Remember when I made my Blackberry Shortcakes, (not to mention my Blackberry Corn Muffins and Lemon Ricotta Hotcakes with Fresh Blackberry Sauce) I told you that I had several pints of blackberries in the fridge and that you'd likely be seeing another blackberry dessert around here? Well, the truth is I've made a few more, two of them, actually blackberry cobblers (this is the first) and one of them is a divine blackberry blueberry buttermilk sherbet that I promise to post soon. Not sure why I'm so blackberry obsessed this year--they're not even my favorite of the berries, but they've just been so present in the stores and I feel a strange compulsion to cook with them. Fortunately my family is only too happy to partake in the "fruits" of my obsession!
Though cobblers are generally served for dessert, I made this on a rainy Sunday for breakfast/brunch a couple of weeks ago--hey, it's really the same ingredients you'd use for pancakes and a whole lot easier than flipping cake after cake. In fact, for my next brunch I'm going to make a cobbler and start a whole new brunch revolution! But feel free to serve it for dessert if cobblers for breakfast seem too wild and crazy. Whatever time of day you serve this, it's bound to disappear!
And the beauty part, is that it's a snap to make. Really! Truly! No electrical appliances involved. All you need is a cast iron skillet or a baking dish. This is simple homey fresh-from-the-farm cooking. First you mash the berries a bit to get them to release some of their juices.
Then you make a very basic flour/egg/milk based batter and combine it with some melted butter and place it in the skillet, plopping those delicious berries right into the middle.
Then the whole thing goes into the oven so that the batter crisps up golden brown and cakey and the berries get soft and mushy and deliciously finger-stainingly juicy!
And since we were starting the day off backwards anyway by eating dessert first, more than one person decided that a scoop of vanilla ice cream seemed fitting and timely. And on a rainy Sunday morning, who could argue with that?
Skillet Blackberry Cobbler
Prep Time: 15 minutes; Bake Time: 1 hour
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
4 cups fresh blackberries
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on blackberries if they're a little too tart
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ice cream or whipped cream (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Melt the butter in a large cast iron skillet or a 9x13 inch baking dish. Takes about about 5-7 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, using a potato masher, mash the berries in a large bowl to release some of their juices. If the berries taste too tart, sprinkle on a little bit of the sugar.
3. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add in 1 cup of the sugar, the milk and the vanilla and stir until well blended. Once the butter has melted, remove the skillet or pan from the oven and pour the melted butter into the batter. Stir to mix. Then pour the batter all at one time into the skillet and add the blackberries into the center. Do not spread out.
4. Bake for about 1 hour until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the cake part comes out clean. Serve immediately or let cool to room temperature. Tastes great on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Note: Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, Y'All by Virginia Willis.