Ever since we moved to Seattle, I have been eagerly waiting for the Blackberries every year and I pick pounds of them from various parks and trails. This is something I missed doing back in Australia. Even though we had plenty of wild blackberries growing around where I lived, the council used to spray them with poison (to poison foxed who are considered a threat to native animals and livestock like sheep, chickens). So we never even looked at them and had to be extra careful to not let our dog eat them.
So you can imagine my frustration, lol. Here is Seattle, I could finally unleash my desires and pick berries to my hearts content. What I like most about the wild blackberries is that they are firmer and tangier than the store bought ones. This makes them perfect to be used in baking recipes like cobblers, crumbles and crisps.
What other berries or fruit can you use?
You can use any berry like raspberries or strawberries. Stone fruit work too. Some of may favorite are plums, peaches and apricots.
The best part of this cobbler for me, is the biscuit/cake topping. It is crispy on the outside and fudgy & caky on the inside. It’s got a hint of malt like flavor and smells great while baking. The secret ingredient to this remarkable topping is the #sponsored Lifewaykefir Cultured Oat Milk.
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What is cultured oat milk
Lifewaykefir now has a dairy-free option. Their cultured Oat milk is great as a drink on it’s own but it is amazing in bakes and desserts. Specially if you want a dairy-free option. Its organic Oat milk but fermented or cultured using good bacteria. The texture is similar to buttermilk but it’s got a subtle malt like flavor from the oats which does wanders in bakes. This product is great when you wan to make your bake more wholesome.
The size of the baking dish will determine the thickness of the bake. If it is smaller the biscuit later will be thicker and may need longer baking time. use any of the following sizes or similar one in size.
14 by 9.5 by 2.2 oval is what I am using.
9 by 5 rectangular – thicker laters
8 by 8 square – thicker layers
This is a simple bake and pretty foolproof. If you follow the instructions, it’s hard to mess up this recipe. So here are the steps. The one this to be mindful is to not over mix the batter so you’d get a nice airy crumbly topping.
Place a rack in the center and preheat the oven to 375 °F beforehand.
Wash the berries and remove any stems and row ones. pat them dry to remove any excess water. The sugar and corn flour will help thicken the berry mixture while baking.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar and then add the cold butter cubes. Rub together using your fingers until it presents ‘panko’ bread crumbs. You can also use a pastry cutter or a food processor if you have one.
This is similar to the process of making scones/ biscuits if you have ever made them. But no problem if you haven’t.
Add 1/2 of the cold cultured Oat milk and fold (mix gently). Add the remaining 1/2 a bit at a time and fold until you get a thick lumpy batter like shown in the picture. If you think the batter is getting too thick, stop adding anymore milk.
Do not over mix. It’s okay to have lumps and the batter should be scoop-able and not runny.
Toss the berries in sugar and cornflour and add the lemon zest.
Spread 2 tbsp butter in a baking dish and spread the berries.
Scoop the thick topping on the berries. It is okay to have gaps. When baking, the topping will spread slightly.
This is how it should look like. It is okay to have gaps.
Sprinkle raw sugar (demerara) generously and bake in the preheated oven.
At 30 minutes, check if the topping is browning too much. If so, cover with a foil and continue to bake.
Check the doneness by inserting a toothpick or cake tester into the topping.
Once baked and the top is golden brown, remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly.
Serve warm with ice cream
How to serve
This bake is best served on the same day of baking. The topping is best when crispy. The slightly warm jammy center goes well with cold ice cream. For a healthier version, replace ice cream with greek yogurt or labneh. This cobbler is great on it’s own too.
So yes, this is a great crowd pleaser but what if you are like me, just not enough people to finish this in one sitting. The good news is this can be stored. First let the cobbler cool completely. Then tightly wrap the dish so that it is air-tight. Place in the fridge. I found that the topping remained solid and did not go soggy at all. Re-heat in a moderate oven to serve.
Yes you can make this for two or one. The topping batter can be stored in the fridge. Simply place some berry mixer in a ramekin or a smaller baking dish, place a scoop or two of topping and bake. Smaller sizes will baker faster so keep an eye.
Make this dairy-free (or even vegan)
Use vegan butter or spread in place of butter and you just have a nice dairy-free dessert. Bonus! It is also vegan!