Wild & Crazy

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taken by Sequoia Collier (2006)

We live in Blackberry heaven! They are even considered a nuisance up here to some folks. I haven’t found that to be the case and could eat them all year! It’s winter so we have to settle for frozen berries, but fresh picked is the best of course, and we have a couple of great spots for that. A slow, shaded creek full of mint and other wild herbs behind our friend Ralph’s studio is the best. He’s a love and asks only one thing in return for all the berries we can pick anytime we can pick them.  A pie seems to be small payment for all that fresh fruit.  I am glad to do it.  Here is a recipe for a blackberry goody I think you might enjoy.

Cobbler

note: if you don’t have a Pastry Cutter, you can substitute it by using a pair of butter knives (one in each hand) and drawing them across each other to “scissor” the flour and butter until crumbly.  This takes about 10 minutes in fast motion to do it right.  Use a rubber mat under your bowl or it will be annoyingly wobbly, and you will chase it all over the countertop.

Basic dough:

2 1/2 C. flour

1 C. cold butter

pinch of salt

1/4 C. cold water

Add salt to flour in large bowl, (no need to sift) and cut in butter that has been cut into quarters.  Knead with hands as you add water a little at a time.  If dough becomes too sticky sprinkle a bit more flour over it.  Wrap in a slightly damp towel and chill.

Filling:

Layer a larger casserole with about 4 1/2 C. berries, (really any fruit) and a sprinkle of sugar, with small dots of butter to equal about another 1/4 C. total.  When you are done layering and sprinkling and dotting, you will have a nice full dish ready to be topped.

Some folks like a biscuit type dough for the top of their cobbler, this is more flaky pastry type.  On a floured surface roll out your dough lightly to about 1/4″ thick.  Cut in 1″ strips and make a lattice or basket weave with them over the top of the sugared fruit. Leave small spaces between the woven dough to let air out. You can leave big spaces if you like.  Sprinkle top lightly with sugar before baking.  You can also brush dough with water,  butter, or milk before the sprinkle.

Place on a baking sheet to catch spills.  Bake in a 325 degree oven for 55 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

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