Kitchen Favorites

Every cook has their favorite tools in the kitchen.  Some of these tools are favorites because we use them daily, some are favorites because of where they came from and others are favorites because of who we associate with that item.

 

The favorite this week is my cast iron Dutch oven.  My dad started my fascination with cast iron cooking when I was a kid.  One of my favorite memories focuses on cast iron cookware comes from a rare winter ice storm and cooking in our fireplace.

I was probably 9 years old and we had a massive ice storm – everything was covered and we had no electricity for several days.  Cooking was not an issue as my parents have a gas stove but heat was as all we had was a forced air wood stove.   We kept a roaring fire going to keep us all toasty and warm.  Dad took a cast iron Dutch oven and made a pan of biscuits, popped them into the fireplace and in about 20 minutes we had the best snack.  We made many many batches of those biscuits during the ice storm.  It wasn’t just the food though; while we sat around snacking we also played card games, monopoly, and checkers.   We were unplugged before unplugged was important and we loved it.

Now my Dutch oven is in constant use; it isn’t Daddy’s Dutch oven but it is almost as good because he bought it and gave it to me.  Every time I break out the Dutch oven, I know something good is about to be made and with it memories.  Whether it is cobbler, pie or biscuits; gumbo, red beans and rice or simply a pot of soup, that trusty cast iron pot makes it better.

So thanks Daddy, not just for the gift of cast iron but for the memories.

Blueberry Cobbler

Two words – Blueberry Cobbler.  These words always bring back memories of summer snacks back home.  A homemade cobbler made from scratch using one of my great great aunts recipes and cooked in a cast iron dutch oven was always a treat.  One of the great things about the south is that family recipes get passed down not only to family but to close friends.  Many times I have been blessed to be given an old family recipe from a friend.

While I do have my great great aunts recipe, today I wanted a slightly different cobbler.  The cobbler I made today was a “passed on” recipe.  As a new bride, I was blessed with many wonderful wedding showers and among the gifts were cookbooks including a few that were handwritten family recipes that the givers were sweet enough to share with me and my spouse.  These books are treasured by my family and often get pulled down to make various dishes that remind me of home.

Now that blueberries are in season, I could not wait to make a delicious cobbler filled with plum juicy berries and topped with a buttery crust;  garnished with a scoop of ice cream or sweetened whipped cream nothing will make a better bedtime snack.

This recipe has plenty of  butter and sugar so it is not for the faint of heart.

 

BLUEBERRY COBBLER

Filling

  • 1 pt. blueberries; washed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water.

Crust

  • 12 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp  salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup flour

Set oven to 375 degrees.

In a small saucepan, combine blueberries and sugar.  Cook over low heat for approximately 5 minutes until the berries have begun to release their juice.  Mix cornstarch and water and add to the blueberries; cook until thickened.  Set aside.

In a 9 X 9 inch pan, melt 4 Tbsp of butter by placing it into the hot oven.  Once melted remove from the heat.  Pour the blueberries into the pan and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder; mix well.  Place a small skillet on the stove and melt remaining 8 Tbsp of butter.  Butter is melted remove from heat and add in milk and egg.  Mix well and combine with flour mixture.    Once all ingredients are well mixed, drop batter in spoonfuls over the top of the blueberries.  Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until batter is completely cooked. (I have never had to bake longer than 30 minutes.)

This cobbler is the perfect mix of tart blueberries and sweet buttery crust.

I hope you love it as much as we do.