- Pastry for a 9-inch double-crust pie, store-bought
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 teasoons vanilla extract
- 6 cups fresh blackberries (about 1 1/2 pounds), frozen will also work
- 2 tbsp cold butter, chopped into small pieces
1 Heat the oven to 450°F.
2 Roll out about one third of the pastry dough and trim it to make a 9-inch square. Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment, waxed paper, or aluminum foil. Place on the middle rack in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until the pastry square is dry, lightly browned, and developing small bubbles over the surface. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Leave the oven on.
3 Roll out another third of the dough into a 10- or 11-inch square, and gently fit it into an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan. Cut the dough into pieces as needed to patch together a bottom crust, shaping it to cover the surface of the baking pan. Trim the dough to leave a 1/2 inch overhang, this way you'll have plenty of crust to fold back down as you finish the pie.
4 Press firmly wherever there are seams in the dough, so that the pan is sealed completely to hold in the delicious bubbling filling as it bakes. Set aside all the scraps and pieces of pie dough for finishing up the top lattice crust.
5 Combine the sugar and flour in a small bowl. Stir the vanilla into a 1/4 cup of cold water. Place these two mixtures by the pastry-lined pan, along with the blackberries and the baked pastry square.
6 Scatter half the blackberries into the pan; they won't cover completely and that is fine. Sprinkle half the sugar mixture over the berries, then sprinkle half the water over the sugared berries, and scatter half the small chunks of butter over them as well.
7 Place the baked pie crust square on top of the berries, and repeat the process, scattering in the remaining berries, sugar, water, and butter.
8 Roll out the remaining pastry and scraps into a 10-inch square. Cut 14 long strips about 1-1/2 inches wide. Drape 7 of the pastry strips over the berries in 1 direction, leaving an inch or so of overhang past the edge of the pan. Drape the remaining 7 pastry strips at right angles to the first patch, in a criss-cross design, making a big, edible, tic-tac-toe board. Dip your fingers in water and dampen the underside of each strip end. Press each one against the crust, sealing it firmly against the pastry-covered side of the pan.
9 To finish the crust, fold the top edges of the piecrust up, enclosing and covering the strips and just touching the berries. Press to seal them against the sides of the pan. To seal the crust, you can pinch the dough into a crimped pattern, or press it flat against the sides of the baking pan with the back of a fork, making a design with the tines.
10 Place the cobbler on a baking sheet to catch spills, and place it on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F. Bake 45 to 50 minutes more, until the filling is juicy and bubbling up through the pastry strip, and the crust is golden brown.
11 Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack or a folded kitchen towel and let it cool for 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes one 8- or 9-inch cobbler.
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Excerpted from Southern Pies. Published by Chronicle Books. Copyright © 2010 by Nancie McDerrmott. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Chronicle Books.