Friday, September 14, 2007

A Second Chance

Which of us doesn't need a second chance? The first time we messed up somehow...spaced out or were immature or too tired or a hundred other possible things got in the way. Mother nature, bless her, rarely gives us a second chance with the progression of the fruits that find their way through the seasons. With the right cultivar we might get a fall harvest of strawberries. With a green house we can turn the seasons on their head. But to have a whole extra crop without any effort on our part...that is a true bonus...a second chance to take advantage of, in this case, an extra crop of blackberries.

This had been a great year for blackberries. For weeks I harvested a handful each morning to sweeten up my breakfast oatmeal. I did make a few dishes with the berries, but I grew busy with the new job just when the berries were at their peak and most bountiful. So many were never harvested and just dried on the vines.

Then we had a weird combination of some cool followed by a long sustained heat spell. Well, the blackberries must have thought it was spring and summer all over again. A whole new crop came into being and now they are hanging ripe and sweet, juicy and very seductive in clusters, just waiting to be picked and appreciated.

The other day I spent long enough picking them to fill a pint basket. The Gravensteins are almost finished, but there were some nice apples just right for combining with the berries in a berry-apple cobbler. The topping is not difficult...just a combination of ground almonds, packaged biscuit mix and sugar, plus enough milk to make a cobbler dough that can spread over the fruit. Sweetie had two helpings and was duly appreciative that Mother Nature gave us a second chance for summer's berries in mid-September.

Andrea of Andrea's Recipes is hosting a second round of Grow Your Own. Even though I didn't have to do much of anything to grow these great berries and apples, I think this dish qualifies. Go on over later in the month to check out the yummy dishes in the event. You'll be glad you did.

Blackberry-Apple Cobbler
1 pint fresh blackberries, washed and drained
1 cup tart apple chunks, peeled or unpeeled
1 cup biscuit mix, such as Bisquik
1/2 cup almonds, ground until fine in a food processor with
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In wide baking dish place berries and scatter the apple chunks over them evenly. The apple chunks should be about the same size as the berries. Cover the dish with foil and press edges to seal. Place dish in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the berries give up some of their juice and the juice bubbles.
While the fruit is cooking, mix the ground almond/sugar mixture with the biscuit mix in a mixing bowl. In another small bowl, mix together the milk and the brown sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
When the berry-apple mixture juice is bubbly, remove the foil. Stir the milk mixture into the biscuit mixture and stir just until combined. If the mixture seems too stiff, add a little more milk. Drop the biscuit mixture over the hot fruit, spreading a little if needed, to cover most of the dish. It's OK if some of the fruit is not covered. The biscuit mixture will spread a little more as it cooks.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the biscuit topping is golden brown.

Serve while hot or warm, with some light cream or ice cream over the cobbler if desired. Serves 4-6.


  1. Oh Elle, this looks so good. I love blackberries but they can be very expensive here. *sigh*. Yours cobbler looks so good!

  2. That looks so good! I love mixing berries and apples. It's great that you got a second chance at your berries. We have one wild blackberry bush in our yard, but it didn't do much this year, so we're thinking about putting in a few. Thanks for such a yummy entry for Grow Your Own!

  3. Oh, that looks so delicious! I would love some blackberries right now...

  4. Wow you are lucky indeed. We have had a pretty good blackberry run while up here also. I will have to see if there are anymore...this looks to die for.

  5. My all time favorite dessert is a cobbler with a scoop of ice cream on top. I guess that is why we came out with a cobbler mix! I always know where to get some WhistleStop =D

  6. Looking so good!

    I spotted blackberries last week, and have a couple of things in mind, so must get to it before they are gone again...

  7. I am from Sebastopol. Your post on Gravenstein apples brought a smile to my face. How I miss my home town.

  8. Well honey, you have just shown and not just tell us why is it necessary to have second chances :)

  9. Anh, It's spring for you, so they would be expensive, but you will be getting fresh one in a few months when mine will just be memories :) Then I will be envious.

    Andrea, Thanks! Great event!!
    Be careful with those berry bushes...they tend to take over the yard before you know it. Maybe plant some in half barrels?

    Deborah, Wish I could send them over the internet :)

    Peabody, Hope you can scare some up. The almonds in the topping make all the difference.

    Sandi, Y'all are so clever to make cobbler mix. I'm gonna have to check out your store.
    Know what you mean about the ice cream, especially if the cobbler is hot.We were out of ice cream, but some light cream was OK.

    Anna, Thanks! You could come by and get some berries and apples and walnuts :)

    Kelly-Jane, Yeah, summer fruits will soon be only a memory.

    Bob, Hope you can come back soon. It is a sweet little town.

    Cynthia, This sure was a sweet second chance.