Yeah, other places have boring fresh fruit cobblers but hey, in Southwest things are special. We don't like boring. You want boring, then head to (insert your choice for most boring state) and eat boring food with boring people. Here in the Southwest we don't believe in walking straight lines, counting backwards or breathalyzers so we do what only we can do well -- we add booze to our food! That's right, come to the great Southwest and see staggering and smiling people!
Actually, this is a very good dessert and in true Southwest fashion, the origins of this dessert come from the cowboys. This is a dessert the trail cowboys (and cowgirls since we must now always be politically correct) would cook in a cast iron Dutch oven over an open fire. You can do it that way as well but it is a little easier to do in the kitchen.
You can actually use most fruits for this dessert but the cowboys seems to prefer berries as they grew wild on the various landscapes of the ranges. Personally I love the combination of the sweetness of the berries marrying with the bourbon and the pungent buttermilk crust seems to bring it all together.
This recipe will be presented in two parts, leading off with the buttermilk crust. Regarding the crust, the original recipe called for lard (rendered animal fat) but since lard is not that easy to find these days, you can use shortening as I did for adapting this recipe. I would not, however, substitute butter.
Ingredients needed to make Bourbon Berry Cobbler (serves 4):
The Buttermilk Crust:
- 2 cups flour
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- 1 Tbs. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 1 cup buttermilk
- In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients to form a dough (it will be sticky).
- Set the dough aside.
- 6 Tbs. butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 cup cream
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 pound blackberries (you can also use raspberries or boysenberries)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small Dutch Oven (or casserole dish that is flame-proof), melt the butter over medium heat.
- Into the melted butter stir in all the ingredients, except the berries, until the sugars have liquefied.
- Add the berries and gently toss to coat.
- Remove the Dutch Oven from the heat.
- Place the dough on top of the berries and roughly smooth out.
- Place in the oven and bake 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool before serving.
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