Friday, August 1, 2008

Making a Pie

I carry a recipe in my head, and don't claim to be a real cook, so I wouldn't mind if somebody wants to point out any stupidity they spot in my procedure. I get pretty good reviews, though.

In my book, the main thing is to make a Deep Dish Cobbler. This seems to be a Southern thing, and certainly to me it is the only way to go. I am quite opinionated about it, and am ready to believe that some of the things they do "up North," such as putting sugar in cornbread, were the real causes of the Civil War! Taking huckleberries and making some kind of thin spread with thin crust on top is just beyond the pale! Alton Brown does sometimes cover Southern cooking and notes

"Now where I grew up, a cobbler is usually a very deep dish application with layers of hot fruit interspersed amongst these kind of thick layers of crust."

I'd subscribe to that, including that the crust be thick, although as far as layers, not sure what he means, but for me it just goes on top.

Now you might be better off following one of Alton's recipes, but here's what I do. One good thing about a 'winging it' recipe is that it fits any quantity of berry that you have:


Take a cool iron skillet and grease it up a bit [very lightly] with shortening. Start stewing your huckleberries in a separate pan, adding lemon juice instead of water. [After some advice that what I come up with is too tart, I am going to try not so much lemon juice, maybe half lemon juice and half water]. Add a couple of tablespoons of sugar, seeing that it tastes plenty sweet as you start the heat. Heat the mixture until the berries start breaking up. ESSENTIAL STEP: the berries now release a bunch of flavor that will overwhelm the sugar you put in, taste again and add more sugar as needed!

At this point make biscuit dough enough to cover the top. Add more shortening than normal, until the mixture acts pretty crumbly. This will mean it will be flaky. I don't add any sugar myself. You can use Bisquick if you add more shortening to it. If the stewed berries cool a bit that's good.

Pour the berry stew into the skillet after you have double-checked the sugar level. Cut the biscuit dough into strips, and put a row of dough around the edge of the skillet. Lay strips of dough on top of this allowing a few spots to be uncovered. Place in oven at about 375 degrees. When the filling is bubbling and the dough has started to brown, it's done.
IMHO, a recipe for failure here.

Stay tuned!


Carlw4514 said...

stew the huckleberries separately at first.

Oh, Sue definitely says I should mention to go ala mode. Yep, key!

Louise said...

My sister-in-law made raspberry-rhubarb cobbler last night and I was a little disappointed in the crust. It was too thin, in my opinion.

Carlw4514 said...

Alton Brown wants a word with her! If she made deep dish we have to forgive her, tho

Suzanne said...

Huckleberries are not sweet berries. They are tart. So cooking them down first and then adding sugar is important - and they'll take a generous amount of sugar. Let the berries cool so you can actually taste - don't assume you've added enough. One reason I like mine a la mode is ice cream is creamy and sweet. It adds a lot to the cobbler. Oh, yum.