Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Blueberry Cobbler, Two Ways (And Easy Blueberry Sorbet)

Fruit cobblers are a quintessential Southern dessert, and we bake two versions. These recipes came from my mother, who learned them from my grandmother.

blueberry cobbler with blueberry sorbet

Photo: Helen Kopp

Fruit cobblers are a quintessential Southern dessert, and every Southerner knows we bake two versions.

I grew up in the Blueberry Capital of Georgia. My hometown is called Alma, and it had one red light, hundreds of dirt roads, and millions of blueberries. As a child, my lips and cheeks were perpetually purple from eating blueberries. My most dreaded punishment was to be pushed out the door with a berry bucket and a timer set for thirty minutes.

Now I live in Atlanta, but my family keeps me supplied. I recently received a huge box of blueberries! Most went into the freezer, to be made into smoothies for breakfast. But I decided to use some of the blueberries to make one of my absolute favorite childhood desserts – blueberry cobbler.

Fruit cobblers are a quintessential Southern dessert, and every Southerner knows we bake two versions. These recipes came from my mother, who learned them from my grandmother. They are the same two cobblers I remember eating in friends’, neighbors’ and family’s homes.

*Note: I replace the sugar in my baked goods with agave nectar. However, you can use sugar; simply increase your liquid by one half, and your sweetener by one third.

Blueberry Cobbler Cake

This cobbler cake is simple to make, yet so delicious!

blueberry cobbler cake

Photo: Helen Kopp

Cobbler cake reminds me of French clafoutis, because the fruit is baked into the batter. But cobbler is cakier than clafoutis, with an almost caramelized crust, and underneath, fresh fruit baked into the soft, delicately chewy cake.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons margarine
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup soymilk
  • 3/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Directions:

  1. Melt the margarine and pour into a two-quart baking dish. Add the blueberries to dish.
  2. In a separate bowl, blend the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add the milk, agave, and vanilla to form a batter, and pour over berries.
  3. Bake in a 350-degree oven for thirty minutes. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar during the last ten minutes of baking.

Blueberry Cobbler N’ Dumplings

For extra blueberry punch, I topped this luscious blueberry cobbler off with homemade blueberry sorbet, which is a cinch to make – no ice-cream maker required!

blueberry cobbler

Photo: Helen Kopp

This is a luscious cobbler, with tender dumplings simmered in sweet, deeply pigmented berries and their juice, under a flakey pastry crust.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups blueberries
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • thin flour dumplings (recipe follows)
  • a top pie crust (recipe follows)
  • a little soymilk and lemon (to glaze)
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Directions:

  1. Bring the blueberries, agave, and water to a low simmer in a broiler on until a good amount of liquid has cooked out of the berries. Drop in the dumplings, making sure they’re submerged in the juice, and simmer on low for twenty minutes.
  2. Pour the berries and dumplings into a baking dish of your choice. For a soupier dumpling cobbler, choose a deep dish. If you prefer more crust with your cobbler, choose a larger, shallower dish.
  3. Roll out the pie crust on a floured surface, and use a pastry cutter to cut into ribbons, or top the dish with one solid sheet (if using one solid sheet, be sure to cut slits with a fork). For a traditional dumpling dessert, the crust does not hang over the edges of the dish as in a pie, but instead rests on the fruit mixture, barely touching the edges of the dish. Use a pastry brush to glaze the crust with a little milk and lemon. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  4. Bake in a 350-degree oven for forty-five minutes (if your crust starts to brown too soon, cover the edges with foil – but the timing should work perfectly).

Thin Flour Dumplings

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons ice water

Blend flour and salt. Add ice water and mix with a fork until dough forms. Roll out on a floured surface as thin as you can. Cut into 1×2 inch squares.

Pastry Crust

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 6 tablespoons cold margarine
  • 6-7 tablepsoons ice water

Blend four and salt. Use fingers to quickly blend shortening and cold margarine into flour, until the margarine and shortening form tiny balls in the flour. Add ice water slowly, until dough forms. Dust with flour, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for thirty minutes or until ready to use.

Blueberry Sorbet

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Process all ingredients in the food processor until smooth. This may take a few minutes, and require occasionally scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Pour in a shallow pan and freeze. Just before serving, process again until very smooth, about five minutes.

What are your favorite blueberry recipes? Let us know in the comments!

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Helen Kopp

Helen Kopp is a writer and triathlete living in Atlanta, Georgia. She majored in English and Spanish at the University of Georgia. Her favorite things are art, food, language, running, and the ocean. Helen grew up on a small farm in rural Georgia, where she developed her appreciation for whole plant foods and simplicity. She loves sharing the healthy side of Southern cuisine with friends and family, and through her blog Why I Consume Art.

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  • Billie Ann

    You are so right Helen, cobblers are the quintessential Southern dessert. Great recipes and pictures. Can't wait to try the blueberry sorbet.

  • Adam Batsakis

    A dessert fit for a Homeric warrior's last meal.

    Salivating words and great pictures make these two recipes a “must-eat-now.”

    Thank you, Helen. I now have to go into an office meeting and explain the drool spots on my lapels are from washing my hands at neck level sinks.

  • Sarah

    Helen, I as well as Adam am now salivating! You picked a classic southern dessert – I also grew up eating both versions.

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