Recently, while brushing up on my history of the American cobbler (and it’s crazy how much I’ve forgotten since eighth-grade American cobbler class), I read up on how to distinguish the cobbler from its close kin: grunts, slumps, crisps, crumbles, Bettys, buckles, pandowdies, zonkers, sonkers, tarts, tortes and croustades. And with that information fresh in mind, I had to fight the temptation to change the topping in this recipe to something nutty or cracker-crumby JUST so I could call this “Jumbleberry Crumble.” Doesn’t that have a nice ring? But I resisted that temptation, because I don’t think any other topping would do this justice.
If you had a mind to call it something else, you could get away pretty easily with renaming this “Baked Summer.” It’s more or less a big mouthful of sunshine. And since berries of all kinds are coming in right now, you can just toss in whatever you’ve picked and you’ve got yourself a perfect dessert. Or you could take a cue from our forefathers and make this the centerpiece of a meal instead of saving it for dessert. How THAT ever fell out of practice, I’ll never understand.
Hope you like this as much as we do. It’s a longtime family favorite.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted (3/4 cup)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- zest of one lemon
- 5 cups berries (I used raspberries and blackberries, but you could make any combo)
- sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg
You can make this in either a 9 x 13 baking pan or about 1 dozen wide-mouthed pint jars. Whichever you choose, grease well or spray with Pam. The jars are nice for something fun, but if you’re in a hurry to get the job done and get that spoon in your mouth, no one will turn down cobbler in a pan. I promise.
In a small bowl, mix together the milk and lemon juice and let stand while you deal with the dry ingredients. If you happen to have buttermilk on hand, you can substitute buttermilk for this mixture … but who has buttermilk on hand? Not me. Pretty much not ever.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar. Add the milk/lemon juice mixture, the melted butter, vanilla, and lemon zest.
Pour the batter in your 9 x 13 pan OR the pint jars. About halfway up the sides of the jars will do.
Scatter the berries on top of the batter.
Take the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and sprinkle over the berries. If you think your berries are sweet enough, you can pull back a little on the sugar. Use your judgment here. Finish with a little sprinkling of grated nutmeg.
Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, depending on what you’re baking the cobbler in and how hot your oven bakes. Just check around 25 minutes and see how it’s going. When the cobbler is nice and golden, the berries have bubbled to the top, and the whole thing springs back when you press lightly, it’s ready to eat.
If you can stand to do so, you could wait a little bit for the cobbler to cool down before you top it with whipped cream. But does anyone really have that kind of willpower? I know I don’t.