In a shock to no one, I have a lot of thoughts about the perfect summer cobbler. Cobbler is a sweetened fruit base topped with a wet biscuit batter that bakes up to be something between a cake and a biscuit atop simmering fruit. A cobbler is not a crisp (though this apple crisp really stands the test of time). A cobbler is no time for oats – no time for streusel. Biscuit business only. Cinnamon and nutmeg? Not now, pals – we’ll see you in the autumn. This blueberry cobbler recipe is my ideal – and to let you in on the first secret – mix fresh blueberries with fresh blackberries. Their sweetness and seeds are the perfect compliment to cooked blueberries.
This recipe is inspired by and lightly adapted from my friend Ree, The Pioneer Woman. A few years ago Ree welcomed me and my parents to stay a few nights at The Lodge and my dad has sworn by Ree’s enchilada sauce ever since. We love a tried and true Pioneer Woman recipe in the Wilson home and if there’s one thing Ree knows well, it’s how to make cobbler for a whole dang ranch.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make my favorite blueberry cobbler:
• Berries. Most obviously – fresh blueberries. Less obviously – fresh blackberries because I like a little variety in my dark berry flavor and texture.
And I hear you wondering – can I use frozen blueberries for this recipe? Sure thing! I would thaw and drain the berries before using but if you decide to go with a bunch of frozen berries because you’re a rebel pressed for time, just know your cobbler will be a bit more loose and juicy than the cobbler pictured here.
• unsalted butter (though if you use salted butter, skip the pinch of salt in the fruit filling and cut the dough salt to 1/4 teaspoon)
• granulated sugar
• lemon zest
• kosher salt
• all-purpose flour
• the second secret to my favorite blueberry cobbler: cornmeal. Think – hint of sweetness and tender bite add a lovely texture to the biscuit top.
• baking powder
• a large egg
I used a 9×13-inch baking pan for this mega cobbler because cobbler, when made, should be shared with everyone you know. But it’s also easy to cut this recipe in half and bake it in a 8×8 or 9×9-inch square pan.
Let’s let this blueberry cobbler be as simple as it is. In a medium bowl toss together both berries and lemon zest. Heck, add a little squeeze of lemon juice, too! Add the sugar and toss to thoroughly combine. Sugar should lightly coat each berry.
Sprinkle flour over top of the berry mixture along with a sprinkle of salt and toss to coat. The blackberries may break down a bit as you assemble the filling, but for the most part, the berries should stay intact and will cook down to soft and syrupy in the oven.
While the berries sit and lightly mascerate, let’s bring together the cobbler batter. In a large bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add cold butter cubes and the rest is just like making biscuits – breaking the cold butter into the dry ingredients until they’re the size of oat flakes or small peas. The thing that makes this different from making biscuits or pie crust is that the stakes are much lower. We want this cobbler top to be like a soft drop biscuit, we’re not asking the cold butter to create a flaky crust.
In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg and pour into the dry ingredients. Stir to create a somewhat sticky batter. The texture of the dough will be soft, fluffy, and a bit sticky.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees and lightly grease a big baking dish. Place the berries in the dish and dot with softened butter because of course.
Crumble the biscuit topping in slightly flattened gobs (for lack of a better word) on top of the fruit. You’ll want some berries to peek through the topping. The third secret to this ideal blueberry cobbler – think “cobblestone street” when you’re crumbling the topping. It is a cobbler after all, you want some berries and their juice sneaking through the top.
Cover the cobbler with foil for 20 minutes then uncover and forget about the cobbler in the oven (for about 20-25 more minutes). You’ll smell those bubbling berries and buttery biscuits and remember the incredible life choices you made just 40 minutes prior. When you open the oven the cobbler top should be a gorgeous golden brown and the fruit edges bubbling.
The purple shade of baked berries is just SUCH A SWOON. This blueberry cobbler is best served warm (DUH) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
There’s also a good case for serving this perfect summer dessert at room temperature, ya know, at a sunset picnic, as we do. Store and leftover cobbler in the fridge and reheat the following morning for breakfast.
This is just one of those recipes that will getcha all the way through another glorious berry season!
If you’re in need of other summer dessert ideas see:
For the Berries:
For the Dough:
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a large bowl stir together the berries, sugar and lemon zest. Sprinkle the flour over the top of the mixture as well as a pinch of salt. Toss until thoroughly combined and set aside.
- To make the dough, in a large bowl combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the cubes of butter and use a pastry blender (or your hands) to work the ingredients into a coarse meal. Some peas will be the size of small peas, other’s will be little flakes of butter. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk and egg. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. The mixture will be lumpy and clumpy.
- Spoon the berry mixture into a 9×13-inch pan. Dot the top of the berries with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Tear pinches of the dough from the bowl, and place them on top of the berries like little cobblestones. Sprinkle with a few tablespoons more sugar.
- Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 20-25 minutes more until the topping is deeply golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy with vanilla ice cream.
- Cobbler can be stores in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and can be reheated before enjoying leftovers.
Joy the Baker May 20, 2022 at 08:44AM