15 August, 2012

Blueberry Cobbler

Do you love bluebabies as much as I do?

I think it was one of my children that first started calling them that, maybe on one of our picking excursions in Labrador. And of course it had nothing to do with sick children, but is a wonderful description of these small and juicy pops of flavour.

That are not only good straight from the bush, warm in the hand, on cereal, in muffins and pies, cobblers and slumps, but reportedly make us more youthful just by eating them.

I know that when blueberry season comes around my thoughts turn to childhood campaigns led by my grandmother, general-in-charge of urging adults and tiring children alike to pick more and "think of the pies".

Now I loved the pies but sometimes I minded the flies. Still, we always managed to get prodigious amounts for jam, pies, muffins, and the freezer.  We didn't make cobbler around these parts, but slumps (a kind of stewed sweetened sauce topped by sugared baking powder dumplings) and  blueberry cake, a fluffy white cake studded with the little gems.

I learned to make cobblers and dumplings in adulthood, and now that I'm gluten-free, I rely on them as a substitute for pies since they don't have the much more finicky GF piecrust.

Yesterday I had the yen to pick some blueberries and found a local U-Pick farm, Higbees Berry Farm, Glen & Cindy Higbee, 867 Mill Rd, RR2, New Ross. Phone: 689-2882 (call ahead) -- for anyone local, with good-tasting highbush blueberries and the friendliest dogs that I've ever met. They had the most adorable puppies to give away and it was all I could do to remember that we can't have a puppy underfoot with my mom's stability problems (she has Parkinson's). In fact the father dog was so adorable with his babies, shepherding them around and nudging them in the most loving way, and the puppies were having so much fun exploring the farm, and just being so excited to be alive, that it would have been a shame to separate them from their parents and that euphoric environment.

After a little sweat and a lot of relaxing quiet on the berry hillside, I came home with a flat of berries and today happened by Gluten-free Girl and discovered a recipe for Strawberry Cobbler.  I adapted it to be blueberry by following the same method but adding a good shake of cinnamon to the macerating berries and substituting Earth Balance for the butter, and soy milk for the milk.

It turned out quite nice. Here are a few pictures and a link to the original recipe. I think I might try a sweetened drop biscuit dough on top next time to make a slightly lighter variation.

Whatever your preference -- fresh, pie or cobbler -- I hope you have the time and opportunity to enjoy wonderful blueberries this month.