In Montreal, we have an abundance of fancy pastry shops, yet we lack shops with traditional, home-baked goods like bundts and cookies. I guess my kitchen endeavors make up for that in my life.
This summer, pastry chef Michelle Marek (of the restaurant Laloux and the blog An Endless Banquet) helped fill that void with monthly berry social events (proceeds going to the charity Santropol Roulant), where she'd bake and serve a traditional, home-y dessert featuring the local berry in season at the time. In June, she featured strawberries and served strawberry shortcakes. July was raspberry season and she ladled gorgeous mashed raspberries over a fluffy sponge cake and a dollop of whipped cream.
For August, we were privy to a wonderful and generous helping of blueberry cobbler overflowing with Quebec wild blueberries. It was buttery, sweet, and truly berrylicious. It reminded me that I had completely forgotten about blueberry season, and I hadn't made a cobbler in ages.
I started with this recipe from Virginia Willis, made in a seasoned cast iron skillet. Of course, I don't have one of those (one day, I hope...), so I baked the cobbler in two individual white oven-safe pots, and a 9-inch cake pan (not shown).
Personally, I like a cake-y cobbler, and that is exactly what this is: a sweet batter is poured over a layer of melted butter and fresh blueberries and baked until the cake is tender and golden and the berries are bubbly and hot.
I used a tablespoon of butter and half a cup of wild blueberries per individual pot, and the rest of the butter and the other 3 cups of berries went into the 9-inch pan. Our blueberries are sweet and flavorful enough that you don't have to sweeten them really, especially if you are baking them under a sweet cake layer.
Cobbler is best served warm, with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. The sweet cream mixed with the warm cake and buttery baked blueberries is incredibly comforting.
Quebec wild blueberry cobblerMakes one 9-inch cobbler (or one 9-inch cobbler plus a couple individual ramekins)
- 4 cups (~750 grams) fresh (Quebec) wild blueberries
- 1 cup (148 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (215 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- pinch (<1/8 tsp) nutmeg
- 1 cup (250 mL) whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) butter, cubed
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Carefully wash and pick through the blueberries (checking for twigs or rocks). Drain and pat them dry (I do this by pouring them over a towel lined baking sheet). Set aside.
- Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside
- Stir together the milk and vanilla in a measuring cup. Set aside.
- Place all the butter in a 9-inch cake pan (or ~1 tbsp per individual ramekin). Place the cake pan(s) in the oven for 7 or 8 minutes, or until the butter is completely melted and the pan is hot.
- When the butter is just about melted, pour the reserved milk mixture over the dry ingredients, and whisk to combine and form the cake batter.
- Remove the pan(s) from the oven, and carefully pour the blueberries (1/2 cup per ramekin, and the rest in the cake pan) over the melted butter, and top with the cake batter (couple tablespoons per ramekin, and the rest in the cake pan).
- Return the pan(s) to the oven and let them bake until the cake is golden brown and baked through (check with a cake tester). The baked blueberries will bubble and release some juice. The small ramekins take about 35 minutes, while the larger cake pan takes about 45 minutes.
- Remove the pan(s) from the oven, and let cool slightly before serving.