Black raspberries are ripe again. I have invaded the berry patches nearby and found enough to make dessert. Well, maybe desserts. Unfortunately, sugar plays big parts in desserts with berries, so I don’t promise that today’s dessert will improve your health. Your outlook maybe, but not your health. Old fashioned raspberry cobbler is delicious. And berry scavenging is fun in spite of the thorns on the bushes. It’s worth the scratches. On the other hand, scavenging at the farmers’ market probably is easier in the long run.
I learned to do roadside gathering from my father. We spent the warm seasons gathering wild asparagus, grapes, apples and maybe some other goodies during my childhood in Door County. We brought home grapes and apples and he insisted that Mother make jelly. I remember him filling his pockets with apples and Mother lamenting, “Oh, no, do I have to make jelly?” Her jelly was very good. I don’t think she ever made cobbler, but no one is perfect, not even my mother who was famous for her recipe show on radio.
I found my recipe for blackberry cobbler (see my blog post of August 6, 2010) and tried it with black raspberries. While it was a good adaptation, I decided that blackberries must be sweeter than black raspberries, so I increased the amount of sugar after my trial run. It isn’t extremely sweet because it came from a 1941 cookbook, the Prairie Farmer WLS Cook Book, written before excessive sugar got its big hold on the American palate. In that book it is cherry cobbler, so it has changed a bit. Once again I reduced it to a quantity appropriate for two people.
Black Raspberry Cobbler for 2
1 ½ cups fresh black raspberries (approximately) (frozen ones might work)
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
1 ½ tablespoons all purpose flour
½ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoons butter
1 ½ tablespoons milk (approximately)
Find a baking dish that is 7x7 inches or 6x8 inches. It should hold about 1 to 1 ½ quarts. The cobbler won’t come up to the top of the dish after it is baked.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put berries and water in the baking dish. Combine the ½ cup sugar and 1 ½ tablespoons flour, and sprinkle it over the top. Put it in the oven and stir occasionally until the mixture is heated, about as long as it takes to mix the dough that goes on top. Mix together the ½ cup flour, baking powder, 1 tablespoon sugar and salt. Cut in butter until it is in small pieces and resembles pie crust dough. You never made pie crust? Just guess. It really is a biscuit. Add milk and stir until soft dough is formed. Stir as little as possible. Roll the dough about 1/3 inch thick and place it on the hot berry mixture in the baking dish to cover most of the top. If the dough is too wet to roll, add more flour.
Bake it at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes. Serve it plain or topped with whipped cream or ice cream.