Blackberry Cobbler with Lemon Thyme


Blackberry Cobbler with Lemon Thyme

Oh August!


“He threaded among willows and sycamores and wild blackberry vines in the riverbed, patted the trunks of live oak and scrub oak, madrone and laurel.”

East of Eden, John Steinbeck


Oh August! We still have fresh blackberries, raspberries, tomatoes, a new crop of crisp apples and pears too. I’m dizzy with possibility. I grew up devouring summer cobblers, crumbles and crisps. We scooped lush, sweet fruit into our bowls and went back to dig in the pan until it was all gone. Scraping the corners of the pan to get every last bit of sticky fruit was a must. My mom was known for her pies but when she was summer busy a cobbler topped with drop biscuits brought no complaints. Desserts with more fruit than topping, more fruit than sugar, just more fruit is the siren song of August in California.

Blackberries and LemonThyme

A cobbler is a classic American dessert, lots of barely sweetened fruit topped with fluffy homemade biscuits. This is a recipe that takes the classic pairing of biscuits and jam and tosses it up in the air! It lands with more jammy fruit than biscuit. The pillowy biscuits are tender crumbed from butter and cream. Their bottoms nestle into the fruit while the biscuit tops reach high in the oven to gain their toasty brown tops. For a golden finish brush the biscuit tops with more cream and a sprinkle of sugar.


Making Biscuits

I found the southern classic, White Lily Flour, at my local grocery store. It is a low protein, finely milled flour that makes fantastic biscuits. I could feel the difference working with the White Lily Flour, the flour particles were fine and it is not as powdery as all-purpose flour. It really does have a unique texture. Although the biscuit dough seemed more compact than normal, the outcome was fabulous, light and flakey with a tender crumb. Pairing the Blackberries with lemon thyme enhances the flavor profile of the cobbler filling. Regular thyme can be used instead or omitted entirely. This cobbler is not too sweet, add more sugar if you must. Just make sure to savor fresh berries while the season lasts.

Blackberry Cobbler with Lemon Thyme

The Berries
8C fresh blackberries
1/3C sugar
2T cornstarch
1T fresh lemon thyme leaves (optional)
The Cobbler
1C While Lily or all-purpose flour
2T sugar
2t baking powder
1t fine grain sea salt
4T/2oz unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
6T cream
To finish the Cobbler
1T cream
1T sugar
2 sprigs lemon thyme, for garnish (optional)

Blackberry Cobbler with Lemon Thyme

  1. Heat the oven to 400°. Butter a 8”x 8” or I used a 9-1/2″ x 6″ baking pan.
  2. In a medium sized bowl add the blackberries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon thyme. Fold the ingredients together until the cornstarch is no longer visible. Try not to smash too many of the blackberries. Pour the berry mixture into the buttered baking pan, scraping the bowl to include any juice, berries or lingering dry ingredients. Arrange the berries in an even layer across the entire pan.
  3. In another medium sized bowl sift or shake through a large sieve the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix the ingredients together and then add the butter. Work the butter into the dry ingredients. Dip down to the bottom of the bowl to include more of the flour. Massage the ingredients together until the butter is mostly the size of large peas. Add the cream and fold the ingredients together. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to include all the dry ingredients. The mixture should clump together. If the mixture is too dry add more cream, a tablespoon at a time. Scrape the contents of the bowl unto a lightly floured work surface. Bring the dough together and knead 3 or 4 times, just until the dough forms a cohesive mass. Flatten the dough into a 5”-6” circle. Flour the bottom edges of a biscuit cutter and cut out the biscuits for topping the cobbler. Reform the scraps and cut out more biscuits. Arrange the biscuits on top of the blackberries. Brush the biscuits with cream and sprinkle the sugar on top of the cream.
  4. Bake the cobbler for 45 minutes. After 30 minutes, cover the cobbler with foil to prevent the biscuits from over browning. When done the blackberry juices will bubble up around the biscuits which will be golden brown. The cobbler can be served while warm with lemon thyme as a garnish. When the cobbler cools the berry juices will thicken and form a sauce for the cobbler.

Blackberry Cobbler with Lemon Thyme

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28 Responses to Blackberry Cobbler with Lemon Thyme

  1. I remember summers growing up in Texas and going out to pick blackberries along the side of the road. I’d bring back a brown paper bag full and my mother would make cobbler. Thanks for the memories, your cobbler with the biscuits looks great.

  2. What a mouthwatering yet easy dessert to enjoy on these last few weeks of summer.

  3. This gobbler looks absolutely delicious Deb. My husband would eat all of it with a pint of ice cream. I wouldn’t mind having some myself.

  4. valentina says:

    Just beautiful! I love the varying sizes of the “cobble stones.” 😉 And those blackberries look perfectly juicy and so delectable. My son just started his first Steinbeck book (The Red Pony). 🙂

  5. Cathy says:

    Oh, what a yummy idea. Cobbler is always good, but best with berries I think, so I will have to make this soon! I will definitely try adding some thyme as well. Your blackberries look much bigger than ours – deliciously juicy too!

  6. Carol Sacks says:

    So pretty and now I’m dreaming of a summer that doesn’t end!

  7. We have wild blackberries that will be pickable later this month in the wood behind my house. But I have wonderful memories of going picking in the hills near my grandparent’s farm just outside of Nashville. We had to be alert for bears wanting to do the same thing! Not quite so scary in bear-free Edinburgh! Lovely comforting recipe, Deb. Sharing around xx

  8. Such a gorgeous cobbler, Deb! I love the use of lemon thyme here. What a sublime dessert!

  9. White Lily is the best for biscuits, IMO. Love cobbler, and berry ones are the best (although peach is awfully good too). Great summer recipe — thanks.

  10. mjskit says:

    My mother was the same way – she loved making pies but when time was limited, she made a cobbler and I didn’t mind at all! 🙂 Blackberries are such a rich fruit when cooked in a dessert, I just love them. I never would have thought o have flavored them with lemon thyme. That’s brilliant! Need to give this a try!

  11. Those fluffy, light biscuits look amazing with all those berries! This made me realize I’ve never baked with White Lily. I need to give it a try!

    • Deb says:

      Thank you Lisa! I was happy to find White Lily at my local grocery store, it was a pleasure to use in my baking.

  12. Mary says:

    Deb, I have been looking all summer for the ‘just right’ cobbler recipe. A recipe that honors the fruit beneath the biscuit topping, and a topping just right for my liking. Your recipe sounds perfect. I’ve made many blackberry pies but never a blackberry cobbler. It’s about time!

  13. Ala says:

    I’m missing summer already and it’s only September! I’ve been obsessed with fresh berries this whole hot season and I’m so happy to see this recipe. Thanks for sharing, Deb!

  14. Dina says:

    Gorgeous blackberries! Autumn is the best of times, thank you for this lovely recipe and the great food photography.

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