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Mixed Berry Cobbler

July 22, 2011

I cannot walk through the farmer’s market without picking up a pint or two of berries.  Why is that??  I used to never eat berries and I do mean unequivocally never ate them: no strawberry shortcake, no blueberry pancakes, and definitely no raspberry jam.  Now I am completely helpless to pass them up and make shortcake on a weekly basis!  Oh my, how things have changed.  I can hear my college roommate laughing now…

I decided I’d mix it up this week and, rather than my usual shortcake, I’d make a cobbler.  Hopefully some of you still might be enjoying fresh summer berries wherever you live and will be able to try this recipe yourselves.  Fresh blackberries are by far my favorite so I decided to do a blackberry/strawberry combination.  Can you really go wrong with more than one kind of berry?  I think not!  I thought I would put my dough making abilities to the test and chose a recipe with a nut-infused crust and pretty lattice work.  I should offer up a disclaimer that I’ve never made a pie before, let alone a cobbler, so my lattice work is amateur at best.  We all have to start somewhere!

Mixed Berry Cobbler
Yields: 12 Servings (about 2/3 cup)

1 cup Granulated sugar divided
6 tablespoons Butter softened
1 large Egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole almonds (toasted)
6 ounces All purpose flour (about 1 1/3 cups)
1/4 teaspoon Baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
3 tablespoons Ice water
10 cup Fresh blackberries, strawberries and/or raspberries (about 5 [12-ounce] packages)
3 tablespoons Cornstarch
1 tablespoon Fresh lemon juice
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar

1. Place 1/3 cup granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer until combined (about 1 minute). Add egg yolk, beating well. Stir in vanilla.
2. Place almonds in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until finely ground. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine nuts, flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add nut mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until a soft dough forms, adding 3 tablespoons ice water, as necessary. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 6 times or until smooth. Divide dough into 2 equal portions; wrap each portion in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour or until firm.
3. Preheat oven to 375°.
4. Combine the remaining 2/3 cup granulated sugar, berries, cornstarch, and lemon juice; toss gently. Arrange berry mixture in a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
5. Unwrap dough. Roll each dough portion into a 13 x 9-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Cut one rectangle, crosswise, into (1-inch-wide) strips. Cut remaining rectangle, lengthwise, into (1-inch-wide) strips. Arrange strips in a lattice pattern over fruit mixture; sprinkle dough with turbinado sugar. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until golden. Let stand 10 minutes.

Kate’s Thoughts

I found the cobbler to be a little sweet, so I would recommend scaling the sugar you mix with berries to fit your tastes.  If the berries you are using are a little sour, the recommended sugar should be perfect.  If they are sweet enough as is, I would scale down the sugar, but it is really a matter of personal preference.

I loved the texture the almonds provided the dough and found the dough came together quite easily.  I still do not have a food scale, which is silly for as often as I bake, so my measurement of the flour would be slightly imprecise using measuring cups rather than true weight.  Incorporating the ice water to create the right consistency of the dough was a great tip and I will definitely keep it in mind for the future.  Do not overwork the dough and only knead it until it is smooth, otherwise you will end up of with a tough, chewy crust.

Also, I had never heard of turbinado sugar and didn’t take the time to look it up, so I went ahead and sprinkled regular granulated sugar on top.  I thought the dough still tasted fabulous, but, for your own knowledge, turbinado sugar is a form of natural brown sugar.  It is often labeled sugar in the raw and is sold at most grocery stores.  You can also find turbinado in the organics section.

 

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