Summer Berry Cobbler~

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I love fresh berries ~ blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries ~ especially in the summer when they are at their season’s best. Big, juicy, sweet, slightly acidic, they burst with flavor that is hot weather perfect.

When Nonna (Angiola Maria Novella Bonomi, the Italian grandmother in my book) first showed me this recipe, she was so excited, thinking that I had never seen a cobbler before. When I told her I had, it seemed to deflate her “culinary teaching” bubble. But, always ready to learn something new, I told her that I definitely wanted to see how she prepared one.

I’m not sure that “cobbler” is particularly Italian, but this recipe is VERY Italian in the sense that it does not use a lot of sugar, even though it is a dessert. It relies on the natural sweetness of the fresh berries. But don’t let this recipe keep you locked into the idea that it is only good for berries. When summer fruits like peaches, plums, or figs come into season, swap any of those in for the strawberries in this recipe. I really enjoy fresh peaches with blackberries and blueberries, but let your palate be your guide. In fact, here is a link to my fall season version, which uses fresh pumpkin, apples and pears.

Buon Appetito~

Mark

Summer Berry Cobbler

For the berry filling:

1 pound strawberries, stem ends removed, cut into quarters

1 dry pint raspberries

1 dry pint blackberries

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon flour

1/4 cup chiffonade fresh mint

For the topping:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup whole milk

11 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and then cooled to room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch Kosher or sea salt

Powdered sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 2-quart baking dish, set aside.

In a large bowl, add the berries, sugar, flour and mint, gently stirring until well combined. Set aside and allow to soak for 30 minutes. [This may be done up to 8 hours ahead and placed in an air-tight container in the refrigerator to soak until ready to use.]

Pour the fruit filling and all of the juices into the baking dish, distributing the fruit evenly. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the sugar, stirring to combine. Pour in the milk, melted butter, vanilla and salt. Mix until a smooth batter is formed. Pour the batter over the top of the fruit, making sure that it completely covers the fruit.

Place the baking dish on a baking sheet, in case it bubbles over, and bake for 50 minutes to an hour, until the top is nicely browned. Remove to a wire rack and let cool 15 minutes before serving. Spoon into individual bowls, dusting the top crust of each serving with powdered sugar.

Serves 6 to 8.

For this recipe and others, see Mark’s Beyond the Pasta app for iPad, iPhone and iPod on iTunes.

About the Author

Mark LeslieMark Leslie, seen cooking on NBC’s "The Today Show" and Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family," loves to cook for anyone with an appetite, vacations in Italy every year, and lives to eat his way through every plate of pasta and cone of gelato placed before him. His first book, “Beyond the Pasta: Recipes, Language & Life with an Italian Family,” tells of his life in Italy while cooking with an Italian grandmother. He shares his food experiences on his blog at www.beyondthepasta.com and has taught cooking classes in California, Georgia, Minnesota, Texas, and across Alabama. While judging for high school culinary events, he was chosen by the US Department of Education to judge for their "National Education Startup Challenge." Mark can be regularly seen cooking on NBC-affiliate, WSFA-TV 12's "Alabama Live! each Friday, bringing easy, locally sourced recipes to central Alabama. His iTunes app “Beyond the Pasta” features helpful videos and more of Nonna’s family-style recipes that she shared with him, plus, upon its release, it was named “New & Noteworthy” by Apple. DaVinci Wines chose Mark as their "2012 Storyteller" in Language Arts—where they sent him to Vinci, Italy, to write about wine, food and life. Mark, his home and book have been featured in such national publications and blogs as House Beautiful, Paula Deen, Food Republic, The Kitchn, Apartment Therapy, Field & Stream, and The Daily Meal. A Chicago-area native and “Yankee” by birth, Mark has lived in Alabama for over 24 years, and celebrates the fact that he started life eating farina, progressed to grits, and finally arrived at polenta. Buonissimo!View all posts by Mark Leslie →

  1. Alice SullivanAlice Sullivan05-15-2013

    Hey Mark! Love the site and happy birthday to you, BTW. Question: I’m pretty much Paleo now. What’s your take on substituting almond flour for wheat? I haven’t had much success with it myself. Also, honey for sugar isn’t as great as I thought it might be, but it’s fine for berries. Just having to re-train my taste buds. But I’d really like to be able to cook most of your recipes except for the grain. Gluten free diet, you know. Thanks babe. Love you!! And XOXOXO to Richard.

    • Mark LeslieMark Leslie05-21-2013

      Alice! I haven’t tried making any gluten-free substitutions for any of my recipes. Wish I could help you. Great to hear from you ~ I am sure you can find the info you need on a gluten-free baking blog site. Let me know if you discover the answer. I think when most people bake gluten-free they do a blend of flours. That’s the best answer I have. xoxo

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"Beyond the Pasta" is owned and operated by Mark Leslie. Unless otherwise specified all content, writing, recipes and photography is original and held in copyright through the Library of Congress. It may not be used without the express written consent of Mark Leslie.