Growing up, I ate wild dewberries (a relative of the blackberry) as fast as I picked them so there isn’t a family recipe for dewberry cobbler. I’m not sure if we ever picked enough to make a cobbler. Neither my mother or grandmother ever made any type of cobbler that I can recall (so much for my Southern heritage). By the time I married, my mother had discovered Bisquick so it’s possible she may have made something from a dough mix with some kind of fruit at some time— just not while I was around. So, my passes at making cobbler have been experimental, based my consumptions of fresh peach cobbler made by other people for church potlucks and other social gatherings. I never got anyone’s recipe because it’s just dough, fruit and spice…how hard can it be?
Preheat oven 350.
I use about 3 pints of dewberrys (slightly more) and bake the cobbler in an 8″x 8″ non-stick pan. Gently rinse the berries in a colander. Pour them into the pan. The berries should come almost to the top of the pan.
Sprinkle 3 Tbls flour over them, drizzle with honey (about 2-3 Tbls) and then sprinkle 2 tsps nutmeg over the berries. Stir carefully, just enough to mix up the ingredients a bit.
The flour is necessary for thickening once the berries cook down. They’re very juicy and omission of any kind of thickening agent will result in a sloshing pan of boiling berry juice. I add a bit of honey because wild dewberries are tarter than their domesticated cousin, the blackberry. If you’re making a cobbler using sweeter fruit you may be able to omit adding any type of sweetener.
Dough (to make the “cobbles”)
Cobbler is so-named because of the blobs of dough on top resemble the uneven cobbles of cobblestone streets. In short, neatness doesn’t count. 😉
1 cup – 1 ¼ cups flour
1 Tbls baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbls margarine
2/3 cup milk
The “cobbles” traditionally aren’t sweet. The idea is that when you eat it, you break the bits of bread up with your spoon and it soaks up the juice of the fruit. If you want more sugar, it won’t hurt to add a bit of sugar to the dry ingredients.
Mix dry ingredients. Cut in margarine until it’s pretty much homogenous. Stir in milk. It will form a wet sticky somewhat loose dough.
Drop dough by large spoonfuls on top of the berries in the pan. Don’t try to spread it for complete coverage. Think of the dough like it’s dumplings in a berry stew.
Bake 35 mins in 350 preheated oven — or until dough starts to brown.
The dough on top will help hold the heat in, and the cobbler will “set” a bit as it cools, so it’s best to leave it out on the counter for for 15 minutes before digging in.
Cobblers are juicy. They are best served in bowls. Especially dewberry cobbler. The fruit cooks to bits, so unless you add way too much flour for thickener, it will just run all over a plate.
Cobblers, particularly peach, are favorite desserts for dinner-on-the-grounds or summer cookouts, but they’re always runny and really aren’t suited to plates. If you must use disposable plates, styrofoam with a raised lip around the edge is best. Cobblers are often served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. Another reason for serving in a bowl. 😀 If serving with Ice Cream and if you live within the distribution area for Bluebell Ice Cream, Natural Vanilla Bean would be my choice to go with this.
If you want to do something else with the berries…and have a toaster oven, you might want to try this easy fruit crumble. If you want to read more about my adventures picking and domesticating dewberries, check out the post I wrote last year on my author blog, Idleness.