Thursday, September 27, 2012

Easy and Delicious Berry Cobbler

Contrary to popular belief we do cook at home. Granted our meals have become simplified as of late, and are at times spread apart in between way too many meals eaten out. With the abundance of summer vegetables we tend to cook foods that are available seasonally (cheap) and try to make dishes containing what we've grown ourselves. And because I have been completely lazy with chopping vegetables I tend to lean towards making sweets as my main contribution to a meal (especially since Mike doesn't bake sweets much). We'll leave the savory cooking to him.

So one lazy weekend afternoon I decided to use up the tubs of frozen pitted cherries and raspberries we've been keeping in the freezer for over a year now and make one of our favorite desserts, a berry cobbler. I'm not a big fan of fruit crumbles (I don't like oats as a topping), but immediately fell in love with this cookie topped fruit cobbler and have been making it ever since. I've modified the recipe to make it as fuss free and easy as possible.

Living in the Pacific NW, it is easy to get your hands on buckets of berries for super cheap, if not free, such as with our raspberries, which our small patch provided an incredible abundance this year. The cherries came from our annual Hood River picking trip. This year's blueberries went to jam and we completely ran out of time to pick what was probably a stellar blackberry year. Start with a bunch of fresh berries.

Frozen Berries

Rinse and combine 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of granulated tapioca. Basically you're making a pie filling (follow those directions if they are on the box). I added half the amount of sugar because the cookie topping adds a lot of sugar and I like my fruit to remain tart. Combine and set aside to allow it to thicken.

Tapico and Berries

Next make a batch of your favorite snickerdoodle or sugar cookie recipe. I like the one out of my handy dandy Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book. The recipe is for their snickerdoodle cookie and includes all the basic ingredients I always have around, flour, sugar, butter, baking soda, cinnamon, an egg and vanilla extract.

Ready to make the cookie dough

I combine the cinnamon into the dough and skip the part about rolling into small ball sizes and rolling in a cinnamon/sugar mixture before baking. I do place the dough in the fridge for up to an hour to firm up.

Sugar Cookie Dough

In the meantime the fruit should be firming up and become jelly like. If still runny just toss in the fridge until it is a semi-soft giggly consistency like pie filling. Then place in a round tall baking dish

Berry Filling

When the sugar cookie dough is hard enough to handle without sticking to your hands break off large chunks on top of the fruit in large hap-hazard pieces. What makes this so good is some of the half baked pieces of dough act like a gooey cookie mixed in with fully baked ones.

Berry Cobbler ready for baking

Bake at 350° F until the fruit starts to bubble out in between the cookie pieces or until the top is baked through.

Baked Berry Cobbler

When you cut into this and scoop out a bowl full the cinnamon sugar cookie top mixed in with the sweet tart fruit makes for such a delicious combo. We like to top ours with tart homemade yogurt, but ice cream works well too. The yogurt brings a creamy tangy flavor that just works perfectly with the cookie and berries. The best part is with almost too many berries to eat at one time there's plenty of reason to keep picking well after you've picked enough for a pie or two just so you can freeze them and make this in the middle of winter. Enjoy!

Berry Cobbler

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