I remember picking wild blackberries and many other kinds with my grandmother. She was the queen of berry cobblers and pies! Whenever she’d make blackberry cobbler she’d have some pie crust left over and would brush it with a little condensed milk, sprinkle on some sugar and cinnamon with a pinch of allspice. Then she would cut out little leaves or other shapes and bake them on a cookie sheet. She’d serve them to us kids with little bit of canned Hershey’s syrup drizzled on top as a treat. It was the only time we got to have a little bit of dessert before dinner. Probably because she knew all she to do was tell us that if we didn’t eat our dinner we couldn’t have any cobbler afterwards!
You will need between 3 and 4 pie crusts to make this family favorite. You can use your own favorite recipe, refrigerated pie pastry crusts purchased from the store, or see my blog on pie crusts.
Clean and drain your berries. You can do this the day before and spread them out on modern day paper towels rather than “old cup towels” which she did so the blackberries wouldn’t stain up her “good” cup towels.
First, toss all of the ingredients for the filling together and set aside for at least twenty minutes or until a syrup starts to form. Start with only 1/2 tsp salt and if later have issues with syrup forming you may add another 1/2 tsp if absolutely necessary.
Meanwhile, prepare your pie crusts and then butter the bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 baking pan or dish. Once the pan is lined you can go ahead and cut strips with remaining crust for latticing the top of your cobbler with later.
Line your baking pan or dish with pie crust. Poke a few tiny holes with a dinner fork
in it to prevent air pockets from forming underneath creating bulges and possibly even pushing your filling up and out over the sides during baking.
When your filling has started to form syrup spread it evenly in your crust lined pan or dish.
Set your oven to 425 F and allow it to be preheating while you lattice on your top crust.
Forming a latticed top crust: It can be done in the traditional basket weave or you can simply crisscross your strips one direction and then across the other way and repeat until finished. Or you can lay strips across in one direction only and when completed lay strips across in the other direction. It doesn’t really matter as long as there are little square openings or windows in which to see the filling. You can even use a cookie cutter to make decorative cutouts then cover the top of your cobbler with the crust that now has cute decorative windows in it or you can arrange and place the actual cutouts themselves decoratively across the top of the cobbler.
(I will get some pictures posted to show you how to do of these techniques ASAP! Right now I have limited access to my kitchen due to some major repair work being done.)
Once you have your top crust in place sprinkle with a little sugar and very, very lightly with just a faint dusting of cinnamon. The cinnamon is more for decorative purposes than flavor and can become quite strong quickly so tread very lightly.
Bake on center oven rack for five to ten minutes or until top crust shows signs of starting to brown. Then place a sheet of foil loosely over top to protect the crust from over browning or even burning before the cobbler is fully baked. You want the crust to be a little bit browned first though before placing the foil sheet or it could sweat and become soggy.
Continue baking for 50 to 55 minutes. Remove the foil and bake just until the top crust is nicely browned; this doesn’t usually take very long so keep a close eye on it. It usually takes anywhere from as little as 3 minutes up to as much as 12 minutes depending upon how far into the initial browning it went before the foil was placed.
Remove from oven and allow to rest uncovered for about an hour or more to cool to an acceptable temperature (nothing worse than a scalding hot sugar burn) before serving. You can serve it up warm (yum!) but never hot right out of the oven!
Great ‘as is’ or you can serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (on top or to the side of the serving) or with a dollop of whipped cream (right on top).
For more of Granny Betty’s recipes:
Granny Betty's Wild Blackberry Cobbler
- 2 batches of pie crusts (need 3 to 3 1/2 or so crusts)*
- 5 1/2 cups wild blackberries (cleaned the day before and drained overnight on older cup towels)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar (if berries seem a bit too tart or a tad greenish 2 to 2 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 to 1 tsp salt, start with 1/2 tsp and only add another 1/2 tsp if syrup doesn't form
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Mix together and set aside for twenty minutes or until syrup forms. If syrup fails to form after 40 minutes toss with another 1/2 tsp salt and wait another 20 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, make crusts and line bottom and sides of 13 x 9 baking dish with bottom crust. Poke holes with dinner fork.
When berry syrup has formed fill dish and lattice top crust. Sprinkle with around 2 tsp sugar and dust "gently" (meaning lightly) with cinnamon. (She did that for all dessert crusts).
*Any left over pie crust she would cut into leaf or other fun shapes, brush lightly with condensed milk, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon with a pinch of allspice and bake on a cookie sheet until browned, then while still warm drizzled lightly with canned Hershey's syrup and serve to us grandkids for a treat.
Bake in preheated 425 F oven for 5 to 10 minutes until crust begins to brown then cover loosely with foil. Finish baking for another 50-55 minutes, remove foil, and bake just until crust is browned.
Remove from oven and allow to rest uncovered for 1 to 2 hours before serving. May serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if desired.