A few days ago I mentioned that my boss recently hosted a seafood boil for work. Best job ever.
Most people involved were in charge of bringing a dish or two to go along with all the amazing seafood we consumed that night. So much seafood.
I thought that a big skillet of buttermilk cornbread and my new favorite coleslaw recipe would be the perfect compliment to the rest of the menu.
Everyone knows my reputation as a baker, so on top of my coleslaw I was put in charge of bringing a dessert too. Fresh summer fruit was the name of the game so, with lemon bars and key lime pie already on the menu, I decided a seasonal fruit cobbler would be just the ticket.
Did you know that the name “Cobbler” comes from the look and texture of the topping after it’s baked? I just learned that. Once the drop biscuit topping is baked it’s said to resemble the rough and bumpy look of cobblestone streets.
Originally I had peach cobbler in mind, but the market was overflowing with perfect plump ripe blueberries, while the peaches were still a bit hard. So, change of plans.
Who doesn’t love fresh blueberries anyway? I’ll save the peaches for a pie. Or ice cream. Or jam. Or all of those things.
To add a bit of interest to the traditional buttermilk biscuit topping, I decided to try a cornmeal biscuit recipe. You still get a super soft and tender topping but with just a little extra added texture and flavor.
The filling gets super bubbly, jammy and wonderful once it goes into the oven. The blueberries burst and release their juices and the brown sugar, lemon & spice give them a great syrupy blueberry pie-like flavor. But instead of fussy pie crust, there are biscuits on top. Soft, tender, heavenly buttermilk biscuits with bits of jammy blueberry filling peaking out and bubbling up over the top.
I mean, I know you want to go make this right now. If you’re good at practicing restraint (I’m not) you could always wait until your next picnic or bbq. Oh wait. I feel like there’s one coming up, like really really soon…
Cornmeal Topped Blueberry Cobbler
2 tablespoons butter
4 pints (about 8 cups) blueberries, rinsed and dried
2/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cornmeal biscuit topping
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine stone-ground cornmeal
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425°F. Butter a 9×13, or 4 quart baking dish. Toss blueberries with sugar, flour, lemon zest and juice, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and spread evenly in your prepared baking dish.
Wipe out bowl and use it to stir together flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into the dry mixture with a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingertips. Stir in buttermilk until a wet, loose dough comes together.
Plop spoonfuls of the biscuit dough over the filling; don’t worry about covering entire surface. Bake until the filling is bubbly and the topping is beginning to brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. If desired, top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.