When it comes to summer baking, there are a few rules: use seasonal produce, prioritize minimal dishes, and aim for maximum flavor. This incredibly easy blackberry cobbler recipe checks all the boxes and more. I know it can be a lot to ask you to turn on the oven in the summer, but trust, this recipe is worth it. Growing up in Texas I’ve had my fair share of fruit crisps, crumbles, and cobblers, (and yes there is a difference) so I’ve learned a thing or two on what takes this simple dessert to the next level.
It’s true that you can swap out the fruit in any cobbler recipe to embrace the season: strawberry-rhubarb cobbler in spring, peach and berry cobblers in the summer, apple cobbler in the fall, and even sweet potato cobbler in the winter. For this cobbler recipe, I wanted to celebrate the bounty of fresh summer berries that are bursting with flavor this time of year. And with just a few ingredient upgrades, this might just be the best blackberry cobbler recipe you’ve ever had.
What goes into Blackberry Cobbler filling?
When it comes to cobbler desserts, you really only need a handful of ingredients—which makes it an incredibly easy recipe you can churn out on a whim. That also means being thoughtful about ingredients to maximize flavor. Most cobblers use fruit, sugar, and maybe some lemon juice in the filling, plus a spoonful of flour or cornstarch to thicken it all up.
For this version, I make one little swap that makes a world of difference. While you might lean heavily on lemons and lemon zest for most fruit desserts, I include one extra acidic ingredient: oranges!
Personally, pairing orange with any dessert comes second nature to me. I prefer the florally sweet flavor that oranges add compared to lemon which can sometimes taste a bit too zingy for me. Give it a try in almost any dessert that uses lemon and I promise you’ll never turn back.
Also of note: you can adjust the amount of sugar you add to the filling. The age old saying, taste as you go, is extra true when there are so few ingredients. Because summer fruit is already extra sweet, I’ll cut the amount of sugar I add to the filling. In the fall and winter, I might add more. Same for the lemon and orange juice. If you like a bit more bite, add more. It truly is hard to mess up a cobbler filling, so trust your gut.
And yes, you can absolutely replace the blackberries in this recipe with any other fruit you have on hand!
*Hot tip: save a dish to wash by tossing the fruit filling in the baking dish you’re planning to use!
How to make Blackberry Cobbler topping:
There are some traditionalists who insist cobbler be made with biscuits. Others make a lighter cake-like topping instead. Personally, I like a batter topping. It’s easier to just stir together and pour over the fruit to bake.
To make this version extra special and perfect for summer, I upgraded a plain batter into a cornbread-inspired batter by swapping a portion of the flour for cornmeal, aka my second secret ingredient! If you don’t have cornmeal, just blitz some polenta in a food processor to make the grains finer. Not only does doing this give the batter a bit more texture, but the slightly sweet flavor of the corn makes it the perfect summer dessert. But no worries if you don’t care for it – use all flour if you prefer a simpler version with what you have on hand!
In addition, I like crumbling over some simple streusel to add even more texture. While this is optional, this extra touch takes this simple dessert to the next level by adding an extra touch of texture to the topping.
How to serve Blackberry Cobbler:
Do I eat cobbler as an excuse to eat more ice cream? Maybe. To me, there is nothing better than letting a big scoop of ice cream melt into the cobbler and making it the ultimate spoon dessert. You can even get wild and use a strawberry or jam swirled ice cream to really lean into the summer vibes.
If you don’t have ice cream, I’ll also use whipped cream as a topping instead. And if you have leftovers, heat scoops of cobbler in the oven or microwave and top with warm cream or milk for breakfast. I won’t tell…
for the filling:
- 20 oz of blackberries, fresh or frozen
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- zest of 1/2 orange
- juice of 1/2 orange
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar (more or less depending on taste preferences)
- 2 tbsp of flour
for the batter topping:
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- zest of 1/2 orange
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp melted butter
- 3/4 cup milk of choice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup of cornmeal or ground polenta
- 2/3 cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
for the streusel:
- 3 tbsp melted butter, cooled
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup of flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a large sheet tray with parchment paper.
- In a 10 inch pie pan, add all of the filling ingredients and toss until evenly combined. Set pan on sheet tray and set aside.
- Make the topping. Add the sugar and citrus zest to a mixing bowl, and using your fingers, press the zest into the sugar until it feels like wet sand. Add the salt, butter, milk, and vanilla to the sugar and whisk to combine. Add the cornmeal, flour, and baking powder to the mixture and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Make the streusel topping. Add the sugars, salt, and flour to the cooled melted butter and using your fingers, combine until the streusel is crumbly. I like larger chunks so combine and press into large pieces.
- Pour batter over the fruit. Then, sprinkle over the streusel. Place sheet tray with pie pan into the oven.
- Bake for about 70-80 minutes until topping is golden brown and center is set.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Top with ice cream, enjoy!
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