Fresh Blackberry Cobbler

Where I live in the mountains of California, blackberries are like an invasive weed. Many folks spend a good portion of time each year trying to eradicate the persistent plant from their property, fighting a good battle, but eventually losing the war.

All that’s mostly forgotten around this time of year, when the blackberries are ready to harvest. Head out into the forest & you’ll find a healthy patch of blackberries growing alongside just about any dirt road or near any damp, shady spot like a creek. Berry patches cover the entrances to many old mines around here.

We like to go hiking along old logging roads. Blackberries grow abundantly along the edges of these now seldom used roads. On our return trip, we’ll pick a gallon of berries to take home. Once home, we wash & drain the berries well. What we don’t use for that night’s cobbler, we will freeze and use later.

The following is my Grandmother’s recipe for Fresh Blackberry Cobbler:

Ingredients & directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a saucepan, add:

  • 3 cup fresh or fresh frozen blackberries (washed & drained)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 cup water

Bring to a boil for about a minute or until it starts to thicken a bit, stirring constantly. Pour the hot berry mixture into a 1 – 1/2 quart baking dish. Top with bits of butter. Dust with cinnamon is desired.

Measure & sift together:

  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 – 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Add to flour mixture:

  • 3 tbsp. soft shortening

(Mix in shortening with a pastry knife or fork until the mixture has the appearance & consistency  of “meal”)

Add to flour mixture & stir until mixed:

  • 1/2 cup milk

Drop spoonfuls of the topping mixture on top of the hot berries until covered.

Bake until golden brown, about 25 – 30 minutes. Serve warm, with cream if desired.

posted by Mountain Republic                                                    recipe by Amy Chenevert

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16 thoughts on “Fresh Blackberry Cobbler

  1. OMG this is to die for. And your Grandmother – wonderful. I love cobblers. They are the best. I will make one next summer. I have oodles of blackberries on obnoxious bushes in back of me. I don’t like them off the vine but this…. Talk about how to adapt.

    I also love plum cobbler. I could substitute.

    I didn’t know you were on the left coast. I thought you were in North Carolina or something. WOW. I haven’t been to California in years. When I was in college, my family went out and my brothers and I pretended we were on Bonanza as we cantered on some old nags across the valley floor where it was filmed and the Olympics were held – Squaw Valley. I also liked Truckee. We rode up into the mountains. Beautiful. We also went above the timber line in Estes National Park, Colorado on horseback.

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    1. Can’t say I’ve ever tried a plum cobbler. I have a jar of spiced plums I need to use up. Hmmm.

      When on your Bonanza adventure, did you guys get to see the actual “Ponderosa” house? It was located near the Lake if I remember right. They closed it down a couple of years ago. They used it for outside shots for the series, but the inside shots of the house was a movie set. I used to have a photo of it. Will try to find it.

      I live in the Sierra, between Sacramento & Lake Tahoe. It’s an old gold rush town in the heart of The Mother Lode. Will email a link so you can check it out

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      1. I don’t think we saw the house. But I loved the Valley. I’ve been to Lake Tahoe and also Sacramento. A Sampson relative of ours lived there. I LOVE northern California. It is really part of the Washington State, Oregon “thing” and I think should be a separate state – can you make sure everything from Bug Sur up goes with it? LOL May have been in that ghost town. We hit a few of them.

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      1. Oh yes! Split it in 2! I was born and raised in the SF Bay Area, and lived through the drought in the 70s that was so bad. I run the water now when I brush my teeth, out of spite to make up for those rationing years. I remember using bath water to flush the potty, it was awful!

        SoCal can get their own dang water! LOL

        My granny lived in Oroville and I remember those long drives up to see her. And the dairy farms along the way! To the best of my knowledge, I still have relatives up in the Feather River area.

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        1. I remember those rationing years too. We even had “Water Police” in my town. They would drive around & look for water running down the street, follow it back to the source & issue a ticket if they could.

          Since I’m close to the source now, I take extra long hot showers with a full flow shower head, don’t have a low flow toilet in the house & water my grass even when it doesn’t need it!

          I watched a program last night called “California’s Gold” by Huell Howser. It was about the California Zephyr, a train which used to travel from Oakland to Chicago via the Feather River Canyon. It was in service from 1949 – 1970. I was lucky enough to make that trip in 1966. It’s probably one of my best childhood memories. Definitely one of the most beautiful areas in the Sierra.

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          1. They need to repair those old lines and reclaim the memories and the mode of viewing such things. I love old trains. Wish I had the money to go on all the old trains in a series they had on PBS. My paternal grandmother rode on the Orient Express as a young woman before marriage. She wrote in her journal that it was the most uncomfortable train she ever slept on. I have read where that was true.

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          2. Hey DF and MR, here near Lake Ontario, I have a tankless hot water heater. Saves energy and makes for long showers but warm up take a long time. The plumber said “at least we live in an area where water is plentiful and fairly cheap.” With the federal studies they are doing now, it won’t last long. We will be shipping it to Disney World for the water falls, etc. We have water rationing some summers. Most up here are hooked into small lakes and reservoirs. We need to take advantage of Ontario but it needs to be cleaned up much more. And then there are the Zebra Mussels that clog piping – ugh. Great to look out over it.

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            1. I thought it was “insta-hot” too! Now I’m bummed because I so wanted one of those whenever I get my dream house. We have to wait like 5 min as it is for hot water, and our apt isn’t that big.

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          3. It makes me happy to see I’m not the only one in “rebellion” still about the water rationing! LOL I recall hearing about the water cops. I lived in an apt then so wasn’t subjected to such things. But since it was an apt, we got a smaller ration. If I remember right, we got 50 or 55 gal per day.

            That train has a familiar ring to it. Maybe I learned about it in school or something, or saw museum signs when up in that area as a kid. I wish I could have taken that ride – it is lovely country, and I would have liked to have seen it from a train.

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