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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