Black and Blue Berry Cobbler

When I was 16 with my first taste of freedom in the form of a driver's license and a car, and heavily influenced by the Food Network (which was just gaining ground), one summer night I told my mom I was taking over dinner. I remember it vividly: we were having my and my brother's mutual friend Jeff over for dinner, and I would make chicken cordon bleu, salad and raspberry pie. After an awkward exchange with an ex-boyfriend at the deli counter, I ventured to the frozen aisles for my raspberries - the thought of buying fresh raspberries, in July, in Texas, never entered my mind. Figures. I'm also 99% sure I used a frozen pie crust.

My chicken, while tasty, was laden with toothpicks and dinner became an adventure as everyone compared the amount of toothpicks by which their chicken was fastened together.

The pie, however, was probably doomed to begin with. Had I known the joy of seasonal produce, and had I been working with a recipe (I didn't need one because I was a genius, after all) my pie wouldn't have required the exorbitant amount of sugar I doused it with. Of course I was convinced that it would be glorious and perfect, but I watched in disappointment first as the raspberry juices puddled all over my plate, and again as confused puckering, mirroring my own, spread across everyone's mouths. "I can't decide if it's too sweet or too tart," I wondered aloud.

"It's both," my dad and Jeff answered in unison.

I think I waited until college before I attempted another pie.

Fortunately, cobblers are much more forgiving. A biscuit topping instead of two crusts prevents any sogginess of the bottom crust, and what better way is there to showcase plump summer berries?
For the biscuit topping, you will need:

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
9 tablespoons very cold butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup boiling water

For the filling, you will need:

2 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2-3 cups fresh blueberries
2-3 cups fresh blackberries
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To make the topping, whisk together the dry ingredients. With your fingers or a pastry knife, cut in the butter and work through the dough until the flour resembles coarse crubms. Add the boiling water and stir until a sticky dough forms.

Combine all of the filling ingredients, making sure to coat all the berries well (the mixture will appear to be a bit watery). Pour the filling into a 10" deep dish pie plate or cast iron skillet and drop spoonfuls of the dough to cover the top (do not spread the dough over the berries).

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until topping is crisp and golden brown, and berries are thick and bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Adapted from Cooking for Seven.

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