My hubby Red came home from the grocery run one afternoon and got a large container of gorgeous blackberry (yes, I am a lucky girl with a husband who’s willing to run the grocery errand once in a while, especially when we’re tight on time!). I was floored… these berries were absolutely gorgeous and perfect! They were large, plump, and as I sampled one… turned out to be sweet and juicy. I had been craving and dreaming about juicy summer berries all winter long. While the cold winter months gave me an excuse to stay home and bake yummy breads; I was ready for seasonal summer fruits to come along. I only had enough berries to make half of this recipe, so I used a 1-quart baking dish, and I still baked them for about an hour like the original recipe called for. I didn’t find my crust to brown too quickly; it browned evenly in the time that it called for in a full-recipe. I did reduce the sugar by a couple of tablespoons since my blackberries were very sweet and omitted the nutmeg since Red wasn’t a fan of it.
The topping was more like a pie-crust consistency instead of a biscuit-type topping. We enjoyed this with vanilla ice-cream; and it was perfect! Red took full credit over this recipe and this blog post because he was the one who scored those gorgeous berries.
Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine, October 2008
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold solid vegetable shortening
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup ice water
Six 1/2-pint baskets of large blackberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I omitted this, since hubby doesn’t care for the flavor)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Make the pastry: In a food processor, pulse the flour with the 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and the salt until combined. Add the vegetable shortening and pulse 5 or 6 times, until the mixture resembles small peas. Add the cold butter and pulse 5 or 6 times, until the mixture resembles peas. Add the ice water and pulse 5 or 6 times, just until the pastry is evenly moistened.
Transfer the pastry to a lightly floured surface and knead just until it comes together. Flatten the pastry into a 6-inch disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°.
Prepare the filling: in a large mixing bowl, toss the blackberries with the remaining 1 1/4 cups of sugar, the lemon juice, nutmeg and 1/3 cup of flour. Let stand at room temperature, stirring gently once or twice, until slightly juicy, about 15 minutes. Fold in the melted butter. Transfer berries to a round 2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out to a 1/4-inch thickness that is slightly larger than the baking dish. Drape the pastry over the berries. Trim the overhang to 1/2 inch and fold it under itself, pressing the pastry onto the rim of the dish. Crimp the edge decoratively and make 3 slashes in the center of the pastry.
Bake cobbler for 1 hour, or until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is golden. Cover the edges with foil if the crust browns too quickly. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.