June 6, 2013

We took the boy berry-picking.

berryland & the farm
Well, he didn’t do all that much picking himself—that was my job.  Mostly, he crawled around the beautiful property while his nani (my mom) chased after him.  We all had a big ole time, and came home with lots and lots of lovely, luscious blackberries, blueberries, and peaches.

Since then, we have eaten much of the fruit straight-out-of-hand; the boy has discovered the goodness that is Texas peaches, and he is hooked.  I’ve also made blueberry cake to take to friends, put some lemon-blueberry scones in the freezer for this weekend’s brunch guests, and served up peach & blackberry cobbler below for family dinner.

peach-blackberry cobbler
If anything survives into next week, there may be jam or ice cream…if I were disciplined enough, I would freeze some of this summer goodness to enjoy in the depths of winter, but…I guess I’m a bit too instant-gratification oriented when it comes to my summer fruit.  Here are some of my favorite berry & peach recipes, including those listed above:

Berry-Champagne Granita
Berry Slump
Blackberry Upside-Down Cake
Blueberry Boy Bait
Lemon-Blueberry Scones
Peach Ice Cream
Peach Margaritas
Peach-Mascarpone Tart with Gingersnap Crust
Raspberry Clafouti

I hope you are enjoying the bounty of summer wherever you are!

berry picking

adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

for the filling:

2 lb. ripe peaches
½ lb. ripe blackberries
¼ cup + 2 T sugar
juice from half a lemon
1 tsp. potato starch or cornstarch
pinch of salt

oven: 425°
pan: 8” square glass baking dish

I find it easiest to halve the peaches and pit them before peeling, but proceed in any order you see fit!  Peel the peaches, using a sharp knife if they are too soft to stand up to a vegetable peeler, and slice into pieces of medium thickness (about 8 slices per peach).  Toss the peaches, blackberries, sugar, & lemon juice together and let sit for 15-30 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the fruit and transfer to the baking dish.  There should be some liquid left behind—take ¼ cup of it and whisk in the cornstarch.  Pour that mixture over the fruit, and bake, un-topped, for about 8-10 minutes, or until you begin to see bubbling around the edges of the pan.

While the fruit is cooking, make the cobbler dough.

peach-blackberry cobbler | Blue Jean Gourmet

for the cobbler topping:

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus a bit more if needed
1/3 cup plain, whole-milk yogurt, thinned with buttermilk to total ½ cup
5 T cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3 T sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt

for garnish: a bit of extra milk or buttermilk, Demerarra or plain sugar

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.  Using a pastry cutter (ideally) or a fork, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles pebbly sand.  Very gently, fold in the yogurt/buttermilk mixture and mix to form a very soft dough.   Divide the dough into 5-6 biscuit-sized clumps (they should be craggy and imperfect!)

Once the fruit is ready, remove the baking dish from the oven and scatter the cobbler pieces on top.  Leave room between the dough pieces so their edges will bake up crusty and golden brown!

Brush the dough with a bit of buttermilk, and sprinkle sugar on top of each piece.  Bake in the oven until the biscuit topping is golden, 15-20 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack and serve warm, preferably with vanilla ice cream.

peach-blackberry cobbler | Blue Jean Gourmet

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