Here’s another great post by Kay Bess on growing up in southern West Virginia (and homemade cobbler of course!).
Cobbler – Other Than a Shoe Maker, What Does it Mean? How Did Cobbler Get It’s Name?
The word cobbler is derived from “cobble up”, which means to throw together quickly. The early
settlers were the first people known to make cobblers. At that time they weren’t always fruit cobblers, they were sometimes a meat and veggie dish with a biscuit-type crust dropped on top to cover it completely. They would take the leftovers from several meals and concoct a new dinner favorite.
Most of us baby boomers can relate to our grandmothers and mothers using fresh picked blackberries, blueberries or strawberries in the heat of the summer to bake a quick and mouthwatering dessert called “Cobbler”. Typically the berries would be picked fresh in the coolness of the morning before the heat set in and the snakes slithered out to sunbathe under the berry vines. Later in the day, while dinner was cooking and the day’s chores were finished, a cobbler was “thrown together” quickly for the day’s dessert.
My grandparents lived in Edmond, WV on a large country farm and days were long and hot in the summer. There were gardens to weed, fields to mow, animals to feed, quilts to be stitched and children to raise.
My mother was one of nine Morrison children. We loved canning season since it meant weeks of going to Edmond and playing with cousins while the women canned beans, corn, beets, carrots, and made applesauce and pickles and saved all the bounty from the garden to tide them over during the winter. The days always ended with a tasty dinner, and most often cobbler with cream for dessert since berries were plentiful on the farm property. Cobbler is best served warm right from the oven so the whipped cream melts as you dollop it on the top.
I am happy to share this basic cobbler recipe with you which will make a small cobbler. To make a large 13 x 9 pan full, just double the ingredients. For the most unique experience, find a place to pick you own berries, or if skittish of snakes, the local farmer’s market would love to sell you some fresh berries. Either way, enjoy and savor every mouthful of this delightful treat.
Fresh Berry Cobbler
3/4 c. water, 2 tbsp. cornstarch or flour, 1/2 c. sugar, 3 c. strawberries, blueberries, raspberries. Combine water, cornstarch & sugar. Boil & cook 1 minute. Add berries & remove from heat. Pour into 9 inch pie plate. Top with cobbler, which is 1 c. flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/3 c. milk, 3 tbsp. oil. Drop over berries, cook at 425 for 30 mins. Serve warm.