Blackberry season is almost upon us and I am more than usually excited for it. I seldom can summon the gumption to harvest most of the other local berries that ripen throughout the summer. Although I always sample any of the huckleberries, salal berries, thimble berries and salmon berries while hiking the trails in and near my city I never seems to make a point of grabbing enough to really play with them in my kitchen. Blackberries are different though. Sometime in the next few weeks there will be a steady flow of blackberry themed goodies flowing through these parts.
I can never bring myself to buy blackberries since picking them myself is better in every conceivable way. One of the things that make blackberries so easy to harvest is the fact that they are bloody everywhere. Almost all of the blackberries in my area are an invasive and non-native species. They have done incredibly well for themselves and tend to take over any area they grow in. So really, by picking as many berries as you can you are helping prevent them from spreading and thus are helping the native plant life out. It’s environmentalism through deliciousness. I have my favourite place to forage in a quiet place where my dog can run and berry bushes abound.
I have many plans for my berry harvest this year. There will be much baking, of course, but I want to try some savoury applications as well. Pork, in particular, I feel would compliment the natural sweetness of the berry.
Meanwhile, let’s have dessert first. Blackberry pie would be tasty, but I think I’m in the mood for a cobbler. It’s an appropriate way to start with as cobbler was the very first thing I started baking as a kid. This recipe is super easy and you can even pretend it’s healthy because of all the fruit. Blackberries on their own get too soft when cooked to make for a truly great
dessert, but you know what else is in season now? Peaches! It may come as no surprise that I’m a big fan of fresh and local ingredients.
Here we go…
- 4 Cups Berries/Fruit
- ¼ Cup Sugar
- 1 Tbs Cornstarch
- Zest of 2 Limes
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1 Cup Flour
- ½ Cup Sugar
- ½ Cup Toasted Coconut
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- ¼ Tsp Baking Soda
- ¼ tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ Cup Melted Butter
- ½ Cup Buttermilk (or milk with about 1 ½ tsp lemon Juice)
Mix together the cornstarch and sugar in a medium saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 min. Pour into a largish baking dish.
While the filling is cooking, combine the dry ingredients then add the wet. Mix together and spoon over the filling. Bake at 350° for 20-30 min.