Skip to content

In the Beginning,There Were Blackberries (Recipe: Blackberry Cobbler)

June 23, 2012

It started with blackberries that grew by the railroad track in Geneva, Alabama  just down the street from my grandparent’s house in the Cotton Mill Village.

Blackberry Cobbler #southernfood #southern #blackberry #cobblerI spent a lot of time during the summer with my grandparents in that little southeastern Alabama town. Summer in the south means insufferable heat but it also means blackberries.

As a small child, I would pick blackberries for Granny to make cobblers, pies and jelly.  She’d arm me with a bucket and an admonition.

“Be particular for snakes, Shug.”

During the 1960s in small town America, you could get away with sending little children alone to pick blackberries next to the railroad track among snakes, chiggers and thorns the size of  nickles.  The bushes grew thick and the thorns were protective of the berries. Occasionally, a train would come  along. I would stop picking , count the cars and wave to the Engineer on the caboose.

Blackberry summers began my love affair with food that’s lasted almost six decades.  I’m not sure what part of it I actually enjoyed. Was it the freedom of being responsible enough to have a job as important as picking the berries that Granny would turn into delicious cobblers and jelly? Was it the challenge of seeing how quickly I could fill up my bucket? Or was it simply that I loved the smell of the berries as they cooked away in Granny’s little kitchen knowing what the end result would be?

One thing for sure, I learned to appreciate the connection between self-sufficiency, food and memories.  The pride I felt in bringing home a full bucket of berries joined forces with the anticipation of the goodness that was soon to come out of my Granny’s kitchen to produce one little girl who was just about to burst at the seams.  I remember the sweet, fruity winelike aroma that wafted throughout the house as Granny cooked the berries into jelly and cobblers. I thought the scratches from the thorns and the occasional chiggers were worth it all. But most of all, it was worth it hearing Granny sing her hymns. It was a happy time.  Blackberries are the one food most closely tied to my earliest, fond food memories.

Wild blackberry bushes are hard to come by now so I planted my own.

I never get tired of looking at them. Seeing blackberries ready for the picking is a gift to my sense of overall well-being. It just makes me happy.  I don’t have a railroad track running through my backyard so I can’t recreate the whole blackberry summer memory. Besides, trains no longer have cabooses and the Engineers don’t seem as friendly now.

Blackberry summers are the reason the blog Syrup and Biscuits exists.  The association I made between blackberry picking and goodness soon spread to various other southern food creations that came out of my Granny’s kitchen. At an early age, I was keenly aware of the power that was  unleashed when people shared good food.  Granny’s affinity for wanting to feed people, infected me. If there’s a cure for this infection, I hope I never find it.  The love of feeding  people is a gift from God that came by way of Granny. I felt like I needed to write about it.

Granny singing, the aroma of blackberries cooking away and the promise of cobblers and jelly. That’s what heaven will be like. Amen.

Y’all come see us!

 

Blackberry Cobbler

Having something that tastes unbelievably good that’s easy  and quick to make is a prize.  In fact, this cobbler won me a prize. A  Blue Ribbon.  No kidding.

If you’re picking blackberries (or having your granddaughter pick them down by the railroad track), then grab a handful of red ones, too.  The tartness of the red berries accentuates the flavor of the cobbler.  If you can’t get red ones, then add a tablespoon of lemon juice.

1 stick unsalted butter

4 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen without sugar

1/4 cup water

1 cups sugar

2 cups self-rising flour

2 cups milk

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, optional

cinnamon

Melt butter in 9X13  baking pan.

Place berries,  sugar and  water in a pot and bring to a quick boil. If the berries are particularly sweet, you might not need the full cup of sugar in the berry mixture.  If you’re using lemon juice instead of red berries, add it to the berry mixture.

While berries are coming to a boil,  mix 2 cups  sugar and flour in a large bowl. Add in milk and stir well until smooth.

Pour batter over melted butter.  Add hot  berry mixture to the pan.  Don’t stir. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes until mixture is bubbly and top has started to brown.  The center will be somewhat jiggly but not loose. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.  Yeah, right.  That’s a big joke. But in order for my recipe to be technically correct, I had to tell y’all to do that.

 

Blackberry Cobbler

 Blackberry Cobbler

Ingredients

  • Having something that tastes unbelievably good that’s easy and quick to make is a prize. In fact, this cobbler won me a prize. A Blue Ribbon. No kidding.
  • If you’re picking blackberries (or having your granddaughter pick them down by the railroad track), then grab a handful of red ones, too. The tartness of the red berries accentuates the flavor of the cobbler. If you can’t get red ones, then add a tablespoon of lemon juice.
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 4 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen without sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, optional
  • cinnamon

Instructions

Melt butter in 9X13 baking pan.

Place berries, sugar and water in a pot and bring to a quick boil. If the berries are particularly sweet, you might not need the full cup of sugar in the berry mixture. If you’re using lemon juice instead of red berries, add it to the berry mixture.

While berries are coming to a boil, mix 2 cups sugar and flour in a large bowl. Add in milk and stir well until smooth.

Pour batter over melted butter. Add hot berry mixture to the pan. Don’t stir. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes until mixture is bubbly and top has started to brown. The center will be somewhat jiggly but not loose. Let cool 15 minutes before serving. Yeah, right. That’s a big joke. But in order for my recipe to be technically correct, I had to tell y’all to do that.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://syrupandbiscuits.com/blackberries-recipe-blackberry-cobbler/

 

 

 

Print Friendly

If you enjoyed this post, please share it!

[sharethis]
38 Comments leave one →
  1. June 23, 2012 4:39 pm

    Your stories and recipes always seem to invoke a smile and a memory. My late father-in-law would call this “pie” even though it was cobbler. He was a railroad man, and would sometimes find them down by the tracks, bring them to me, and ask me to make him a pie. Of course I would, and we would devour it warm with scoops of vanilla ice cream. Lovely.

    • June 23, 2012 5:12 pm

      Chris,

      See! The railroad tracks are the BEST places to find berries. Thanks for reading, Chris!

  2. June 23, 2012 5:27 pm

    Yummy! You should share this recipe over @Mom’s Crazy Cooking blog. She hosts This Weeks Craving. Week of 6/25/2012 is Summer Berry Recipes (Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries)

    http://momscrazycooking.blogspot.com/p/this-weeks-cravings-info.html

    • June 23, 2012 5:58 pm

      Debra,

      Thanks! I will hop on over to Mom’s Crazy Cooking blog! I hope to see you there. :)

  3. June 23, 2012 7:31 pm

    When I was a kid it was safe to let kids out in the morning and expect that they’d be back by 3pm with an empty lunch box. I did berry picking (mostly berry eating) and blackberries were my mother’s favorite. I’m more partial to raspberries and could easily stand in a patch and eat until my fingers and face are covered in red juice.

    If there are enough berries left for a cobbler that’s a big win and this cobbler looks DEVINE!

    • June 23, 2012 8:15 pm

      Maureen,

      We used to play in the woods almost all day during the summer. Kids can’t do that today. So sad.

      I would love know approximately how many pounds of blackberries I have consumed in my life time. The ratio of eaten berries to delivered berries would probably be pretty interesting.

  4. June 23, 2012 8:31 pm

    What a sweet story. And I agree with you that some reddish ones need to be thrown in. We’re lucky to have tons of wild blackberries on our and the neighboring properties. And they appear to be just about ripe!

  5. Tom permalink
    June 24, 2012 7:16 am

    Everybody loves Cobbler..Can you OD on Blackberries? lol

  6. Jean permalink
    June 24, 2012 10:24 am

    Jackie…Daddy, mama and me would all go blackberry picking. Daddy always spotted a snake…and we always got chiggers but the rewards were worth it. Nothing any better than blackberry cobbler. I like your version of Heaven. That would suit me just fine! Amen!

    • June 24, 2012 10:30 am

      Jean,

      All those good things just have to be what heaven’s all about. Plus, I just believe there will be endless wild THORNLESS blackberry patches that are snake and chigger free. :)

  7. June 24, 2012 8:54 pm

    I’ve, sadly, never picked my own blackberries. They are my husband’s favorite and he would love to have a bush in our backyard…or at least, one of your cobblers in our kitchen. This looks fantastic :)

  8. June 25, 2012 4:18 am

    every summer when i was growing up, my grandpa and all his grandkids made black raspberry ice cream the old-fashioned way, hand-cranked with loads of coarse salt scattered all over the place. guess who was sent to pick said black raspberries–yeah, that’d be the job of the grandkids. guess who cranked the ice cream maker–again, the grandkids. guess who devoured the ice cream–EVERYONE! good memories. :)

    • June 25, 2012 7:33 am

      Grace,

      Great summer memories. Your’s include a different variety of berry than do mine! :)

  9. Ann permalink
    June 25, 2012 8:18 am

    Yum Yum, the more you talk about blackberries, the more I want to plant my own!!! I did buy some frozen ones the other day and intended to make one yesterday, but all the rain made me lazy!!! I will get right on that!!! Love your blackberry picking story – we didn’t have a railroad track but there were certainly plenty of blackberry patches to pick from and we had a special pail (that was actually an old aluminum ice bucket) to fill up in order to get a pie!

    • June 25, 2012 8:20 am

      Ann,

      You will absolutely love having blackberries growing in your backyard! I hope you plant some. :)

  10. Karen permalink
    June 25, 2012 10:47 am

    Oh yes, wonderful memories of blackberry picking at my grandparents’ farm – chiggers/red bugs (are they one and the same?) no problem; the fun I had when I happened on some especially large berries, filling my pail, and trotting happily alongside my grandmother back to the house – heaven on earth. She did have one rule for berry picking: had to wear a long-sleeved shirt regardless of the heat. But, I don’t remember the heat being an issue to me when I was a little girl ;-) Your recipe sounds wonderful!

    • June 25, 2012 11:19 am

      Karen,

      Thank you for commenting and sharing your berry pickin’ memories. Chiggers and red bugs are the same varmits.:)

  11. Sandra Lester permalink
    June 25, 2012 3:31 pm

    I think part of the fond memories came from humble beginnings. My daddy also worked at the Cotton Mill in Greenville, AL. Although we didn’t live in the Cotton Mill Village, we had friends that did and you guessed it, a railroad track ran right beside the mill. At our house we picked blackberries and since my daddy didn’t like the seeds, my mother would cook the berries, strain the juice and using day old biscuits, make what she called a juice berry pie, using sweet blackberry juice! It was the best!! I love blackberry cobbler even with the seeds!! Thanks for the memories! Nothing like an Alabama summer when we could run to the berry patch…and watch for snakes!

    • June 25, 2012 4:40 pm

      Sandra,

      Granny would cobblers out of just the juice sometimes, too. I, like you, love the seeds! That’s part of the whole blackberry experience.

      Thank you so much for sharing your Alabama blackberry Cotton Mill story! We have a lot in common!

  12. June 26, 2012 8:52 am

    Thanks for sharing! Enjoyed immensely! Here’s my take on Blackberries and summers of my youth:

    http://tsbsol.blogspot.com/2012/06/remembering-recipes-of-my-youth.html

    Enjoy at your leisure!

    • June 26, 2012 9:03 pm

      Matt,

      There’s so many wonderful memories about berry picking floating around! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  13. June 26, 2012 7:02 pm

    I love a good cobbler, especially with some fresh berries. Yum!

  14. RecipeNewZ (@RecipeNewZ) permalink
    June 26, 2012 7:56 pm

    I have to remember to get blackberries when I go berry picking. This recipe is a must try!

    • June 26, 2012 8:31 pm

      RecipeNewZ,

      I hope you’ll give this recipe a try. There’s nothing better than a Blackberry Cobbler! :)

  15. June 27, 2012 7:10 pm

    This does look blue ribbon worthy :-)

  16. virginia ann permalink
    March 7, 2013 4:30 pm

    I love fresh black berries & blackberry cobbler. I’ve also had more than my share of redbugs growing up, then about 4 years ago the little boogers come into my yard about the time I planted 5 blackberry bushes. Growing up we didn’t have blackberry bushes to pick but were blessed wit multible blueberry bushes & trees in the woods near where we lived, which is where we learned about redbugs. I wish I knew what to spray my yard with to kill them. I also have three huge blueberry bushes 7 a musadine grape vine all good ole southern berries.

  17. Nancy Keys permalink
    July 6, 2013 3:28 pm

    I have an extremely large patch of blackberry bushes in my back field around a big tree.We supply the whole neighborhood with blackberries that get almost as big as my thumb. Needless to say my freezer my freezer is full and a cobbler in the oven as I type this..

    .

Trackbacks

  1. Before It's News
  2. The Spend the Night Party(Recipe: Blackberry Syrup and Blackberry Butter) | Syrup and Biscuits
  3. Fried Okra
  4. Peachy BBQ Chicken and Cornbread Skillet
  5. Blackberry Pie with Butter Pie Crust | Syrup and Biscuits

We love hearing from you! All of your comments are held until we read them. We want to make sure that we don't miss a one of them.

%d bloggers like this: