Friday, August 19, 2011

Blackberries: Worth the pain

Berry Tart Baby Hat (and pattern!) found here
In the Pacific Northwest, one thing we have a lot of is blackberry vines.  11 months out of the year, one thing locals want less of is...blackberry vines.  August is the one glorious month were we love our spiky, invasive, almost-impossible-to-get-rid blackberry vines, because the blackberries are ripe and pickable.

The other day I was out in the park with my girls, and I made them come back home with me, so I could get a bucket to bring berries home in.  Granted, it's been a chilly summer around here (apologies to the rest of the country, who have been sweltering!), so they're really just starting to ripen.  Maybe one berry in a dozen was the dark, almost black, purple.  It's amazing how quickly you remember how a ripe blackberry feels.  The slightest touch and you can tell whether to pull or let go...unless you're two.  #4 kept running up, excited to drop her contribution in the bucket...but they were invariably green.

I was all set to start this lovely Blackberry Cobbler recipe I found on Betty Crocker, but it called for 2 1/2 cups of blackberries, and I had just under two cups.  No problem, just pick more!  (Yet another reason I love blackberry season.)  This time, I was better prepared.  After the nicks, scratches and itchy rash (turns out I'm allergic to blackberry thorns...who knew?) I knew to wear jeans, shoes (rather than sandals), a long sleeve sweatshirt and gloves...but here is where I got really clever. I took an old pair of leather work gloves, and cut the tip of the thumb and one finger off of each glove.  That way I was protected from thorns, but I could still grasp the berries.

Here is the recipe, with my usual slight adjustments:

Fresh Blackberry Cobbler

2 1/2 cups fresh blackberries

1 cup sugar(although I think it could have been a little less, maybe 3/4 cup)
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
Cream, whipped cream or ice cream, if desired (I skipped it, it was still fantastic!)
In a medium bowl, mix berries and sugar.Let sit for 20 mins, or until fruit syrup forms.
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, milk, baking soda and salt.
Gently stir in melted butter.
Spread in ungreased 8" square pan, or 9" pie pan...because that's what I had!

Spoon berry mixture over batter.; (They don't mention it on Betty's website, but don't put the berries too close to the edge!; The berries and juice make the crust sticky.)
Bake 45 to 55 minutes, or until dough rises and is golden brown.

All together now...


I honestly wasn't sure how this would go over with the littles, but...

1 comment:

  1. Looks delicious! I better put on my jeans and boots and get picking!