My friend Christen and I recently went blackberry picking on a sweltering summer day. We made the best of it though, finding shade where we could and admiring ancient-looking trees on Beauchene's Berry Farm. It's a beautiful piece of land that's just a stone's throw from my house. They have neatly groomed rows of vines and that makes for the easiest pickin'!
I love to make cobbler with freshly foraged berries (second only to muffins). My favorite way to serve cobbler is in individual portions, baked in little heat-proof mugs with buttermilk drop biscuits for crust.
Here's where I differ from a lot of folks on cobbler-making. When it comes to biscuit-topped cobblers, I like to partially bake my biscuits on a baking sheet until they are just set but still pale. I take them out of the oven, brush them well with melted butter, then place them on top of the cobbler filling and bake until the biscuits turn golden.
I'm pretty picky when it comes to biscuits, and I just can't abide a doughy biscuit bottom- which can happen when the biscuit dough is dropped on top of the filling and baked. Some people prefer that doughy dumpling texture -and they prefer to make it all in one big casserole dish - so I've provided the traditional preparation instructions in addition to my own method.
These little mugs of cobbler make me feel like I've had an authentic summer! They're bursting with sweetness and the buttermilk biscuit does a good job of soaking up that beautiful magenta berry sauce. I'd urge you to try them even if you do your berry picking at the grocery store.
Blackberry Cobbler Mugs
[click for printable version]
Source: Sprinkle Bakes original recipe
Yield: eight servings when served in 6 oz. mugs
Prep: about 30 minutes total
I bake these individual cobblers in mugs, but you could also use 6 oz. ramekins. I've included instructions for a 9x13 casserole preparation as well. If you're using fresh blackberries, keep a few to the side to garnish the mugs. It makes them look nice since the berries cook down and lose their shape.
1 cup/200g granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons/17g cornstarch
8 cups/ 2 lbs fresh blackberries (or frozen, but thaw them before using)
1/4 cup/61g water
2 teaspoons/12g lemon juice
Drop buttermilk biscuits
1 cup/158g all purpose flour
2 teaspoons/8g baking powder
1/8 teaspoon/.6g baking soda
1/4 teaspoon/2g salt
4 tablespoons/61g unsalted butter, cubed and kept cold
1/2 cup/115g buttermilk, cold
1 tablespoon/20g unsalted butter, melted
- Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Preheat oven to 400F.
- For the filling, place sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan. Stir in blackberries, water and lemon juice. Place saucepan over medium-low heat and let cook while you prepare the drop biscuits.
- For the biscuits, whisk together flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender until fine crumbs form. Add the buttermilk and stir until a wet dough forms. If biscuit dough feels dry, add 1-2 additional tablespoons of buttermilk.
- Drop biscuit dough on the prepared baking sheet in heaping tablespoons, you should have eight or nine drop biscuits when all the dough is used.
- Bake for 12 minutes, or until biscuits are set but still pale. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter.
- Stir the berry filling and increase heat to medium-high. When mixture bubbles, remove from heat and divide filling evenly between eight 6 oz. mugs (about 1/2 cup filling in each mug). Place mugs on a large baking sheet with a lip (in case the filling bubbles out like mine did) and place a biscuit on top of the filling in each mug. Bake at 400F for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown.
- Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Prepare berry filling as directed above. Pour filling into a greased casserole dish (9x13-inch). Double biscuit recipe and prepare dough as directed but do not bake on a baking sheet. Drop dough by the spoonfuls over the hot berry mixture in the casserole dish. Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.