Mixed Berry Cobbler

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Quite often the fruits and berries used for classic Southern cobblers are preboiled slightly to produce maximum juice and flavor when baked. The concept behind this mixed berry cobbler is different, in that the berries are softened naturally with sugar and almost macerated in their own juices while the pastry is being made. The one major stipulation is that the berries be perfectly ripe, meaning that this is strictly a seasonal summer cobbler. Unlike many cobblers, which are made with a lattice crust, this one is covered completely and snugly with dough to contain as much of the moisture and flavor as possible. This same recipe can also be used for single or mixed fresh fruit cobblers.

Ingredients

For the Filling

  • 2 cups fresh, ripe, medium strawberries, stemmed and rinsed
  • 2 cups fresh, ripe raspberries, stemmed and rinsed
  • 2 cups fresh, ripe blueberries, stemmed and rinsed
  • ½ cup sugar

For the Dough

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) butter, cut into pieces
  • ¼ cup whole milk

Method

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 2- to 2½-quart baking dish with butter and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the three berries and sugar, toss well, arrange evenly in the baking dish, and set aside.

To make the dough, combine the flour, cornmeal, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk till well blended. Add the butter and cut it in with a pastry cutter or two knives till the mixture is crumbly. Gradually add the milk, mixing lightly with a fork till a loose dough forms, adding a little more milk if necessary. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead about 10 times or till smooth. Roll out the dough just wide enough to fit the baking dish, place it snugly on top of the filling, and cut a few vent holes in the top.

Bake the cobbler till golden brown and the juices bubble in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the dish to a rack and let the cobbler cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

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