Poetry from the oven

June 19, 2015

Lives there a man with soul so dead,

Who never to himself has said,

“Oh, Dear Sweet Baby Jesus, it’s a blackberry cobbler!”

(With apologies to Sir Walter Scott….)

Heaven.  Fresh from the oven, still bubbling, heaven.

Heaven. Fresh from the oven, still bubbling, heaven.

I know you’ve read this on these posts before, but….

It just don’t get no better’n this!

“This” is a blackberry cobbler. It is the be-all and end-all of desserts. It is a small piece of heaven come down to earth to rest in your dessert dish, topped, if you are fortunate, with a scoop of Yarnell’s French Vanilla ice cream.

My father, God rest his soul, always swore that the first foods I ever asked for were “hot dogs and blackberry pie.” And while I’ve somewhere along the way mostly lost the taste for the hot dogs, blackberry cobbler remains firmly atop the pie pantheon. Possibly atop the entire food pantheon, though it’s hard to rank it against, say, fried okra or creamed corn or shrimp.

It’s blackberry season.

There is little that is simpler to make than blackberry cobbler, particularly if you make it the way I do, with traditional pie crust dumplings. Because? I use those Pillsbury rolled pie crusts you get in the dairy case, because they’re as good as mine and a lot quicker.

I am not a devotee of the biscuit-crust or soft-fluffy crust blackberry cobbler, many of which are made with cake mix or a batter of that consistency, or with balls of biscuit dough. No, they must be pie crust dumplings and top crust — flour, salt, fat and ice water, blended just so, rolled out, cut in strips. Use two crusts, cut one to fit the top of an 8 x 8 baking dish, use the trimmngs and cut up the other crust into dumplings. You can do that while your blackberries, of which you have put three or four cups, along with a cup of sugar and about 1/4 cup of water, on the stove. Where you should keep an eye on it, because it can bubble up and boil over in a second, making a most tremendous mess on your stovetop. They need to simmer for about 5 minutes.

(Oddly, I DO like the soft-fluffy crust with peach cobbler. Go figger. And peaches are coming in, too.)

While they’re simmering, scatter the dumplings  in the bottom of your dish. Spoon the berries over them. Lay the crust over the top, and sprinkle it with another tablespoon of sugar. If you want to get fancy, you can brush the top crust with melted butter before you sprinkle.

Bake it for about 20 minutes at 350, long enough to get the crust golden brown. If you can stand to, let it cool for about 10 minutes, then top it with ice cream.

I’m promising you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em: There ain’t nothin’ no  better.

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