Texas-Style Blueberry Cobbler (and the most amazing thing to happen to me yet!)
July 18, 2011
Before making this cobbler, the most amazing thing happened to me. On account of participating in America’s Test Kitchen Boston Blogger Cookie Challenge I had the opportunity to take a tour of the test kitchen itself, along with 6 or 7 other bloggers who had also participated in the challenge. I pass the ATK building every single day on my walk from home to work and have more than one friend involved with the test kitchen, either as a full-time employee or volunteer. I’ve always felt like my relationship with ATK resembled “six degrees of Kevin Bacon”, always kinda-sorta-touching on them, being in love with their recipes and publications but never really connecting with the people or place itself, until now.
The tour was totally overwhelming and good lord you should see the amount of notes I took, trying to make sure every single detail I found even remotely interesting made it into my notebook and, supposedly, into my brain for a long time. For example, did you know they have one of the largest private cookbook collections in the US? It’s not surprising when you hear it, because most of the recipes they use in order to come up with the ATK-perfect version are found in cookbooks, but the amount of cookbooks made me stumble over myself a little bit. They were organized, shelf after shelf, by region or genre, like “entertaining” or “holiday”. The test kitchen building is very small, so we noticed how everything of theirs, cookbooks, pans, napkins, etc, was meticulously organized.
I guess here’s where I leave off my notes and talk about what was most important to me about this tour. I felt so lucky and insanely appreciative of the generosity we were showed while touring. It’s a small space with so much hustle and bustle and sometimes I felt so bad, like I was only there to step on everyone’s feet and make it impossible for anyone to do his or her job. I’ll make it very, very clear: everyone was SUPER nice and not a single person made us feel unwelcome. Some employees even stopped to talk to us and answer questions. It was then that I realized how unique and truly awesome ATK is; they care deeply for food, and most importantly, for people. The recipes they painstakingly develop and books they laboriously put together and the photos they spend so much time perfecting are all for us, the public, so we can enjoy good food with ourselves, our families, the people we love, the people we might love, and the list goes on. All of this care and passion comes through in each recipe and article and equipment testing, directly to us. It was exhilarating to tour the test kitchen and meet some lovely people, but it was even more exhilarating to fully understand my relationship with ATK, that of adoring public.
So, yes, before making this cobbler touring the test kitchen was the most amazing thing to happen to me. Then I made the cobbler, and, quite fittingly, eating it is now the most amazing thing to happen to me. Good gravy, it’s a heck of a recipe and if you have any sort of blueberry (frozen or fresh) within 50 miles, make this and you won’t regret it! I made a few adaptations only because of the ingredients I had on hand, like substituting heavy cream for some of the milk (to use it up) and instead of using a lemon sugar, I used cinnamon to spice the cobbler. I will be the first to recommend you pick up the most recent issue of Cook’s Country and try their recipe as is, but until then, hopefully this will suffice!
(Thanks again, ATK – you never, ever let me down!)
Texas-Style Blueberry Cobbler
(Recipe adapted from Cook’s Country (issue September 2011), an America’s Test Kitchen publication)
Yields one 9 by 13 inch pan (enough to feed at most ten people)
Notes: I adapted this recipe to make it sort of a love child between the Texas-style cobbler and another fabulously famous recipe, blueberry boy bait. The original recipe uses lemon instead of cinnamon as a complementary flavor to the blueberries while I used cinnamon. I also had some heavy cream in the fridge so did about a cup of heavy cream and ½ cup milk – the results being a richer cake and amazing enough that I dropped everything, packed up the cobbler, and took it to my place of work to force-feed some co-workers.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pats, and ½ cup, or 1 stick, butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
3 cups blueberries (if using frozen berries, thaw first)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In the same glass, 9 by 13 inch pan in which you plan to bake cobbler, melt four tablespoons butter in oven while preheating. Keep an eye on the butter while melting in the oven, taking it out before it starts to bubble – this will not take long, 8 to 10 minutes at most.
2. In a large mixing bowl and using a potato masher, mash blueberries with 1 tablespoon sugar until coarsely mashed.
3. In a separate, large mixing bowl, combine flour, 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Whisk in milk and cooled, melted butter, until batter is smooth.
4. Pour batter evenly into prepared pan. Dollop mashed blueberry mixture over batter, as evenly as possible, then sprinkle with ¼ cup granulated sugar.
5. Bake in preheated oven until edges are golden and crispy, 45 to 50 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time.
6. Once out of oven, let cobbler cool in pan on a cooling rack at least 30 minutes before serving.
I would serve this immediately and eat it as soon as possible (not a difficult thing to imagine once trying it). I refrigerated a good portion of it and it was definitely edible the next day but you lose the crispy, golden edges that are so amazing the first day.