The blackberries are already showing up in the market, perhaps due to the early spring this year. But with strawberry season virtually over, here, I welcome their arrival. I usually make blackberry crisp, but I stumbled onto a cobbler recipe in one of my cookbooks, Bon Appetit, Y'all by Virginia Willis, which brought back memories of the cobblers I used to prepare when I was growing up.
You see, cobblers are so simple to throw together that as an 11-year-old (for a brief time living in the country), I would run out the back door after supper, pick the berries I needed, and make a cobbler right then and there. We usually served it with vanilla ice cream, though I find I'm just as happy with freshly whipped cream as an adult.
The one difference is that I'd never baked cobbler in a cast iron skillet before. But I will from now on! I love the way the edges get crispy/chewy while the rest of it is soft and moist. This recipe is definitely a keeper (and if you need a cast iron skillet, see the Lodge website).
Have a great weekend!
(adapted from Bon Appetit, Y'all)
(Serves 6 to 8)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 cups fresh blackberries
1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling, if needed
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Whipped cream or ice cream, for accompaniment
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the stick of butter in a large cast-iron skillet or ovenproof baking dish in the oven (takes about 5 to 7 minutes).
2. Place half of the blackberries in a large bowl and mash them with a potato masher to release some of the juices. Add the rest of blackberries and toss. If the berries are tart, sprinkle them with additional sugar (up to approximately 1/4 cup).
3. To make the batter, in another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the 1 cup sugar, milk, and vanilla extract, and stir until evenly blended. Remove the skillet from the oven and add the melted butter to the batter and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the skillet, then add the blackberries and juices to the center of the batter.
4. Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the batter comes out clean, approximately 1 hour. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.