|A tender, fluffy sweet buttermilk cobbler dough, dropped like dumplings into freshly stewed blackberries and topped with homemade whipped cream.|
Blackberry Dumpling CobblerWhen I was in what we used to call junior high school, it's hard to believe now, but we actually used to walk home from school a lot. It wasn't that we didn't have an easier way home - we certainly did - but there was something much more peaceful about that long, casual stroll from school to home than there was riding in that hot, smelly bus.
Sometimes we'd cut through the tiny base gate by the school and catch the bus that carried the airmen around - much less crowded and full of nice smelling and good looking airmen heading to the movies or the bowling alley on base. For a long time we were never questioned about hitching a ride. Things were much more relaxed in those days, and I suppose they thought we lived in the adjacent base housing on the other side of the base, which just so happened to be close to my house. And McDonald's. And the pizza place. And Lum's, where we'd often hang out for hours listening to the jukebox after school.
Just seeing this photo makes me smile.
Anyway, we traveled by foot a lot back in those days and more often we'd find ourselves tromping along the railroad tracks, where we'd delight in the appearance of the wild blackberries, or I suppose more appropriately called dewberries. Why did the best blackberries always grow along the railroad tracks I wonder? We'd rush home, grab a bucket and weave back through the woods to pick what we thought were always the best berries. Oh the memories... but thank goodness the berries are a bit easier to come by these days and I await their short-lived arrival with anticipation for something just like this.
Combined with some sugar, a little lemon juice and a cornstarch slurry then simmered to that gorgeous red juiciness.
Blackberries always cry out to this drop dumpling method of cobbler to me and I like a tender, sweet buttermilk dough, with just a touch of nutmeg. I use a small cookie scoop to drop my dumplings in the skillet - about 9 around the edges and 3 in the center of an 8-inch cast iron skillet.
Don't let the seeds of the blackberry turn you off - there's lots of good for you fiber in those seeds! If the texture is off-putting to you though, run them through the first 20 minute simmer, allow it to cool a bit and then strain or use a food mill to extract the seeds. Warm it back up on the stovetop before dropping in the dumplings and moving the skillet to the oven.
Recipe: Blackberry Dumpling Cobbler©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 20 min |Cook time: 25 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
For the Dumplings:
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 4 cups of blackberries, rinsed and drained
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons of cold water
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1/4 cup of cold butter, cut into cubes
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup of buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Generously butter an 8-inch cast iron skillet, or another heavy, oven safe skillet.
In a small container mix a slurry of the cornstarch and cold water; set aside. In a large bowl combine the blackberries with the lemon and sugar. Add the slurry and gently stir. Transfer to the skillet, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. (If you wish to strain out the seeds, let mixture cool and press through a food mill or strainer. Return to the skillet and bring back up to a boil; reduce to low and proceed.)
Meanwhile, for the dumplings, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until crumbly. Stir in just enough buttermilk to form a soft dough. Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dumpling dough into the hot fruit, 9 dumplings around the outside of the skillet, and 3 in the middle. Place into the hot oven and bake at 400 degrees F, for about 25 minutes, or until dumplings are golden brown. Serve warm, topped with ice cream, whipped cream, or a drizzle of plain heavy cream.
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