour is moistened Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface Work the dough for about 20 seconds Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick
Preheat oven to 400°F Toss blackberries with 1 cup of sugar until they are well coated Place berries in an 11 inch x 7 inch casserole dish Add 2 tablespoons of butter and distribute over the top of the berries
Cover the berries with the biscuit dough and trim edges if necessary.
Bake in 400°F oven for 15 minutes then remove
Pour 2 tablespoons of melted butter over biscuit dough and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over crust
Return to oven and continue baking for 20-30 minutes. When the biscuit crust is golden brown it is done.
Let cool for 15 minutes then cut a slice. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
If you don’t have enough time to make the biscuit dough from scratch, Step 5 & 6 in the blackberry cobbler directions can be slightly modified. Substitute the biscuit dough with bread slices cut into one-inch thick strips and arranged to cover the berries and then delete Step 6.