Posts Tagged by cobbler

Happy New Year and the 2015 Best of the Nest

happy new year

Happy New Year to all my readers, blogging buddies, family and friends! I am so grateful to have you in my life and and for your support during this third year of my blog. I appreciate you more than you could know!  Thank you!

2015 was a year of super highs and extreme lows. Like many of you, I’m ready for a fresh start, to begin anew and resolve to do some things better, differently or not at all.  It’s going to be a big year for me because I’ll turn 50 in a couple of weeks – yes, 50. Holy moly. My daughter will also graduate from grad school this year (fingers crossed!)

Acting on a kind request from a wonderful reader, I present to you – a roundup of some of the top posts on this blog, in the past year. The posts are drawn from the articles that garnered the most hits and comments. It’s really cool to take a look back to see which posts generated the most views. I had a few in mind that I thought would make the Top 10, but I was surprised to see several that I never considered. First, a couple of Honorable Mention posts who were so very close to making the list:

Strawberry Limoncello Lemonade

Inspired by an amazing trip to Italy with my daughter in 2015, this lemonade is crazy good!

Strawberry Limoncello Lemonade 1

Best Coconut Pound Cake Recipe (with Bonus Lessons!)

The Best Coconut Pound Cake

And the Top 10 Nest Full of New posts of 2015…the Best of the Nest!

10.  The Time the Pioneer Woman Was My Best Friend

This day still doesn’t even seem true in my brain. So amazing (Ree AND the cookbook!)

The Time The Pioneer Woman Was My Best Friend

9.  Fresh Peach Cobbler

I can’t even stand how amazing this cobbler is. Come on summertime!

Peach Cobbler with Cream

8.  Have a Fondue Party at Home

Why not? It’s simple, it’s fun and it’s cheese!

Fondue-Party

7. How to Make Macrame Hangers

This old school project is back and super easy!

Macrame Covered Hangers

6. Homemade Vanilla Extract

This is the best and so easy. My sister and I just started another batch of extract after we used up our supply on holiday treats.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

5. Beer Cheese Soup

This is the yummiest and most decadent soup you’ll eat this season! We’ve been enjoying it for several years (read “football seasons”) and it freezes well, too.

Beer Cheese Soup

4.  Seedless Blackberry Cobbler

Mmmm…more cobbler.

Seedless Blackberry Cobbler

3. The Amazing Burger Round-Up: 16 Fabulous Burgers

There’s no wrong time when it comes to burgers. Summer, winter, rain, wind, snow…doesn’t matter. This post offers 16 yummy burgers, plus sauces and buns.  Don’t miss my post on making the perfect Oven-Baked Fries!

Amazing-burger-round-up

2.  Happy Birthday, Mom!

This one was a surprise. What started as a little note to my Mom on her 70th birthday, has made it’s way to the number 2 spot on my top posts again this year. Moms pretty much rock, right?

Happy Birthday Mom

1. Easter Mason Jar Craft

The top post of 2015 just happens to be the most adorable Easter goodie ever! I’m a big fan of Mason jars and these little cuties were so simple and were a huge hit. Check out the companion centerpiece, too!

Easy Craft - Ball Jar

I’d like to thank you all for hanging out at the Nest this year. You’ve been so inspiring and supportive and I truly appreciate all of your input and suggestions.

I hope that 2016 brings you joy, fulfillment, health, and success. I pray that it is the year we will all act on our dreams, hopes and desires, and that the new year ushers in a more peaceful, stable era.

Happy New Year!

Seedless Blackberry Cobbler

Seedless Blackberry Cobbler

We’ve been back to our favorite local farm and picked a couple of baskets full of huge, fabulous blackberries! It seems like forever since they were last in season.

blackberry picking

We went early, it’s so hot right now, and filled two buckets before we knew it.  The berries were absolutely enormous and so sweet!

blackberry picking basket blackberry picking win

 

We ate as many as we could, froze a lot and made this yummy Seedless Blackberry Cobbler.

My grandmother always made a seedless cobbler and it’s so good. Yes, the seeds have tons of fiber, but the older I get, the less I appreciate those seeds in my teeth. I’ll get my fiber elsewhere, thank you very much.  The other key to grandma’s cobbler is topping it with cream…fresh cream…from the cow to your bowl (almost). Now, I don’t have a cow, but I do have some Bluebell Homemade Vanilla ice cream and it’s a champion substitute!

 


 Seedless Blackberry Cobbler

Filling:

4 generous cups of fresh (or frozen) blackberries

1-3/4 cups sugar (add more or less sugar to taste – we start with 1 cup, but always seem to take it somewhere between 1-1/2 and 2 cups)

4 T. flour

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

pinch of salt

3 T. cornstarch

Pastry:

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup shortening

4 tablespoons milk 

Directions:

  1. Put the blackberries in a medium sized pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let them simmer to make juice. Press on the berries with the back of a spoon periodically to release the juice.
  2. Pass the berry mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds and pulp -mashing the berries to squeeze out all the juice.  Return the juice to the pot and add the sugar, flour, butter and salt.  Whisk until well combined and free of lumps.  Bring to a slow boil.
  3. Mix the 3 tablespoons cornstarch in one third cup water and add to the boiling mixture.  Whisk until thickened and glossy. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. While the filling is cooling, prepare the cobbler pastry.
  5. Blend flour salt and shortening using a pastry cutter or a fork until it reaches a course meal texture. Add milk and knead just until blended and the dough holds together. Chill for 30 minutes.
  6. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to approximately 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick. Cut into long 1/2 inch wide strips.
  7. Pour half of the filling mixture into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Lay just under half of the pastry strips across the top of the filling.
  8. Top with remaining half of filling. Use the rest of the strips to form a lattice-type layer or simply arrange them as desired.
  9. Before baking, if desired, brush the pastry with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 t. water) and/or sprinkle of granulated sugar.
  10. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes until crust is golden and filling is bubbling.
  11. Serve warm with heavy cream,  ice cream, whipped topping or whipped cream.

 


 

blackberries

This whole process begins with extracting the juice from the berries.  After rinsing the blackberries, place them in a pot and add water just until they’re covered. Bring to a boil and mash the berries periodically with the back of a big spoon.  After 5-10 minutes (when you can really smell them, you know it’s done) pour the mixture through a sieve and press the berries to get all the juice out.

Put the juice back into the pot and add the sugar, flour, butter and salt.  At this point, the cornstarch step is optional. It will depend on the amount of juice in your berries and how thick you like your cobbler. We like it more firm – not super runny – and always add the cornstarch. However, the cobbler will set up just fine with only flour, but a little juicier.  Once everything is whisked together and pretty lump-free, set it aside to cool a bit.  This is what it looks like (with cornstarch) before baking.

Seedless Blackberry Cobbler

(Up until this point, I was so excited about the blackberries, I forgot to take pictures! Blogger fail.  So I recruited my daughter to take a few shots during the process and help me to better document everything.  Note to self – think twice before allowing your daughter free rein with the camera!)

In the meantime, get started on the pastry. Many cobblers use a drop crust or a batter that you pour into a dish and add the berries to. Those are both super good, but this one is an actual rolled dough. Wait, I see some of you clicking away now.  It’s a very simple rolled dough. It takes about 5 minutes to mix together and another couple of minutes to roll out. No worries!  The key here is not to over mix or knead the dough too much after you add the milk. Cut in the shortening, add the milk, stop.  If you’re like me, I love crust. This pastry can easily be doubled to make your cobbler heartier or even just to make two cobblers.

Cobbler Crust

Now roll. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about an 1/8 inch thickness. I roll between two pieces of waxed paper. (This is that part about the daughter and the camera…you get 145 pictures of yourself with a rolling pin – and you get teased for not using the handles.)Cobbler Crust Rolling

 

Once it’s rolled out, cut it into long strips – about a 1/2 or so in width. I like to use a pizza cutter, but a knife or regular pastry cutter work, too. (You’ll also notice that your crust will taste better if you wear some of the flour while you work!) The awkward organic shape of the dough is fine for a casual, keep-it-in-the-family cobbler, but if it’s for company or the church potluck, something that more closely resembles a rectangle will yield more uniform strips.

Cobbler Crust cutting

We’ve even used cookie cutters to make to top layer of crust on our cobbler. These hearts and butterflies were for a peach cobbler last year.

Cobbler Crust cutout

Next step – build the cobbler!

Add about half of the filling to a WELL greased, 9×13 baking dish and lay almost half of the strips across the filling. Not too close together, and it doesn’t have to be fancy. This is going to be covered with more filling.

Seedless Blackberry Cobbler 1

Cover this with the rest of the filling. Don’t you just love the color of this stuff?

Seedless Blackberry Cobbler 2

 

Top this with the rest of the pastry strips. Here is where you can get creative, or not. A traditional lattice style works nicely here, but my strips weren’t quite long enough and I just pieced them together. Pastry dough rolled into a rectangular shape and with trimmed edges will create longer and prettier strips of dough to work with. On the other hand, this part of the process is super fun for kids to help with and it won’t matter what your strips look like!

Seedless Blackberry Cobbler 3

Seedless Blackberry Cobbler 4

 

 

Before baking, if you like, you can brush the pastry with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 t. water will make it shiny and golden brown -or- just an egg white will make it crispier and a more pale color) and/or sprinkle a little granulated sugar on top.

Pop the pan in the oven for about 45 minutes and you’re in the cobbler business!  This is best served warm with heavy cream, ice cream, whipped cream, whipped topping, extra berries, whatever you like.  I like heavy cream the best, but in a pinch, ice cream is the way to go. It’s basically heavy cream when it melts anyway!

Seedless Blackberry Cobbler

 

Cobbler has always been one of our favorites. This Peach Cobbler with Blackberries is near the top of the list, too!  And, as long as you’re feeling cobbler-y, try this beautiful, traditional Peach Cobbler.