Bourbon Blackberry Cobbler (with cornmeal crust!)

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Last night I wanted to make an extra special dinner to celebrate my husband’s first shift in his new job. While I often joke that my Colorado mountain man had to marry a Southern girl for the cookin’, the truth is, I didn’t cook that much until about a year after our marriage. Since then it’s become a major hobby, and I can now improvise my own recipes, which is super fun, like my own imaginary iron chef challenge. I improvised this cobbler recipe based on several recipes that I know and love, and it would work well with peaches or mixed berries, too. Bourbon and peach are actually a favorite flavor combo of mine– one I use in my famous summer boozy popsicles. Feel free to skip the bourbon portion of the recipe altogether, if booze isn’t your thing, but do know that it’s really just a warm, sweet accent to the warm, sweet fruit, not a boozy punch in the mouth.

Bourbon Blackberry Cobbler (with cornmeal crust!)

Filling:

  • 2 qts Blackberries (or fruit of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 T butter

Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 T sugar
  • 9 T (one stick plus one tablespoon) butter, very cold
  • Several tablespoons ice water

Preheat oven to 425.

To make the filling, combine all ingredients but the butter in a large bowl and toss to coat evenly. Set aside.

To make the crust, using a food processor, pulse together flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar. Then add the pats of butter and pulse until the butter pieces are pea-sized. Then drizzle the ice water through the spout of the processor while pulsing until the dough begins to form a ball. I tend to overdo it with the water because I’m scared the dough won’t hold together, so I find it works better to pulse a few times in between drizzles to give it a chance to really mix.

Now, here you have an option. Some folks might like this more like a pie, with a bottom crust, rolled out and folded over. If you want to roll out your crust, form dough into a disc and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more before rolling out on a floured surface to 1/4 in. thickness, draping over a 2-qt pie pan or baking dish, filling with the fruit mixture which is then topped with the reserved 4 tablespoons of butter, and then folding over the edges of the crust over top of the fruit.

Other folks (ahem, yours truly) prefer the quickest route to Cobbler Town. What I do is pour my fruit mixture into my baking dish (I used a square Pyrex, but sometimes I do individual mini cobblers in ramekins), topping it with the butter, and then taking handfuls of my dough, flattening them with my hands to about 1/4 in. thickness, and cobbling together a crust to cover the filling. No refrigerating the dough necessary.

Whichever crust method you choose, place the now full of cobbler baking dish on a cookie sheet to catch any overflow, and bake at 425 until bubbling and golden brown, 45 minutes or so. Serve warm with ice cream on top.

 

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