May 5, 2011

Dewberry Cobbler Cream Dessert

Thorny brambles, 
oh sweet pleasures

There is a short period of time in lower Alabama, a time long before the June bugs come around in May and before the Maypop flowers bloom in mid April that we are humbled with the fruits from the prickly stems along the coast known as our beloved southern dewberry. Actually belonging to the rose family and officially called Rubus trivialis, the vines or canes spread outwards along the sides of roadways and clearings making it somewhat easy to harvest unlike the blackberry that grows densely, kinda shrubby and will produce larger fruit later in the season. The dewberry is a little sweeter, a whole lot softer and the vines produce much less fruit than the average blackberry cane. It takes all the will power I know not to eat the sweet fruits before getting home for if I did, I would not be able to enjoy the goodness of this short lived pleasure.

This dessert is one of Aunt Ida's cobbler treats, to me she was the queen of cobblers and did so many darn good things with them. I am lucky to have known her and this is how I remember her making this one. Like many of her desserts with seed type fruits, she goes to the trouble to strain out the seeds and then she adds diced pears to give it body. If the seeds don't bother you then don't waste the time, I won't tell. This dessert is really more like a custard slump or pie I suppose and served with a creamy ice cream topping, but who's gonna correct her, bless her heart, not me.


Ida's Dewberry Cobbler Cream Dessert
use any berry or bramble fruit for this slump

pie crust recipe for double crust
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 cup pecan meal or finely minced pecans
3 good cups dewberries (or your choice)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
blackberry drink or pear juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pears, diced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
whipped topping
1 pint vanilla bean ice cream, softened
2 cups whipped cream
zest of lemon if desired

Make your favorite pie crust for 2 pies rolling one out for a deep 9-inch or a 10-inch pie.  Roll remaining crust out into a rectangle. Sprinkle each crust with 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 cup pecan meal to make a shortbread-like crust. Press the sugar and pecans into the pastry. Line one 10-inch pie pan with the pie crust sugar side up and cut the rectangle into 1/2-inch wide strips lengthwise. Set aside

Wash the dewberries gently rinsing under water and place in a saucepan. Use a fork to crush them up a bit and stir in the sugar. Heat over medium low heat and cook for about 20 minutes until the berries cook out. Dissolve the cornstarch in the lemon juice and stir into the berries. Stir until thicken and remove from heat. Run through a food mill or press through a mesh strainer with the back of a spoon.

Discard the berry pulp and seeds and to the juice mixture, add enough fruit juice to make 3 cups. Stir in the vanilla. In a large bowl, beat the eggs just a bit and stir in the flour. Fold in the diced pears and then the berry mixture.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Pour mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Place strips of crust, sugar side up, along the top as desired. Place dessert in the oven and bake reduce heat to 350 degrees F. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until center is set. Remove and let cool. Refrigerate if desired.

Meanwhile, make the topping mixing with the softened ice cream, the whipped cream and lemon zest. Place in freezer to firm.

Remove the topping from the freezer about 10 minutes before serving. Top cobbler with the topping when ready to serve.

Note: Any leftover strips of pie crust strips that is not needed for the top of the grunt, Ida would bake along side on a pan and serve them in with the dessert as 'extra goodies' as she called them.


  1. This is one of my favorite combo's, love berries and cobblers are perfect ending for desserts..

  2. Now that is an informative post. Being a transplant from Pennsylvania I did not know about the dewberry. You are lucky to have someone like Aunt Ida….those are always the favorite aunts!

  3. Absolutely fantastic!
    Thanks for sharing, it's inspiring!

  4. Talk about coincidence (in more ways than one seeing Pierce's note above). My mother-in-law was just asking me this morning if I had every heard of a dewberry because her brother-in-law (from Pennsylvania) had the nickname Dewberry and she didn't know if it was just a nickname or a real berry. I said I had no clue. Now I do. And I even know how to make a delicious cobbler with it. :)

  5. When we lived in the Northwest, blackberries were almost a plague, they grew everywhere. But the good side to that was the berries were free for the taking along just about any back road. These dewberries look wonderful and that cobbler has me drooling!

  6. I love sweet is Aunt Ida! these are my fav recipes, family recipe..sending this to my mom..she would love it! thanks for sahring
    have a great weekend!


  7. I've never heard of dewberries - I've been missing out!

  8. What a fabulous dessert! I sure hope I get a chance to try dewberries some day...but in the meantime, I'll have to try this wonderful cobbler with raspberries or blackberries.

  9. Mmm, I love all things buckle, cobbler and crumble so this is right up my alley. Thanks for sharing! I've never had a dewberry, probably can't find them in connecticut...

  10. I never heard of dewberry. The Cobbler looks great.

  11. In the wisest of words from Rachel Ray...YUM-O!

  12. Growing up in Macedonia dewberries were everywhere! Then I came here to the midwest and noone had even heard of them... I'm sooooo happy to see that someone has mentioned them on a food blog! :)

  13. I've never had a dewberry... but you've peaked my curiosity!

  14. This is another berry I have not had since I was a kid...this looks fantastic! And what a sweet tribute to your Aunt :)