Blackberry Cobbler: Cooking Up Your Farmer’s Share

Blackberry cobbler, compote, crisp, or crumble? Betty, buckle, grunt?

Finding Grandma’s Blackberry Whatever

When you are looking for a particular fruit dessert recipe, what’s in a name becomes important.  Most berry desserts are a mixture of fruit filling and dough.

The real differences have to do with the dough: is the cake or crust on the top or bottom? is it soft and doughy, bread-like, or crumbly?

Sometimes, the name of the dessert is a regional distinction.

The Berry Dessert Tray of Choice

If your heart is set on that berry dessert your grandma used to make, looking for the recipe may prove a challenge.

Here are the basics.


Cobbler is named for the look of the biscuit dough as it’s dropped by the spoonful over the fruit – like a road of cobbles!  It’s baked in the oven.

Grunt or Slump

Very similar to cobbler, except that it’s cooked on the stove-top or over a fire.  Think of the dough as a sweet dumpling.  The dough will stay softer than it would if baked in a cobbler.

Crisp or Crumble

Fruit crisps and crumbles refer to the same dessert, crumble being the traditional English name.  This is a baked fruit dessert topped with a sugary strudel of butter, flour, sugar, and (sometimes) oats and nuts.


The difference here is placing the strudel mixture on the bottom and top of the fruit. Yum!


Buckle is more like a cake baked with fruit on top.


Away, cursed flour! Compotes are fruits cooked in liquid and sugar.  Sometimes, spices or liquor may be added. No dough, crust, or strudel topping.

Blackberry Cobbler Recipe

This year, I noticed a lot of little red dots in the woods behind our house.

This area was once a dense wood, but Elm Disease and Emerald Ash Borer have changed all that.  I’d call it a wooded meadow.

The under-story has been invigorated with a combination of wildflowers, shrubs, and berry bushes (brambles).  Those little red dots are ripening into blackberries!

Berry Harvesting

My first wild berry encounter this season was to take photos for Saturday’s garden story.

A reader of the post commented that she used to send the youngsters to pick berries. They were motivated by the promise of cobbler.

Well, so was I!

biscuit dough is dropped by spoonfuls over fruit

Out I trampled, with pitcher in hand.

Thinking ahead, I wore long pants into the bushes, because of the poison ivy. I should have worn long sleeves, too.


The harvest included a few cups of berries and a lot of scratches.  But, let me tell you, it was worth it! (and, thank you, Benedryl cream)

Blackberry Cobbler

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cobbler
Servings: 4
Author: A. JoAnn


  • 2-3 cups blackberries
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ¾ tsp. baking poweder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Place cleaned blackberries in a small bowl. Toss with 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice, water, and cornstarch.  Set aside.
  • Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 tbsp sugar in a medium bowl. Cut in 2 tbsp butter with a pastry blender until coarse crumbs are formed. 
  • Beat egg with 1 tbsp water. Pour into flour mixture and combine just until moist.
  • Pour berries into a small (4 cup) baking dish.  Dot with 1 tbsp butter.
  • Drop biscuit dough by spoonfuls over the berries.
    biscuit dough is dropped by spoonfuls over fruit
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, until fruit is bubbling and biscuit topping is browned. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

browned biscuit tops blackberry filling

© 2018 All rights reserved. See Legalese tab for permissions.

Author: A. JoAnn

Here is where I share the beauty I find in everyday life; and the humor, too!

One thought

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating