Apricot blackberry cobbler isn’t as sweet as other desserts you might have tried. Depending on your fruits, your cobbler might even be tangy, verging on sour. Add sugar to your discretion and tastes.
Fruit cobblers are topped with a biscuit-like dough that bakes up flaky and light while the fruit beneath cooks in its own juices. We make individual versions of these desserts at many of our catering events, changing the fruit seasonally. Adjust the amount of sugar in this dessert based on the sweetness of the fruit you’re using. Try any favorite combination of summer fruits here, such as apricots, peaches, nectarines, blackberries, or raspberries and blueberries.–John Barricelli
Apricot Blackberry Cobbler
For the filling
- 2 pounds apricots pitted and sliced
- Three baskets blackberries (about 3 cups)
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar (depending on the ripeness of fruit)
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
For the biscuit dough
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 6 tablespoons (3 oz) cold unsalted butter cubed
- 1/3 cup buttermilk (either low-fat or full-fat), plus extra for brushing
- Sanding or granulated sugar for finishing
Prepare the oven
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
Make the filling
- In a large bowl, toss together the fruit, sugar (you’ll need to eyeball it, given the sweetness of the fruit), salt, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Dump the fruit mixture to a 13-by-9-inch baking dish or 8 individual ramekins or gratin dishes. (If using individual dishes, place them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or a nonstick silicone baking mat.)
Make the biscuit dough
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Working quickly so as not to warm the butter, work the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk and fold with a rubber scraper or your hands until the buttermilk has been absorbed and there are no dry patches. Do not overwork. The dough will be wet.
Assemble the cobbler
- Immediately spoon dollops of biscuit dough on top of the fruit. (As the cobbler bakes, the dollops will spread and join with one another as the cobbler.) Brush the surface of the dough with buttermilk and then sprinkle with sanding or granulated sugar.
- Bake until the biscuit topping is lightly browned and cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
What’s the best way to arrange my cobbler topping?When we tell you to spread out those dollops of sweet biscuit topping, we mean it. If you completely cover the top of your cobbler—which we know some of you are wont to do—you’ll find that both the fruit and the bottom of the topping will just get steamed. Terrific for dumplings, not great for biscuits. By scooping the dough on top, you’ll end up with craggy, solid biscuits and spots of perfectly caramelized fruit.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
What a perfect time of year for this recipe. I lucked out and found both apricots and blackberries at the store, and this was a great combination of flavors. The fruit wasn't quite at full ripeness so I went for the full amount of sugar. The cobbler was great and easy to put together, though I might spice it up a bit next time by adding some cinnamon or nutmeg to the dry ingredients. This recipe is great with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream on top.
This cobbler was delicious and took just minutes to prep for baking. I halved the recipe and the whole thing fit nicely in a 10-inch deep-dish glass pie plate. I didn’t think the biscuit dough was very wet (as the recipe alerts it will be). In fact, it didn’t even stick to the bowl and was very easy to handle—I certainly didn’t need to “spoon dollops” of it. I instead used my already-sticky hands to randomly place torn pieces of the dough on top of the fruit.
Keep in mind that apricots have less juice than other stone fruits like peaches and plums, so the cobbler may not have the usual hot and bubbly appearance one would expect. But after precisely 35 minutes in the oven, mine was perfectly done, with just enough juice on the bottom and a golden-brown biscuit on top. The topping was just sweet enough and had a lovely, delicate texture. The apricots were sweet and tender (even the skin!), and the blackberries still had a little tang, just the way I like them.
Originally published September 08, 2010