While the rest of the country is freezing, fresh berries are showing up all over Florida, and, as you might expect, I couldn’t resist picking up more than my share of ripe raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. We couldn’t eat them fast enough (and I’m going strawberry picking tomorrow), so I had no choice but to make my recipe for mixed berry cobbler.
“Cobblers”, according to What’s Cooking America, “are an American deep-dish fruit dessert or pie with a thick crust (usually a biscuit crust) and a fruit filling (such as peaches, apples, berries). Some versions are enclosed in the crust, while others have a drop-biscuit or crumb topping”. I use a drop-biscuit crust for my cobbler regardless of the kind of fruit I use (see our recipe for blueberry cobbler). Cobblers are best with fresh fruit, but they can be made with canned, frozen, or even dried fruit.
For berry cobbler, I start with 6 cups of fresh berries: 2 cups each ripe blackberries, raspberries, and blackberries. I toss the berries with sugar and all-purpose flour. You can kick the flavor up a notch by adding a tablespoon or two of your favorite liqueur or extract here, which is something I do if the fresh fruit isn’t as sweet as I like.
I make my usual biscuit crust by combining all-purpose flour with a small amount of sugar, baking powder, and salt. Then I mix in butter, egg, and milk. I like to use buttermilk, but I rarely have it in my refrigerator. It’s something I buy for special recipes only (mostly baking), so it’s not a staple in my house. We never drink buttermilk, but my grandmother kept her refrigerator stocked with it for my grandfather. He drank a glass of buttermilk every day, but not by itself. First, he filled a tall glass with pieces of cornbread (unsweetened), and then he poured buttermilk over it, filling the glass. He let the cornbread soak until it was soft. When it was ready, he spooned most of it, and then drank what was left.
When the biscuit dough is ready, I drop it by tablespoons on top of the cobbler, covering the top as evenly as possible. I sometimes dust the top with a tablespoon of sugar.
It should bake until the berry juices and sugar meld into this thick, gooey, and sinful substance and the biscuit crust is golden brown. For a special treat (and extra calories), add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the piping hot cobbler.
Mixed Berry Cobbler Recipe
For the filling:
- 2 cups blackberries
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 cups raspberries
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
For the biscuit crust:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 8 tablespoons chilled butter
- 1 egg
- 1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
Wash and pick through berries. Remove stem pieces. In a medium bowl, add berries, sugar and flour. Toss until berries are well-coated. Pour mixture in 11x7-inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add butter, and cut in until mixture is coarse. Add egg and milk and mix until soft dough forms. Drop by tablespoons on top of berry mixture. Dust with sugar, if desired. Bake at 400°F until berry mixture thickens and bubbles and topping is golden brown, about 25 minutes.