Friday, September 14, 2007

Blackberry Cobbler

I was supposed to go up to Seattle for my mom's 60th birthday right in the middle of blackberry season and then I ended up in the hospital on bedrest. I was heartbroken to miss the party. . . my family called to ask my favorite recipe, a to-die-for blackberry cobbler, and let me know they were thinking about me as they ate it. . . so of course, it was the first thing I wanted to make when (and eat) when I got out of the hospital. It was sooo tasty. . . and we made a vanilla soy milk ice cream to serve it with.

Chinook’s in Seattle has a blackberry cobbler that is hands-down my favorite dessert in the world. . . I would crawl through broken glass to get some. A couple of years ago, someone had posted this recipe for it on the web and I’ve had pretty good success with it. It may not be Chinook’s exactly, but its pretty darn good AND it’s a good excuse to use my cute little ramekins:

Wannabe Chinook’s Blackberry Cobbler

4 Cups wild mountain blackberries
½ Cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp finely chopped lemon zest
1/8 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

1 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
¼ Cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar (divided)
1/3 Cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 Cup half-and-half or soymilk

1. Preheat oven to 425. Place blackberries in a bowl and sprinkle with ½ cup sugar; add lemon zest and nutmeg, and mix. Pour berries into a deep 2 qt baking dish or 6 ramekins.

2. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and ¼ cup sugar. With fork or fingers, blend butter into flour mixture until coarse crumbs form. Carefully stir in half-and-half until well blended with dry ingredients.

3. Soon topping onto berries, allowing some spaces for steam to escape. Sprinkle top with 2 Tbsp of sugar. Bake 30 minutes in preheated oven.

Anyone from the Northwest knows that blackberries grow wild on every unlandscaped hillside and every neglected open space in the month of August. And everyone knows they're free for the picking, just don a long sleeved shirt and some pants you don't care about, jimmy-rig a bucket system to hang off your shoulder or waist and head out to pick blackberries (a pair of clippers or scissors helps too, to get past some of the hanging vines). Be prepared to get stained and scratched and poked, and full using the "one-for-the-bucket, one-for-me" approach, and then bring them home and concoct shakes and pies and cobblers and jams and then you'll still have enough to freeze for the rest of the year.

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