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When I was in Rhode Island recently, blueberries were just on the cusp of spilling forth, and I was lucky to be able to find some of the early, inky-colored orbs. Because I grew up in New England, I have a special fondness for blueberries, which are rather scarce in Paris* (when available, they’re sold in small barquettes with a few dozen berries in them), so I get my fill during trips to the East Coast, where they’re plentiful in the summer.

While blueberries certainly are wonderful paired with other summer fruits, likes nectarines, peaches, apricots, and plums, it’s really nice to get a big, solid wallop of berries in each spoonful. So sometimes I like to pack them in, and use them on their own, rather than have them play a supporting role. Although they’re no slouch in that department, either.

The drop biscuits that I used here are easier to deal with than traditional biscuits because there’s no rolling out; you just mix it up, then drop ’em on. They’re more crumbly than flaky, and because they’re not overly handled when you’re mixing the dough, don’t expect them to look perfect. The trade-off is less work, and less clean-up. Count me in on both of those, especially when I’m on vacation.

Cooking away from home often means you have to be a little more inventive. I scurried around the kitchen I was baking in and found that all the gratin dishes were already in service. So I pulled one of the saute pans off the shelf, and used that. The result was a bubbling skillet of berries, which got served with melting scoops of vanilla ice cream for dessert. But don’t be shy about eating leftovers the next day for breakfast. You can either rewarm the cobbler and biscuits in a low oven, or if you’re anything like me, you can spoon it up right from the pan, if you just can’t wait.

Blueberry Cobbler

Topping adapted from Ready for Dessert I baked my cobbler in a 10-inch (23cm) skillet, but you can use a 1 1/2- to 2-quart (1,5-2l) baking dish, or similar sized vessel. The juniper flavors found in gin go well with blueberries. But if you're avoiding alcohol, you can replace it with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or lemon extract. If using frozen blueberries, don't defrost them before using. If you have buttermilk on hand, you can use that in place of the milk with vinegar. Tapioca flour or potato starch makes a good substitute for the cornstarch.
Servings 6 servings

For the blueberry filling

  • 6 cups (960g) blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark or light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • zest of one lemon, preferably unsprayed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons gin

For the biscuits

  • 2/3 cup (160ml) milk, whole or lowfat
  • 2 teaspoons white or cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces, 60g) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

For the egg wash

  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 medium or large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado (or granulated) sugar
  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
  • To make the blueberry filling, mix the blueberries in a 10-inch (23cm) skillet or baking dish with the granulated and brown sugars, cornstarch, lemon zest and juice, and gin. Place the pan on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet (to catch any spills), and bake until the berries start bubbling, stirring once midway during baking, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  • In a measuring cup, mix the milk with the vinegar and let stand until curdled, about 10 minutes.
  • To make the biscuits, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter and use a pastry blender, or your hands, to break the butter into pieces the size of corn kernels. Give the milk a brisk stir with a fork to bring it back together, then add it to the dry ingredients.
  • Stir the mixture gently with your hands or a spatula until it comes together, but avoid kneading it; overworking the batter will make the biscuits tough. It should be somewhat shaggy, not smooth. If the mixture seems too dry, add another tablespoon of milk.
  • Drop the biscuit batter over the warm cooked blueberries in six dollops, evenly spaced apart. If you want smaller biscuits, you can drop it in eight dollops.
  • In a small bowl, make the egg wash by stirring together the egg yolk and teaspoon of milk together with a fork. Dab the egg wash over the biscuits with a brush. Sprinkle the 2 teaspoons of turbinado sugar over the biscuits.
  • Bake the biscuit-topped cobbler until the tops of the biscuits are golden brown and the biscuits are cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Notes

Serving: Serve warm, preferably, or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream, white chocolate and fresh ginger ice cream, or with a pour of cold heavy cream or crème fraîche.

Related Links and Recipes

Peach Shortcake

Ingredients for American Baking Ingredients in Paris

Gluten-Free Baking and Substitutions

Blueberry Buckle with Lemon Syrup

Vanilla Ice Cream

Mango Frozen Yogurt with Blueberry Compote

*In Paris, I’ve had luck finding organic blueberries (from Spain) in bulk at Biocoop stores. And one summer a few years back, a vendor at the Saturday Batignolles organic market was selling large baskets of myrtilles. I’m not a regular at that market, so not sure if they make an annual appearance there, but it might be worth a look.


31 comments

    • Jean | DelightfulRepast.com

    David, I’m going through a real blueberry “phase” right now, so I’m ready to have this for breakfast! Been making lots of blueberry compote to top my pancakes with.

    • Steve L.

    “Shaggy” dough — I like that.

    • suedoise

    Blueberries that you have picked yourself and then serve just as they are with cold milk mixed with cream poured over them plus sugar is a truly Scandinavian Summer dessert treat with the fun of giving everyone a very blue mouth. This in turn makes blueberries an excellent party tool. Few dishes if any match the fun of everyone having blueberry mouths.

    • Cyndy

    In the US, in Florida, I go through a few containers a week, just eating them out of hand. I was waiting for them to appear here in SW France and was disappointed to find just what you said, a tiny container that wouldn’t last me a day–for a lot of money. So my blueberry gorge had to become a strawberry gorge (pas mal!).

    • Gerlinde

    This is exactly the recipe I was looking for. Thank you David. We get our blueberries from Oregon and Washington State and they are wonderful. I just made an apricot, blueberry cobbler and can’t wait to try your recipe. I was wondering if there is a reason why you are not using buttermilk for the biscuits.

      • Carolyn Z

      Milk plus vinegar equals buttermilk if you don’t happen to have it around. The ratio I use is 1 cup milk minus 1T plus 1T vinegar. Works for many applications in baking. Good luck.

    • Peter

    David. I live in RI and also love blueberry season. I follow and love your blog. My partner and I found your blog on a 10 day trip to Paris about 2 years ago, through Paris By Mouth. We are planning a trip back to Paris this October. Your a blog is a good connection for us to all things Parisian.

    • Diane V

    This looks wonderful, will try it this weekend.

    I was seriously thinking of taking the new president of France up on his offer to move to France but when I heard that blueberries were not available in large quantities have to rethink this entirely.

    • Cinthia

    David,

    I am eager to make this. I am thinking of trying it with bourbon and basil, which I found to be an addicting flavor combination when I visited Blue Star Donuts in Portland, Oregon and had a doughnut with that glaze.

    • Dawn

    My daughter and son-in-law own a 15 acre blueberry farm in New Jersey so in several weeks we will be picking picking picking and picking I love any new recipes to try. Thank you

    • Liz

    Can I prepare with soymilk? Rice milk? Thanks. Looks delicious!

      • june2

      I always love the combo of hemp milk with blueberries and honey – it’s heartier flavor really goes well!

    • Susan S.

    This is so timely. I just finished eating a 3 inch high wild fresh Maine blueberry pie at Moody’s in Waldoboro, Maine (their 90th year in business). The natural flavor of the blueberries were wonderful & the crust flaky. Your recipe is perfect for me to makeup while blueberry are in season. Thanks for always giving us such great ideas and making me smile while I read your recipes.

    • Dana

    Ha! I just made blueberry cobbler for a party and had the leftovers for breakfast. I likened it to the day after Thanksgiving when you’re eating leftover pie for breakfast. It’s the summer version of it.

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Cyndy: Yes, blueberries (and corn on the cob) are harbingers of summer that we miss. On the other hand, there are the lovely French strawberries, which I can never seem to get enough of, either.

    Susan: I love pie but it’s a bit more fuss (and clean up) and cobbler is faster to put together, especially when you’re not in your home kitchen (!) Glad you’re enjoying the site and recipes : )

    Liz: I think so, although I haven’t tried it with other kinds of milk. If you do, let us know how it works out. Or if anyone has experience swapping out nut/grain milks for dairy ones, let us know as well.

    Diane V: There are lots of other good things to eat in France (cheese, baguettes, wine…and more) but if you move, plan to get your blueberry fix less-frequently.

    Dawn: Happy picking!

    • lifecycle

    The one time I had bueberry cobbler was the night before my first marathon in Eugene Oregon. I couldn’t finish the whole huge serving that my amazing friend had made and served so i put half back in the fridge. The thought of that yummy dessert waiting for me was the only thing that kept me going in the last few miles of the race!

    • Chandler in Las Vegas

    Living in a desert means I enjoy frozen blueberries all year round. If you are going to heat them, frozen are great to use. Also, David, Argo makes a good aluminum free baking powder that needs to be added to your list.

      • Jo

      I was at Costco this week & they had great organic blueberries from northern ca. Reasonable too I’m in the desert too. it is always great to find organic berries from the west coast.
      David another great recipe & I could not agree more about cobbler being so much easier than pie & great for Saturday morning breakfast!

    • Taste of France

    I am surprised anything would be left over for breakfast.
    I remember introducing my nieces to blueberries. It was like teaching them a magic trick. Big-eyed wonder.
    Bernard from Ariège, aka M. Fraise, also does blueberries, but in very tiny barquettes and at a high price. I do splurge for my kid from time to time. I would have to make this drool-inducing recipe with frozen blueberries, or else hock my wedding ring.

    • Mona

    Gosh, so close yet so far. Please, next time you are that close to Boston, consider paying us a visit with a book signing. I know you have lots of fans here and we have many great places to eat.

    • Christine Rademeyer

    how much sugar goes into the biscuits David – am I just being dumb – but I don’t see an amount!

    It’s 3 tablespoons, although if you like the biscuits on the sweeter side, you could use 1/4 cup : ) – dl

    • Gavrielle

    Interesting, US biscuit dough is clearly very like scones, although with scones you’d make the butter smaller than a corn kernel. Growing up I used to rub the butter in by hand as you suggest, but these days I find a food processor (used as sparingly as possible to avoid overworking the dough) is a much better scone maker than I am.

    • Victoria

    Can you substitute vodka or rum for gin?

    • Michael

    David, once again you came to the rescue– we were having my boss and his wife over for dinner yesterday and the menu came together but I was at a loss for what to make for dessert. And then I checked your site and saw you’d posted this recipe this week. I made it in a baking dish, and it was both easy and fantastic– the lemon zest and gin add a beautiful herbal tartness to the sweet berries. Plus it just looks gorgeous in the bowl with some homemade whipped cream. Definitely a keeper–thank you!

    • Krystal

    Just made this last night, but with an assortment of fruit as we bought way too much for two people to eat fresh over the next few days. Apricots, blueberries, nectarines, and cape gooseberries (which I learned after the fact are related to tomatillos – whoops!) all went in. It was probably tarter than it would be with the blueberries alone, but it was really good! Looking forward to what is waiting in the fridge for dessert again tonight!

    • Michel Tyler

    A wonderful post. You have the greatest news letters. Thank you David so much for sharing. Makes me feel like I’m in Paris sometimes. Terrific

    • Jean

    It sounds like a French entrepreneur with land should start growing blueberries. I would think they’d do well in Normandy or Brittany.

    • Sam VA

    Looks absolutely wonderful. I grew up in the Northeast and my birthday “cake” was always blueberry pie. I’m in MN now and once local blueberries show up in the farmers market I’ll give this a try.
    Also David – I just made your pistachio gelato recipe (it took a trip to Sicily to get my hands on the Crema di Pistacchio). As good as advertised – thank you!!

    • Sarah Cushman

    Made this last night with fresh Oregon blueberries. I will never make another fruit cobbler again. Absolutely perfect. Not overly sweet, fab biscuit recipe & lovely fruit to cobbler ratio. Thank you David! Très bon!

    • Bonny

    Made this tonight with freshly picked
    Blackberries. Most excellent.

    • Chris J

    Ah…blueberries. Rare here in the Philippines and for a home cook such as myself trained in a variety of European and Middle Eastern etc cuisines, I feel yah.

    Here, finding flour beyond white and whole wheat? Creme fraiche? Leeks not as big as scallions? Lamb? Dried legumes, masa harina, and the list goes on… Very frustrating…

A

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