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Kentucky Blackberry Cobbler Recipe

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Kentucky Blackberry Cobbler is a quintessential Southern dessert that embodies the spirit of Kentucky’s culinary traditions. This dish, with its roots deeply embedded in the region’s history, is a celebration of the local harvest, specifically the blackberry season that peaks in the warmth of summer. The cobbler’s popularity stretches back generations, serving as a staple at family gatherings, community events, and Sunday dinners. Its appeal lies in its simplicity, a rustic yet utterly delicious combination of ripe blackberries and a fluffy, golden-brown biscuit topping. The dessert not only showcases the natural sweetness and tartness of Kentucky’s blackberries but also reflects the state’s hospitality and warmth. The Kentucky Blackberry Cobbler is more than just a dessert; it’s a piece of Kentucky’s heritage, shared from one generation to the next, evoking memories of warm summer evenings and the joy of togetherness.

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Key Ingredients

The magic of the Kentucky Blackberry Cobbler lies in its simplicity and the quality of its key ingredients:

  • Fresh blackberries: The soul of the cobbler, these berries must be ripe, juicy, and bursting with flavor. The quality and ripeness of the blackberries are crucial, as they determine the dessert’s sweetness and tartness. Kentucky’s fertile land offers an ideal environment for growing these berries, making them a local favorite for this dish.
  • Buttermilk biscuit topping: This topping differentiates the Kentucky cobbler from its counterparts. The traditional buttermilk biscuit topping, with its light, flaky texture and slight tang, perfectly complements the sweetness of the blackberries. Over the years, modern variations have emerged, incorporating ingredients like almond flour or coconut oil for dietary preferences, but the essence of the topping remains the same. Whether sticking to tradition or exploring new variations, the biscuit topping is essential for achieving the perfect balance of flavors and textures in the cobbler.

The Recipe

Preparation of Blackberries

Preparing the blackberries correctly is crucial for achieving the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness in your cobbler:

  • Begin by gently rinsing the blackberries and patting them dry.
  • Toss the berries with lemon juice and sugar to enhance their natural flavors before baking.

Making the Biscuit Topping

The biscuit topping is what sets this cobbler apart. Here’s how to make it:

  • Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and cold, diced butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Stir in buttermilk to form a soft dough, then spoon it over the blackberry mixture in the baking dish.

Assembling and Baking

Layering the ingredients correctly ensures every bite is a perfect blend of fruit and biscuit:

  • Spread the prepared blackberries in a buttered baking dish.
  • Dollop the biscuit dough evenly over the top, then bake until the fruit is tender and the topping is golden brown.

For a twist on the classic recipe, Sweet Pea’s Kitchen offers a Variation on Kentucky Blackberry Cobbler that incorporates different techniques and ingredients.

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Variations of the Recipe

The classic Kentucky Blackberry Cobbler is adaptable, allowing for variations that can accommodate different dietary needs or ingredient availability. For those without access to fresh blackberries, frozen blackberries are a viable alternative. There’s no need to thaw them before use; however, you may need to adjust the baking time slightly, as frozen berries can release more liquid.

For a gluten-free version, substitute the all-purpose flour in the biscuit topping with a gluten-free flour blend. Be sure to look for a blend that’s designed to be a 1:1 replacement for wheat flour to ensure the best results. To make the cobbler vegan, replace the butter with a plant-based alternative and use a dairy-free milk mixed with a little vinegar or lemon juice in place of buttermilk. These substitutions allow everyone to enjoy the comforting flavors of this traditional dessert, regardless of dietary restrictions.

Serving Suggestions

A warm serving of Kentucky Blackberry Cobbler is delightful on its own, but there are a few accompaniments that can elevate the dish. A scoop of vanilla ice cream is a classic choice, offering a cool, creamy contrast to the warm, tangy berries and soft biscuit topping. For a lighter option, a dollop of whipped cream or a drizzle of fresh cream can add a luxurious touch without overpowering the cobbler’s flavors.

When presenting the cobbler, consider serving it in individual bowls or ramekins for a personalized touch. Garnish with a sprig of mint or a dusting of powdered sugar for an extra hint of elegance. The key is to keep the presentation simple, letting the vibrant colors and textures of the cobbler shine.

FAQs

  • Can I use frozen blackberries instead of fresh? Yes, frozen blackberries can be used without thawing. Just be mindful of the extra liquid they may release and adjust baking time accordingly.
  • How do I prevent the cobbler from becoming too soggy? To prevent a soggy cobbler, ensure the biscuit topping is not overworked and is placed on top of the berries in dollops. This allows steam to escape and the topping to cook thoroughly, preventing it from becoming soggy.
  • Can this recipe be made gluten-free or vegan? Absolutely. For a gluten-free cobbler, use a gluten-free flour blend in place of all-purpose flour. To make it vegan, substitute the butter with a plant-based alternative and use a dairy-free milk for the buttermilk. These simple swaps make the cobbler accessible to everyone, without compromising on taste or texture.

Homemade Kentucky Blackberry Cobbler

This Kentucky Blackberry Cobbler recipe brings the essence of Southern comfort food to your table. Featuring ripe blackberries topped with a fluffy buttermilk biscuit crust, it's a simple yet delicious dessert that's perfect for any occasion. Whether you're using fresh or frozen berries, this cobbler is sure to delight everyone.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 8 Serves
Calories 350 kcal

Equipment

  • 9x13 inch baking dish
  • Mixing bowls
  • Pastry cutter or fork
  • Whisk
  • Measuring cups and spoons

Ingredients
  

For the Filling:

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

For the Biscuit Topping:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend for a GF version
  • ¼ cup sugar plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cold butter or plant-based butter for a vegan version, cubed
  • ¾ cup buttermilk or dairy-free milk + 1 tsp vinegar for a vegan version

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the Filling: Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). In a large bowl, toss blackberries with lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch. Transfer to a greased 9x13-inch baking dish.
  • Make the Biscuit Topping: In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk just until moistened. Spoon over blackberry mixture.
  • Bake: Sprinkle additional sugar over the biscuit topping. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until topping is golden and filling is bubbly. Let cool slightly before serving.
  • Serve: Enjoy warm, ideally with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

Notes

  • Frozen Berries: If using frozen blackberries, there's no need to thaw them first. However, you may need to bake the cobbler a few minutes longer.
  • Gluten-Free/Vegan Adaptations: For a gluten-free version, use a gluten-free flour blend. For a vegan version, substitute the butter with a plant-based alternative and use a dairy-free milk for the buttermilk.
  • Storage: Leftover cobbler can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.
Keyword Blackberry Dessert, Buttermilk Biscuit Topping, Comfort Food, Kentucky Blackberry Cobbler, Southern Dessert

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