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And while we’re on the topic of berries…

canal house cobbler

The hands of the inspirational Nancy Hagen, putting the crust on the cobbler.

Last weekend, my family went to spend the day on Shelter Island with my friend Nancy’s family. Our daughters have been friends since birth, and visits with the Ethridges always feel a bit like coming home.

That evening, we tagged along with them to a big multigenerational outdoor summer barbeque, with burgers, grilled tuna, lots of crisp veggies, a pool for the kids. and plenty of beer and wine for the adults. Nancy volunteered to supply cobblers for desert, so we spent a bit of our afternoon making what, if I do say so myself, was the most delicious summer cobbler I have ever had.

Thanks goes to Canal House, from whence the recipe comes. To Nancy, for being the chef de cuisine. To Josh, for his expert dissection of the peaches. And to me for… lots of mixing and recording, which is my usual role.

The recipe follows. You can use whatever fruit is in season… we chose peaches and blueberries, which is what looked best at the market that afternoon. Right now, the possibilities are endless. And one piece of advice… you might want to double it up and make two of these as they have a way of disappearing into thin air.

Canal House Berry Cobbler

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp cornstarch (we used Wondra as we didn’t have any cornstarch)
2 pint fresh raspberries or a combination of your favorite berries

Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Using a wooden spoon, beat the butter and 1/2 cup of the sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until well combined. Beat in the egg yolk and 1/4 tsp of the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir until well combined. Refrigerate the dough while preheating the oven to 375.

Combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the cornstarch in a medium bowl. Add the berries and the remaining 1 tsp of vanilla and toss gently to coat.

Put the berries into an 8 inch square (or 8 cup) baking dish. Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons over the berries, covering the fruit evenly. Bake until the berries are bubbling and the topping is a golden brown, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating.

canal house cobbler

The finished cobbler, at the dinner party, right before we cut into it. Poor thing didn’t stand a chance… it was demolished in moments.

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