A healthier version of blackberry cobbler using frozen blackberries, some hazelnut meal, no butter and no oil.
When you slip on a banana peel and end up with gum in your hair, it’s cobbler time.
When you wake up in the middle of the night panicking about things that don’t exist, it’s cobbler time.
When you feel completely and utterly exhausted by Tuesday and don’t know how you’ll make it through the rest of the week, it’s cobbler time.
When it’s just another ordinary day, then by golly, it’s cobbler time.
Cobblers are my ideal comfort food regardless of what season it is. They’re as cosy as pies, but ten times easier to make since there’s no rolling-out pastry or blind baking involved. Plus, you get a chunky, biscuit-like topping!
Let’s talk about the topping for a moment. Generally, there are two types of cobblers: the biscuit-topped ones and the cake cobblers. The latter is made by pouring cake batter into the bottom of a baking dish, covering it with fruit and letting the batter rise the top as it bakes.
While I’m sure cake cobblers are delicious, they’re not my style. Not at all. For me, it’s all about the tender chunks of sweet biscuit dough.*
*Here I’m using the US meaning of ‘biscuit’, which has a similar texture to a British scone.
Cobbler toppings are typically made with butter – just like biscuits and scones. For something a little healthier, I’ve swapped the butter for a mixture of cottage cheese and almond butter.
Even if you don’t consider this cobbler to be ‘healthy’, it is – at the very least – healthier. And that, according to me, means you can definitely eat this for breakfast.
Next we come to the filling. The cobbler filling is made using frozen blackberries, orange zest and vanilla bean paste.* Why frozen berries? They’re so much cheaper! Plus, it means you can make blackberry cobbler all year round.
*Vanilla bean paste really puts vanilla extract to shame. No offence, vanilla extract.
To continue my recent string of US election-themed recipes, this cobbler is inspired by the state of Oregon, which is holding its Democratic and Republican primaries today. Democrats are also voting in Kentucky today.
Oregon produces an enormous amount of blackberries and marionberries (which are a particular type of blackberry). Oddly enough, the blackberry is also the state fruit of Kentucky. The cobbler topping in this recipe also includes hazelnut meal (ground hazelnuts) because (a) it adds a lot of flavor; and (b) the hazelnut was named Oregon’s official state nut in 1989.
I’m still not quite sure why a state needs an official ‘state nut’ (or a ‘state fruit’ for that matter), but that’s a question for another day.
- 1 cup (125g) all purpose flour
- ¼ cup (25g) hazelnut meal
- 2 tablespoons (25g) brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup (60g) cottage cheese
- 2 tablespoons (35g) cold almond butter
- ⅓ cup (80mL) milk
- Turbinado (raw) sugar, for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon (10g) cornstarch (cornflour)
- 1 tablespoon (15mL) maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons (25g) brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 ½ pounds (680g) frozen blackberries
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9-inch (23cm) pie dish.
- For the topping: In a large bowl, mix together the all purpose flour, hazelnut meal, brown sugar, baking powder, ground cinnamon and salt.
- Add the cottage cheese and almond butter, and use your hands to rub them into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles moist crumbs.
- Pour in the milk, and mix with a spoon until combined. The dough will be wet and very sticky. Place the dough in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
- For the filling: In a saucepan off the heat, whisk together the cornstarch and maple syrup. Add the brown sugar, orange zest, vanilla bean paste and frozen blackberries.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the berries have defrosted and released their juices. Transfer to the prepared pie dish.
- To assemble: Roughly form the dough into small discs (about ½-inch thick) and drop them on top of the blackberry filling. Sprinkle over some turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 17 – 22 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown (with a few darker patches) and the filling is bubbling.
- Serve the cobbler with ice cream or custard. Store any leftovers in the fridge.
I used about 1 ½ - 2 tablespoons of dough to make discs around 2 inches wide. Then dotted a few extra pieces of dough around the edges. Ideally, place the discs so they’re just touching.
Whole or low fat milk is preferable to skim milk