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June 10, 2011

Blackberries 2011!

Being away from my home for a good chunk of the spring, housesitting, visiting parents, and just plain working, I thought I'd missed berry season completely by May. But the blackberries waited for me! Here's the first colander of fruit I picked at the end of May.

The berries have been literally dripping off the branches from my neglect, overripe and extra-sweet. I've been freezing them and planning a cobbler for 4th of July. Last year I made a cobbler from a box mix and added my own fruit for extra flavor. It was fast and good but this summer I'm anticipating something made from scratch. I was planning to do a web search for just the right recipe, when I came across this article from Summer Living with a wide selection of 12 Crazy Good Fruit Cobblers.

Tonight I tried the Easy Blackberry Cobbler recipe from MyRecipes, published in the July 2008 issue of Southern Living. The fruit bubbled up tantalizingly through the sweet, crunchy crumb topping. The next one I want to try is this cobbler recipe with Sugared Star Shortcakes. I like the idea of using biscuit dough to make a shortcake sandwich.

Easy Blackberry Cobbler

  • YIELD: Makes 6 servings
  • COURSE: Desserts, Pies/Pastries
  • 4 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Garnish: fresh mint sprig
  • Preheat oven to 375°. Place blackberries in a lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish; sprinkle with lemon juice. Stir together egg, sugar, and flour in a medium bowl until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle over fruit. Drizzle melted butter over topping. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired. Garnish with fresh mint sprig, if desired.
  • For a neat presentation, bake for the same amount of time in 6 (8-oz.) ramekins on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
The blackberries have been entertaining me in one more way--Claire, my 6 lb dog, loves them! She bounds to a private corner to protect her treat when I hand one over, then bounds right back to me for another after eating one up in one gulp. And because of the thorns, I've had to put the "cone of shame" on her when I leave for work, hoping that a wider head will prevent her from nuzzling into the bushy vines looking for more. I still come home at night to berry juice on white fur, and tons of scratches on her underbelly!

I've planted the berries in a raised bed, and trained them to weave through a fence, but Claire still searches them out. How do you keep pets out of your garden? Please leave comments on this post. And let me know if you have a favorite cobbler or berry recipe too!

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