I guess it's time for the blackberry to shine. As we're moving forward to fall season, the blackberries are ripening everywhere. Here in Oregon, the wild ones are very prolific and people develop a love-hate relationship; they certainly don't want those thorny vines in their backyard, but they welcome the arrival of juicy-sweet blackberries ripened from the sun. I live close to a secret picking spot where the blackberries are abundant, it's within a walking distance and a bit sheltered from the traffic which is desirable for impromptu u-pick.
For several days, it's my dad who was so eager to pick the berries. I guess the benefit of moving close to me is to have acquired a newfound hobby, that is berry picking. He is the one who will pick all the blueberries from the yard, he is the one who will walk and bring home the blackberries, though he complained that the thorns attack him ferociously at times.
Here is what I did with those berries, a delectable desserts who need only whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to accompany it till the last spoonful.
Blackberry and Blueberry Cobbler with Walnut Biscuits
Makes 8 servings
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2/3 cup buttermilk
4 cups fresh blackberries
4 cups fresh blueberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar, use slightly less if the berries are very sweet
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon whipping cream
1 tablespoon coarse sugar or granulated sugar
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 375°F. For biscuits, place walnuts in a food processor, pulse several times until roughly chopped. Add flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pulse several times until combined. Add butter, pulse again until butter pieces are no larger than small peas.
Transfer the flour mixture to a large bowl. Add buttermilk, stirring with a fork until the dough comes together. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface; knead two or three times to bring dough together. Press dough into a rectangle or circle 1/2-inch thick. Using a knife or 2 1/2-inch fluted round cutter, cut the dough into eight squares or rounds, re-rolling the scraps as necessary.
In a 3-quart rectangular baking dish combine berries. In a small bowl combine the 3/4 cup granulated sugar and the 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix lemon peel and ginger into sugar mixture, pour sugar mixture over berries; gently toss with hands to combine. Combine lemon juice and cornstarch. Add cornstarch mixture to berry mixture; toss.
Brush tops of biscuits with whipping cream; sprinkle with the coarse sugar. Arrange biscuits on top of fruits. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Loosely cover baking dish with foil; bake for 10 to 20 minutes or more or until bubbly around the edges. Transfer baking dish to a wire rack; remove foil. Cool on wire rack for at least 20 minutes before serving.
To serve, spoon each biscuit and berry mixture into eight serving bowls; top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.
Source: adapted from Better Homes and Garden, Fall Baking 2011.