Sunday, July 29, 2012

Kitchen Improv: Blackberry Cobbler!

The other night the Hubs shot me a text saying that we needed to use up the blackberries in the fridge, as a few were starting to go bad.  We can’t have that!  So of course, cobbler was my first thought.  Delicious, easy way to use up a couple cups of fresh berries.

I got home from work, flipped through a couple cookbooks, and picked a recipe that seemed simple. I mean, flour, butter, berries, sugar, milk…how much more basic can you get?

Ten minutes into the prep for our Adventure into cobbler town, we made two discoveries.

1. We had only 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour in our pantry.

2. We also had only 1/4 cup of milk.

Did that stop us?  HECK NO!  There’s a 9x13 pan in the oven melting butter…and I’m not wasting a stick of butter just because of a couple setbacks.  Care to find out how we still managed to throw together this delectable gem?


Then keep reading. (Duh.  I’m sure you were planning on doing that anyway, right?)

First, I’ll give you the recipe I was SUPPOSED to use.  It’s apparently Mel Tillis’ mother’s cobbler recipe.

Ingredients (original):

1 stick butter

2 C milk

2 C flour

2 C blackberries

2 C sugar


Nice & simple, right?  But missing items in a pantry will throw off even the simplest of recipes.  So… we improvised.

First, my husband MADE flour.  Seriously.  MADE it.  He is RESOURCEFUL.  I’ve never made flour before.  I typically leave that to the professionals.

Two cups of old fashioned oats + 1 blender + 1 awesome husband?

IMG_1505 IMG_1508

BAM: Oat Flour.  Homemade even.

(Note: 2 cups of oats makes about 1.5 cups of oat flour.  So we added the 1/2 cup of regular flour that we already had.)

Then…no milk.  But that’s no problem: We have INSTANT MILK!


If you DON’T keep a box of dry milk in your pantry…you really should.  It’s perfect for these situations and there’s no taste difference (when used for baking), and a big box is pretty darn cheap.  Also comes in handy when you’re out of coffee creamer. :D

So we have a glass 9x13 pan in the oven, with a stick of butter cut up in it, melting:


And we’re combining our ingredients in our mixer: flour, milk, sugar (I actually decreased this to 3/4 cup of sugar, and 1/2 cup of Splenda.  The blackberries are already pretty sweet, so 2 cups of sugar just seemed excessive).


The batter seemed a little thin, and I was really surprised there wasn’t a leavener of some sort in the recipe, so I added 1 tsp of baking soda & 1/4 tsp of baking powder, 1 tsp of cornstarch, and about 1/2 cup of additional flour (I had some wheat pastry flour in the pantry that needed to be used up as well).

Once the thickness seemed right (like cake batter), I poured it into the pan on top of the melted butter, and then sprinkled the blackberries evenly over the top.  Then, sprinkle 1 tbsp of white sugar over the top of the batter.


Bake at 425 for 20-30 minutes, or until the top browns and the edges of the crust pull away from the sides of the pan.


Makes 15 servings.

Ingredients (actual recipe used):

1 stick butter

2.5 cups flour (1/2 cup AP, 1.5 cup oat flour, 1/2 cup wheat pastry flour)

2 cups nonfat milk

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 baking powder

1 tsp cornstarch

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup Splenda

2 heaping cups blackberries



Calories 150.0  

Total Fat 4.1 g   

Saturated Fat 0.2 g   

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g   

Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g  

Cholesterol 10.6 mg  

Sodium 122.0 mg  

Potassium 90.6 mg  

Total Carbohydrate 28.3 g   

Dietary Fiber 2.5 g   

Sugars 13.1 g  

Protein 3.8 g


  1. The original Tillis recipe called for self-rising flour which gives you the necessary leavening. We make cobblers frequently following the Tillis recipe.

  2. The original Tillis recipe called for self-rising flour which gives you the necessary leavening. We make cobblers frequently following the Tillis recipe.