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I have very fond childhood memories of picking blackberries with my grandfather along the road that led to our family lake house.

Now, as an adult, Jacobs and I are starting new traditions picking blackberries at his family’s farm.

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Wild Tennessee blackberries are half the size of commercially grown berries; they may be small but these tiny black-purple berries are juicy and sweet (with the occasional tart surprise).

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My grandfather’s very favorite dessert was blackberry cobbler. I’ve made it all my life. No matter if you make in a cast iron skillet, individual ramekins or in a beautiful baking dish, you must always, always, top it with homemade vanilla ice cream and enjoy it outside with family and friends.

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We’ve always made the biscuit dough topped version because the dough soaks up more berry juice than pasty does. I love the light and flakey dough atop the sweet berries.

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As it bakes and begins to bubble around the edges, the purple of the blackberries brightens.

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Serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream and you’ve got a Southern masterpiece!

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Blackberry Cobbler

Filling
1 pound fresh blackberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar (more or less depending on sweetness of berries)
1/4 cup cornstarch
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla


Dough

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and chilled
1/4 cup heavy cream

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine blackberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Pour into a 9 inch greased baking dish and set aside.

To make the dough topping, whisk together four, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour mixture until it is the texture of a coarse meal. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the heavy cream into the well and stir with a fork until the mixture comes together. Crumble the dough evenly over the top of the blackberry mixture.

Bake the cobbler for 40 minutes or until filling begins to bubble around the edges and topping is golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving and serve with vanilla ice cream.

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