Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cherry Berry Cobbler for the 4th of July

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It never quite feels like summer has arrived until the 4th of July rolls around. Something about the parades, fireworks, patriotic shindigs, barbecues, and general merriment just makes the season, for lack of a better word, start.

Friends of ours hosted a 4th of July party (actually, as they call it, a 4th of Ju-Luau party, with a Hawaiian theme), and my contribution to the festivities was a cherry berry cobbler - sort of a variation on my mixed berry pie, in cobbler form, with a tweak or two.

Cobblers, as it turns out, are considered to be a pretty American dessert. Early European settlers used whatever ingredients were at hand in an attempt to make some of the familiar dishes from their homelands, and as such there are as many variations on cobblers as there were variations on settlers. In general, the requirements are some kind of fruit filling topped with some kind of crust, either a crumbly crust, a biscuity crust, or some combination thereof. Once upon a time, cobblers were served as main dishes for breakfast, or a first course for other meals. Eventually, they were relegated to the dessert category, and we sure do still love them!

This recipe was particularly nice to put together, as I still had a lot of cherries, black raspberries, and blueberries frozen from last summer, and this allowed me to make some room in the freezer.

For more great American-themed recipes and party ideas, check out's 4th of July Fun blog post!

Cherry Berry Cobbler
Ingredients (filling)

  • 4 quarts sour cherries, pitted
  • 1 quart blueberries
  • 1 quart black raspberries (you can also substitute blackberries or regular raspberries if black raspberries aren't available)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Butter (for greasing the pan)
In a 4-quart saucepan, combine sugar, water, and cornstarch over medium to medium-high heat. Add the berries (I like to add one type at a time). Stirring frequently, bring the mixture to a boil until the liquid thickens into a syrup.

Once the filling is done, generously butter the bottom and sides of a large, deep baking dish, and spoon in the filling. You'll probably end up with way more syrup than will fit, but that's okay. Add what seems appropriate to you, and save the rest to pour over ice cream.

While the filling cools a bit, make the cobbler topping.

Cobbler Topping
  • 1/2 cup butter, partially melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • powdered sugar (for dusting)
In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg.

Add flour, and salt, and mix until combined.

You can just drop the topping by spoonfuls onto the filling, or transfer the topping to a zip-top bag, snip a corner, and sort of pipe the topping over the filling. Then use a spoon or spatula to spread the topping a bit. It will puff and spread more as it bakes.

Bake on 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until the topping is golden brown. Then, if desired, dust the top with powdered sugar.

The filling will thicken more as it cools. Sadly, after transporting the cobbler to our friends' party, it didn't look quite this pretty anymore. But it sure tasted good!

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