Normally, I avoid Paula Deen recipes like the plague. Not because I don’t think she’s talented, or because I don’t like Southern food. (Er, there were a lot of “nots” and “don’ts” in that last sentence, so let’s clear up that how-many-negatives-equals-a-positive thing right quick: I do think Paula Deen is talented, and I do like Southern food.)
No, it’s because the woman can sling butter like nobody’s business. Butter’s fine. Butter’s better, in fact, than the many scary chemical-ly alternatives out there. Just not by the sticks (plural). When a Paula Deen recipe appears in a Google search, I usually slide and skitter right by it, as though my very scrolling fingers were, well, buttered.
But. I had a load of fresh fruit from the farmers’ market this weekend and was running out of ideas. In fact, in an odd turnabout for this Heartland region, fruit nearly outnumbered vegetables at the farmers’ markets in June and early July. (If you didn’t count greens, I think they actually would.) Strawberries, peaches, apples, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries. It’s been amazing. And I’ve made more buckles and grunts and boy baits and crumbles and cobblers in the last two months than I have in my entire life. But still. I wanted more cobbler. Well, not exactly cobbler, but similar to cobbler. Something cobbly. And easy.
So this time, I didn’t skitter past Paula.
Paula’s recipe for peach cobbler — on which this recipe is based — is less biscuity and more cakey — the exact texture I wanted. I’ve made this several times, with different fruits (a peaches and blueberries combo is a definite favorite). It’s simply delicious. I love that you can make it ahead of time, and then stick it back in the oven briefly to rewarm before serving without destroying the texture.
Blueberries, wrapped in their frosty coats. Last year, the local blueberry harvest was so bleak that blueberries were selling for $7.00. Per pint.
I didn’t buy many blueberries last year.
But this year, rain and heat has produced more blueberry bumper crops than you can shake a stick at, and I’m stuffing them into my freezer as fast as I can.
I usually don’t go for the blackberries — it’s a seed thing — but they looked so lovely and juicy heaped on one vendor’s table that I couldn’t resist.
I don’t know what it is but I do not like the scent of cooking berries. So, in case you’re new to SoupAddict and wondering whether she’s weird or not, there’s your proof.
It’s pretty as all get out, all pink and foamy, and they taste like heaven, but SoupAddict was grimacing as she stood over this pot to take this picture. Yuck. Bitter feet. Phew, bitter feet.
I’m chalking it up to some kind of nose-brain thing, like some folks have with cilantro where it tastes like soap to them, but not to the rest of us.
“My nose-brain is nuts.” (Deflection of blame — yeah, that’s the ticket.)
A super-easy, stir-by-hand dough comes together quickly while the bitter feet fruit cooks.
Mmm, so pretty. I love the little pucker — muah! — this batch made.
Even the cobbler looks like it’s smiling. (You can bet I am, behind the camera … especially now that the bitter feet smell is gone.) That looks like a smile, right? No? Too much caffeine? [Thought so.]
Black & Blue Cobbler
adapted from Paula Deen
I cut Paula’s recipe in half, as it calls for a 3 quart baking dish and an army to consume it. My 1 1/2 quart souffle dish made plenty for six people. As I noted above, I’ve used various fruits with this recipe, substituting cup for cup. I do change up the syrup seasoning, depending on the fruit (e.g., 1 teaspoon of cinnamon instead of the Grand Marnier for peaches)
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Put the butter in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish and place in oven to melt.
Combine the berries, 1/2 cup sugar, and water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Sprinkle the corn starch over the mixture and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the Grand Marnier and nutmeg, mixing well. Remove from heat.
Mix remaining 1/2 cup sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and add milk slowly to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter in the baking dish. Do not stir. Spoon fruit on top, gently pouring in syrup. Batter will rise to top during baking. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.
To serve, scoop onto a plate and serve with your favorite vanilla ice cream.