Peach Blackberry Cobbler

This summer has been pretty near perfect.  Hot weather.  Plants that easily offer up their bounty.  Happy, butterscotch-colored children and swimming pools and sprinklers .  Now, as school supply ads pop up, we realize (again) how quickly this season will end. We try to stretch August out, but only hurry it along.  This recipe—Peach Blackberry Cobbler—slows us down, helping us to savor the last bit of summer vacation.

Red Haven Peaches and local blackberries are what these weeks taste like.  Juicy, sweet—and fleeting.  Of course, both are good all by themselves.  Red Havens are known for their peach flavor.  They are free stone too, which means the flesh pulls right away from the pit, making them easy to eat or to slice.   Blackberries also define the wide summers of childhood for many of us, and while you still might be able to find thorny tangles of your own to pick from, you will appreciate the convenience of being able to grab a at pint (injury free) at the market.  Blackberries and Peaches, available for such a short time, combine to make an absolutely heavenly cobbler.

The beauty of a cobbler is in its name; “cobbler” means cobbled together—something you can pull off quickly from the ingredients you have on hand.  Like our near perfect summer, it is a dessert of impulse.  Still, it showcases the flavor of summer fruit like nothing else that I know.  We eat it out-of-the-oven after dinner with a scoop of ice cream and warmed up again for breakfast with a drizzle of milk.  We call relatives (who appear almost immediately) to let them know it’s here and to invite them for a taste.  We pull bits of the biscuit topping off as it sits in the fridge and dip our fingers into the syrupy fruit.

I promise you—this Peach Blackberry Cobbler adapted from a simple Betty Crocker recipe might be one of the most delicious things you eat all summer.  And, like summer, you’ll want to make it last.

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the fruit:

1 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
½ t. cinnamon
About 8 cups of peaches (I think I used 11)
Juice from ½ a lemon
A pint of blackberries

For the biscuit topping:

6 T. shortening
2 c. flour
2 T. sugar
3 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 c. milk

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, with the rack in the middle.

Peel, pit and chunk your peaches.  Don’t worry about being too exact with the amount of fruit you use.  I honestly don’t measure it out, but tend to use more rather than less.  Sprinkle the peaches with lemon juice so that they don’t brown and set them aside.

In a saucepan, wisk together the cornstarch, sugar, and cinnamon. Mix in your peaches and cook them over medium heat, stirring often.  Once they come to a boil, cook about one minute longer, stirring constantly.

Put your stewed peaches into a large casserole dish.  My cobbler dish is also the baking pan that I use for lasagna.  It’s deep and close to 9×11.  Sprinkle your uncooked blackberries over the peaches.   By not stewing them, they won’t turn the entire dish purple and the blackberries will sort of hold their shape.  Put the fruit into the oven to keep it warm.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.  Cut in the shortening, using a pastry blender or two knives.  Stir in the milk.  Take the fruit back out of the oven, and drop spoonfuls of the biscuit dough on top.

Bake the cobbler for about 25 minutes or until the biscuit topping is golden brown. Watch it at the end so that it doesn’t burn.

Serve warm—ice cream optional but recommended—and enjoy every last bite.

See you at the market!

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