Some people love Strawberries, some love Blueberries, many love Raspberries, but me… I’m a Blackberry girl.
When I was a little girl my grandparents planted a few blackberry bushes in their backyard. I can vividly remember my grandmother taking me outside to pick blackberries. That was a big mistake because I was in love with these delicious little berries at first bite. I mean come on a blackberry that has been ripening in the warm Texas sun? Could it get better? My grandparents never got a successful blackberry crop after that because I would go out there several times a day in summer to eat the berries straight off the bushes. Funny enough my Papa started putting nets over their blackberry bushes to try to keep the birds out. Umm sorry about that Mayme and Papa… It wasn’t the birds.
Last year I planted 3 blackberry bushes of my own and I caught myself (at 30) doing the same thing I did as a child. Needless to say the berries last year never made it into the house. This year however, I’ve had a bumper crop of berries and while most of them have not made in inside yesterday evening they did. I had been gone for a 3-day weekend and I just knew all of my beloved blackberries would be gone, due to birds (ironic I know). Thankfully my trusty Golden Retriever (named Miley) played the roll of garden guard dog and kept the birds away.
I came home to more blackberries than I could eat. 5 cups to be exact which leaves me with only one thing to do today. Make a Blackberry Cobbler.
My grandmother, Mrs. Bessie McKeown Long or Mayme to me, makes the best cobbler’s in the world. Mayme’s Peach Cobbler is truly a thing of beauty and something people in the McKeown family fight over. At big family get togethers dessert first is just the way it’s done, because if you wait until after dinner Mayme’s Peach Cobbler will be gone.
There are two things that make Mayme’s Cobbler’s the best, the crust and the dumplings. Oh yes I said DUMPLINGS. So many cobbler recipes I’ve seen in recent years are nothing like this and they have some type of batter poured over the top of the Peaches or in today’s case the blackberries and dumplings are unheard of. It makes me sad, the dumplings are my favorite part.
I live in Parker County Texas and we are known across the state for our delicious Peaches. This year will be the 30th Anniversary of the Parker County Peach Festival, on July 12th 8-5 in the historic downtown Weatherford Square. Come and check it out.
But since it is not quite peach season yet and I’ve got a good bunch of blackberries today I’m making blackberry cobbler. Which is basically my Mayme’s recipe but with 5 cups of blackberries instead of 4 cups of peaches.
Finally just remember one thing when making cobbler, this is a “rustic” Texas dessert and it is not supposed to look be perfect. Don’t worry what it might lack in good looks, it makes up for it in personality.
Texas Blackberry Cobbler
5 cups fresh Blackberries
3½ Cups Water
1½ Cups Sugar
4 Tablespoons Butter
2/3 Cup Shortening
2 Cups Flour
½ Teaspoon Salt
½ Cup Ice Water
Pre-Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Put the blackberries in a large saucepan and cover with 3½ cups of water. Bring to a boil then add the sugar and butter. Lower the heat and continue to cook. While the blackberries cook, make the crust. Cut the shortening, into the flour and salt. Add ice water and form a ball. Divide the dough in half. Wrap half the dough in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator. On a liberally floured surface, roll the other half of the dough into a thin sheet about the thickness of a pie crust. Cut into roughly 2×2 inch dumplings and drop into the boiling blackberries one at a time. Let simmer while making the top crust. Roll the second half of the dough into a crust for the top of the cobbler approximately 9×13, don’t make it perfect. Cobblers are not meant to be perfect. Rub the top of the crust with a little butter and sprinkle with sugar. Slash a few vents in the top crust. Pour the blackberry and dumpling mixture in to a 9×13-baking pan. Carefully place the top crust over the cobbler. The top crust does not have to reach all the corners of the pan. Remember not perfect.
Bake at 350 degrees approximately 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
Enjoy with a scoop of Blue Bell Vanilla ice cream and family!