“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.”
― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
There’s something magical about feeling the sun soak into your skin after what seems like nine months of rain. Having attended a college in Oregon for the past four years, I have developed a complicated relationship with the rain. From about the end of September to the beginning of May the Oregon sky is a downy gray and soaked with heavy rain drops. The grass is perpetually squishy and the puddles which line the sidewalks slowly morph into ponds. Having grown up in Colorado, where it’s sunny more often than not, Oregon weather was a shock. This is not to say that it doesn’t have its upsides–every plant is the most brilliant emerald green and the spring blooms lush and vibrant–but I think I will always prefer Colorado.
When I got back for the summer I not only basked in the warm sunlight, but I also began greedily devouring all of the berries I could get my hands on. I love seeing raspberries and strawberries in the grocery stores with their bright red flesh gleaming. In the summer here the berries get bigger and become more fragrant; the first sniff of perfectly ripe raspberries instantly makes my mouth water. Usually in the summer I always find some way to bake with the fresh berries I cannot help but buy on our weekly trips to the store.
This particular recipe came about from a request I got to bake something with berries and a soft and crumbly bread-like topping. I immediately thought of cobbler, which I hadn’t made in a long time. I love this recipe because the spices and lemon in the filling really make the flavor of the berries explode in your mouth with the perfect mixture of tart and sweet.
The topping is fluffy and sweet, and highly addicting in my opinion. I think it’s perfect right out of the oven with vanilla bean ice cream melting over the top of it. If you can manage to keep yourself and any others you make it for out of it long enough to make it to the morning, it’s perfect with a splash of heavy cream and is an easily justifiable breakfast. But again, that’s if it makes it until the next morning, which tougher than it sounds. Another reason I like this recipe is because I didn’t have to adjust it at all for the high altitude that I live at; the topping rose just fine without any of the usual trouble I have.
Mixed Berry Cobbler
Recipe adapted from Red Truck Bakery’s Berry Cobbler
Serves 8 to 10 people
Double the recipe if using a larger lasagna-size rectangular baking pan.
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2½ tablespoons sugar
1¾ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
5 cups mixed berries (I used raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries but you can use whatever you like best)
½ cup sugar
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
½ tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Make the dough: Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium-size bowl. Then, using a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into flour mixture. Or you can use your hands. For that technique, just gather some of the flour into your hands along with some of the pieces of butter and squeeze. Let it fall back into the bowl and then repeat the process until you have clusters of dough that are slightly larger than pea-sized. Add heavy cream or milk and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture resembles slightly wet biscuit dough. Set aside.
3) Combine the fruit filling ingredients together in a bowl and stir together with a wooden spoon.
4) Lightly spray a 9-inch metal pie pan or oven-safe baking pan with nonstick spray, such as Pam. Spoon in fruit mixture.
5) Using a large spoon or your fingers, drop big chunks of cobbler dough on top, covering evenly. Don’t worry if it looks like there’s not enough dough to completely cover the fruit; the dough expands when baking.
6) Brush the cobbler topping with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar, and bake until the top is golden brown and fruit mix is bubbling, about 45 to 50 minutes.