Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ode to Joy: Blackberry Cobbler

Joy Loved Summertime

Recipe by Joy and Robin

My dear friend Joy passed away rather suddenly early this year. Today, exactly in the middle of summer, makes me think of her. A fan of underappreciated holidays, she would have enjoyed celebrating today. Although Groundhog’s Day was her favorite day to throw a party, she did love summer, and hadn’t much use for the dark rainy days of winter. She would have loved contemplating why we celebrate mid-autumn (Halloween), mid-spring (Beltane), and even mid-winter (Groundhog’s Day) but not much is made of mid-summer. And we would have had fun exploring why summer solstice is called Midsummer, when it’s really the beginning of summer.

Spoonful of Blackberry Cobbler with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Blackberry Cobbler a la Mode
At my last home, my back yard was a tangle of blackberries. At this time of year I could barely gather them fast enough, and even the many birds in the area let some go to waste. I was bemoaning this to Joy on the phone one day and she said, “I heard a simple blackberry cobbler recipe. It only has 3 ingredients.” The original recipe called for equal amounts of butter, brown sugar, and flour. Joy admired my obsession with making recipes more healthful, so approved of my addition of oatmeal. And it's especially appropriate since the ancient grain festival called Lammas just passed.

Before Baking
This recipe uses a bit more butter than I usually use in cobblers, making it a richer dish like my dear departed friend loved. Feel free to tweak the proportions of ingredients however you like. You can eliminate the cinnamon for more focus on the berry taste. Use about ¾ - 1 cup of blackberries per person, preferably freshly gathered from a garden or rural roadside fence. Dearest Joy, wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying some “seasonal fruits” and “just desserts.” I sure miss you.

3 Blackberry Cobblers After Baking
After Baking
Joy’s Blackberry Cobbler
Serves 3

~2 1/2 cups blackberries
1 tsp. evaporated cane juice (raw sugar)
3 tbsp. butter, melted
3 tbsp. flour
2 tsp. brown sugar
4 tbsp. oatmeal
¼ tsp. cinnamon (optional)
dash of salt

Wash the berries thoroughly and remove leaves if any. Mix with raw sugar. Pile berries into 3 ramekins, pushing them down into the dish slightly to make top more or less flat.

For topping combine flour, sugar, cinnamon if using, salt, and oatmeal. Stir in melted butter. Crumble the topping by hand onto the berries. Push topping down slightly onto berries to flatten top.

Bake at 350 degrees F till bubbly, about 20 - 25 minutes. To get the full Joy experience, serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream.


  1. Thanks for posting Robin, Mom would be so proud of you! This also brings to mind her meringue that she loved so much, the Palova. I have her recipe if you would like a copy of it. Thanks again ~ Annalisa

  2. Yes, I'd love that recipe, Annalisa! I was thinking it was too bad I didn't pay more attention the details of making it!