Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Iron Skillet Blackberry Dumpling Cobbler

A tender, fluffy sweet buttermilk cobbler dough, dropped like dumplings into freshly stewed blackberries and topped with homemade whipped cream.

Iron Skillet Blackberry Dumpling Cobbler

When 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.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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.

Check out more of my delicious cobbler recipes on Pinterest!

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Recipe: Iron Skillet Blackberry Dumpling Cobbler

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 20 min |Cook time: 25 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 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
For the Dumplings:
  • 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 10-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.

Blackberry Dumplings: Prepare mixture as above except in a saucepan on the stovetop. Bring mixture to a boil and immediately drop dumplings by tablespoons into mixture. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, uncovered for 10 minutes, then cover and cook an additional 10 minutes, or until dumplings are fluffy.


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Posted by on June 23, 2010
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  1. The cobbler looks so yummy Mary. Blackberries are so pretty and those are nice photos.

  2. OMG Mary, you are killing me over here! I love blackberries. Being raised a "northern girl" I never prepared a dessert like this. It's on my list now though :) I'll have to try it before Red goes back to school.(he's going to the UK this time, I'm happy and freaking out) I love it when I tell him, "This is one of Mary's recipes" cause he always responds with a heavy southern draw Oh Maaaryyy!

  3. Wow, does that bring back memories. I can taste them now. My grandmother used to make them for me all the time. My mom and I have tried to replicate hers to no avail. Must have been her "touch".

    This got me to wondering. We made cobblers out of all of the other fruit, but dumplings with blackberries. Wonder what the reasoning was behind that?

  4. I love blackberries, and that looks soooo goood!

  5. It warms my heart to hear someone mention dewberries. Growing up on the banks of the Mississippi River in Natchez MS/Vidalia LA, my grandmother used dewberries every year to make jelly and cobblers.

    What I wouldn't give to have a jar of her dewberry jelly or one of her dewberry cobblers today. My sons, ages 21 and 17, have never seen much less tasted a dewberry. And while I love blackberries, to me dewberries were sweeter, more tender plus had the added benefit of being seedless!

  6. Mary, this looks mighty tasty! Around here we have a lot of mulberries and I think they would work just fine in this recipe.

  7. Looks yummy!!!! Just curious do could I substitue an equal amount of blueberries instead of the blackberries?

  8. Hi there I just visited your site and left very hungry.
    I love all berries. You have some great things I have to try.
    Very nice blog..

  9. Wow Mary - that sure looks good.

  10. I just bought 4 pounds of blackberries and now I know what we're having for dinner tonight--yes, that's right we'll eat this for a meal!! :)


  11. Looks DELICIOUS!!!! I wish I had a bucket full of blackberries :)

  12. dewberries are my favorite but are over with, now blackberries are close to being over with too - this too brings back a lot of memories... nice recipe, one like we made back home and one I make every so often, thanks for reminding me...

  13. I had not thought about dewberries for ages. When I used to go to TN and spend part of my summer, we would go into the woods and gather all manner of berry...sometimes not an altogether good idea for a city kid from NM. But my Daddy Jack (grandfather) made the best forest berry cobbler. It was a mixture of "whatever" berries, but the dew berries were always my fav. Gonna have to try this recipe on the grands this weekend. Thanks so much for the memories and the recipe. says The Olde Bagg

  14. Thanks y'all - enjoy!

    Rhonda, I know - that's so true, but I really have no idea why!

    t, what wonderful memories and you are SO right! They were much much sweeter and not seedy like their cousins.

    Drick, Those were the days for dewberries for sure but these days I just wait for the blackberries! While they are still in season, why not put some up in the freezer.

    Katrina, this should work but I would increase the fruit to about 6 cups for blueberries.

  15. I think my little berry loving boy would love this!

  16. Thanks Mary!!! Blueberry is my dad's favorite :-).

  17. Ooh, the dumpling part of this cobbler sounds amazing. Honestly, the crust, and the slurry (or in this case, the dumpling) are the best parts of a cobbler. Mmmmm!

  18. I love me some cobbler. I do a blueberry peach but I've never done a blackberry. I'll have to give it a try.

    Did you know that you are one of my favorite blogs around? Well, you are! And you prove it I've got a little somethin' somethin' for you over at my place today. Swing on by and take a look.

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner

  19. I always loved walking home from school, too. Kids are too eager to get to their video devices these days! Your dumpling cobbler is mouthwatering, Mary!!

  20. That reminds me of the cobblers that my grandmother would make when my sister and I would gather blackberries from the side of their dirt farm road. Sigh.

  21. those look yummy and stopping by from sits sharefest.

  22. Oh Yummy, that looks delish!

    And I love your story at the begining, reminded me of my own childhood!

    Visiting from SITS!

  23. This looks like one of the best cobblers EVER Mary! Why can't I just eat the screen? I've got blackberries frozen already, so I'll have to pull them out and get right at this recipe! Thanks so much! Roz

  24. Would you marry me? Or at least be my momma!

  25. I have blackberries growing in my backyard, and almost forgot...thank you for reminding me, now I will be making some yummy cobbler soon..very soon!

  26. This reminds me of my grandma's receipe from South Carolina. Summers were filled with getting lots and lots of blackberries with my cousins. Since then my grandmother has passed, and we always wanted to recreate her receipe. I think this is as close as we will get, so thank you for that. I can't wait to try it.

  27. wondering why the berries have to be cooked b4 going in the oven?

    1. For my cobbler recipe, I like to make a filling, so cooking it does that - sort of like how you do a pie filling. The oven solidifies the filling a bit, while cooking the dumplings. Hope that helps!

  28. Mmmm just made this with half blackberries and half fresh juicy peaches! Can't wait to taste it for dessert tonight! (Husband prefers cobblers served cold.) Thanks for the recipe!

  29. Huckleberries make a fine cobbler too....Yours looks delicious.

  30. I made this Iron skillet Blackberry cobbler last night and it was delicious. The hint of nutmeg really is a great addition. My family loved it.

    1. I'm so glad y'all enjoyed it Cathy and thanks so much for stopping back by to let me know!!


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