Summer Berries & Cast Iron

I love every single thing about summertime.  The hot sun, long days, yard work, sun tea, fireflies, fresh vegetables from the garden and afternoons spent at the local pool. Since living in the northeast I try and absorb every ray of sun I can because winters can be harsh and long here.  My boys & I are outside every day, just about all day long playing at local parks, riding bikes and eating way too many popsicles.

One beautiful, hot summer morning this week my family & I made a stop by a local berry farm, Bee Tree Berry Farm, on our way home from the family camp.  It’s a u-pick farm so we planned to pick both the fresh & juicy red and black raspberries and we came home with enough to munch on the next few days and some to make a berry cobbler with.  I left the farm in love.  In love with the beauty of the farm, the views and the dream of owning my own “little piece of heaven” one day.

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But back to the berries!  The berries nearly didn’t make it into the cobbler because my oldest son was steadily sneaking them into his mouth on the ride home!  But once I told him my plans for a berry cobbler with homemade ice cream he stopped and quickly asked to help me make it.

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I recently picked up a magazine at our local grocery store all about cast iron cooking.  Being from Louisiana, I’ve inherited and accumulated a lot of nice cast iron cookware.  I didn’t realize just how much you can cook using cast iron and the benefits of using it. So I pulled all of mine out, cleaned it up and vowed to start cast iron cooking regularly.  I remember my grandmothers only using cast iron… the time and heart they poured into their home-cooked meals is something I will never forget.

So last evening, with the help of my 7-year-old, we cooked our entire meal (minus the bread and steamed broccoli) using cast iron.  Andouille chicken sausage with peppers and onions, baked cream corn and fresh berry cobbler.  This morning my son said, “That dinner sure was good last night!”.  It was indeed (if I do say so myself!).

So in this post I’m sharing the recipe for the Fresh Berry Cobbler made in cast iron. If you don’t have any cast iron, check out your local antique and consignment shops, yard & estate sales or go buy a new one.  You’ll want to be sure and season it first.

Here you go!  Enjoy!

Fresh Berry Cobbler

2 pints fresh (or frozen) berries
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) real butter
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
 
Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet (or dutch oven) in the oven and preheat oven to 350°

Stir together the berries, 1/2 cup sugar, the brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, the lemon juice and nutmeg in a bowl

Melt the butter in the cast iron in the oven until it starts to brown around the edge and foam

While butter is melting, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup flour and sugar, the baking powder, salt, and milk in a large bowl, just until combined.  It should be about the consistency of pancake batter

Pour the batter over the butter in the hot skillet. Do not stir. Immediately spoon the berry mixture on top of the batter. Bake until the crust is golden and crisp, 30-35 minutes

Serve with ice cream if desired (highly recommended!)

 

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