Berry Cobbler with Pecan Sandie Streusel

By Sarah Condley

Contributing columnist

1 3/4 cups (about 7 1/2 oz.) plus 5 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided

2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1/2 cup (4 oz.) plus 2 Tablespoons cold salted butter, diced, divided

1 1/4 cups lightly toasted chopped pecans

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided

2 cups fresh blackberries

2 cups fresh blueberries

2 cups fresh raspberries

2 cups fresh strawberries, halved

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 Tablespoon turbinado sugar

Whisk together 1 3/4 cups of the flour, 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a medium bowl.  Using a pastry blender, cut 1/2 cup of the butter into flour mixture until well blended and mixture resembles peas.  Stir in toasted pecans.

Stir together cream and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla in a small bowl; add cream mixture to flour mixture, stirring with a fork until mixture is combined but still crumbly.  Chill until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Gently toss together blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberry halves, lemon zest, nutmeg, and remaining 5 Tablespoons flour, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 2 Tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.  Transfer to a lightly greased 10-inch cast-iron skillet.  Place skillet in an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven until bubbly around the edges, 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Crumble chilled streusel over hot filling, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.  Return to oven, and bake until golden, 25 to 28 more minutes.  Serve warm.

This year has been the best year ever for growing blueberries.  They just keep coming, though we continue to fight all the wildlife that roams our property trying to eat them. God is also blessing us with a good crop of wild black raspberries and now, blackberries, both wild and tame.  There were lots of berries in the refrigerator when I spotted this Berry Cobbler with Pecan Sandie Streusel recipe in my collection of recipes to try some time in my life.  I’d torn the recipe from the July 2016 issue of Southern Living Magazine.  Pecan Sandies were my favorite cookies when I was a kid, that, along with all the berries in the refrigerator made this the perfect recipe to try.

The recipe calls for fresh strawberries and even though I didn’t have fresh ones, I did have some locally grown ones in the freezer.  I sat them in the refrigerator to start thawing while I began preparing this sweet treat.

First, I toasted some pecans.  After about 12 minutes they were fragrant and I removed them from the oven to cool before chopping them.  While the pecans were toasting, I whisked the flour, sugar, and salt together.  I cubed a stick of butter on top and used a pastry blender to combine everything just until the mixture was crumbly.  After stirring the cream and vanilla together I poured it into dry ingredients and used a fork to combine.  Into the refrigerator the crumbly dough went.

I placed all of the berries in a large bowl and added the lemon zest, nutmeg, along with the remaining flour, sugar, cubed butter, vanilla, and salt.  I stirred the berries gently to get them all coated and then poured them into the cast iron skillet.  

Since the berries didn’t come to the top of the skillet, I opted not to put the skillet on the rimmed baking sheet.

The berries were in the oven for 20 minutes then I added the crumb topping.  The berries had not over flowed the skillet and I wondered why the recipe said to use a rimmed baking sheet.  

While the cobbler continued to bake it filled the house with the best smell ever.  After 25 minutes I turned the oven off and opened the door.  WOW, smoke rolled out of the oven and I now wished I’d taken the advice of the recipe author and put the skillet on a rimmed baking sheet.  The dish had boiled over and there was berry syrup dripping off the skillet onto the oven racks and the bottom of the oven.  What a burnt on mess.

I removed the skillet from the oven and the oven mitts ended up with sticky berry syrup all over them too.  I sat the skillet on a cooling rack and then sprinkled salt on all the drips in the oven.  I was hoping the salt would soak up some of the burnt goo and make it easier to clean the oven after it cooled.

After supper that evening you know we had to dive into this cobbler.  Brad and I both topped our bowl full of streusel topped berries with vanilla ice cream and started eating.

Yum, yum, yum.  That’s about all I could say.  This was as good as I’d hoped it would been and the toasted pecans really made it.  Brad said he thought it was good, but since his favorite berries are blueberries, he thought the blueberry pie I made last week was his favorite.  Even though I’m a sweetaholic I didn’t mind that this cobbler wasn’t overly sweet.  I really liked the pecan sandie streusel and it did remind me a bit of Pecan Sandie cookies.

We shared this cobbler with our neighbor Rachel and she let us know that it was a great bedtime snack and she loved the crunch of the pecans.  

Well, another Nailed It recipe is headed to my self-made cook book.