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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: BLACKBERRY COBBLER WITH VANILLA BEAN ICE CREAM!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

BLACKBERRY COBBLER WITH VANILLA BEAN ICE CREAM!







   These recipes come from www.mangiodasola.com .  Two great desserts that go really well together.  And nothing is better than berries and ice cream.  Enjoy!





When strawberry season was well underway, I wanted to go to a berry farm near where I live. I saw a link to all the picking farms in the United States (and many other countries) and found 2 places that sounded promising. Then, after I saw photos of some beautiful, enticing strawberries on Monica's photo site, Natural Lighting, I had to ask where she got the berries (actually, I just found out that strawberries are NOT berries. Read more about it here.). She told me that she got them from Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls, Texas.




Because I don't like to go to public places by myself (yeah, I have issues), I waited for my mom to arrive to go to the farm. Well, rain happened; my mom didn't want to go to the farm at first; and then, finally we went the day before she left....and guesss what?! We came the very day after the strawberries were in season there!! ARGH! I was so disappointed. I had been wanting to go for so long. Next time, I will have to get over my fears and go alone haha.





My mom washing her hands after berry picking. Her box was empty because we were going on our second round to look for any leftover strawberries. We were unsuccessful in our quest. :(


Anyway, even though the strawberries were no longer in season there, the blackberries were coming in with fury. So, my mother and I grabbed a box each and picked a bunch of these dark beauties. I thought I'd add that I picked the most berries*.






*sidenote: Ignore the comment my mom is going to make about her picking the hard-to-get-because-they-were-deep-behind-or-in-the-middle-of-a-bunch-of-thorns blackberries for me. Don't believe her! She was just delirious from the hot sun! LOL!





So, what did I do with these luscious berries?! I made the only type of fruit cobbler I like - the one with a pie-pastry-like topping as opposed to cobblers with biscuits on top of the fruit.





I searched everywhere for the right recipe for a pastry-topping cobbler. I remember finding the perfect one over a year ago that I had made with peaches two or three times. Since I have a new laptop (I'M STILL A PC AND AM DARN PROUD OF IT! WOOHOO!), I no longer had that website bookmarked. Fortunately, I found the site again because the recipe is popular even though it was posted in 2006. In addition to his recipe, I picked and chose other ingredients and methods from three other recipes to end up with the one that is warm and settled in my tummy right now as I type. YUM!





This cobbler was amazing. My only mistake was not mushing up the berries. I think it is definitely a personal preference, but I didn't like tasting the less-hot interior of the berries after the first two bites. I think it would have been a better balance of crunchy, butter pastry taste and sweet, sour, berry taste if I had mushed them a bit. Nevertheless, it was still amazing.





I had run out of butter *GASP THE HORROR!* due to a 3-STICK ERROR (it still makes me sad to know I wasted that much butter) in a chocolate frosting I made, so I had to use butter-flavored shortening in the crust. I think the shortening caused the crust to be harder to handle. It still worked out in the end.
   If you would like to use another pie pastry recipe, feel free to do so. I doubled the pastry recipe and used 2 extra cups of fruit because of the size of my dish (I will be blogging about this dish very soon). I like the double layer of pastry because you get a good amount of contrasting, yet complementary flavors.


Don't forget to make some vanilla bean ice cream to go with it!




Blackberry Cobbler - The Pie Pastry Variationadapted from Stephen Cooks and other sites
Yield: 6 - 8 modest servings
Pastry (I doubled this for an 11" oval dish):

1-1/2 C flour
6 T butter
3 T shortening
1/2 tsp salt
3 T ice water
1/4 C sugar

Fruit Filling:
6 C blackberries
3/4-1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup AP flour
2 T cornstarch
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 T melted butter

To make the pastry, place the flour, butter, shortening, salt and sugar in the processor bowl with the steel blade. Pulse a few times until the mixture is like cornmeal. Add the ice water and pulse a few times, just enough to mix the water into the other ingredients. Turn the mixture out into a plastic food storage bag (it will be crumbly, not yet like dough) and quickly knead it through the bag a few strokes, till it just starts to hold together. Refrigerate for an hour or more.



Meanwhile, preheat oven to 475º. Combine the blackberries, sugar, flour, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Stir mixture until you see mostly the color of the berries.Taste and correct seasoning and sugar content. Stir in the melted butter (I didn't have butter, so I added the 1/2 Tbsp left of COLD butter to the top of the filling right before baking. See photo below).
   Reserve and keep cold 1/3 of the dough. Roll out the rest to the approximate shape of your dish. (I used an 11" oval baking dish with double the pastry, but with the recipe as is, you can use a 5" x 9" oval baking dish about an inch and a half deep or a 6" square dish or 7" round dish). Butter the baking dish and spoon in half of the fruit mixture. Lay the pastry sheet over the fruit.
Bake about 12 minutes in a preheated 475º oven, until the pastry is just starting to brown. Spoon in the rest of the fruit mixture.


Ooops! I messed up on the collage of process photos. Just ignore the first and last photos.

Roll out the reserved dough, cut in strips and lay in a lattice pattern over the fruit.



Sprinkle with sugar and bake about 15 minutes more, until the fruit is bubbling and the lattice is browned.



Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream.

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