Thursday, July 23, 2015

Oregon Grape-Blueberry Cobbler

I was taking a bit of a break from all the remodeling work going on at our place, and stepped into our forest for a few minutes last weekend to relax.  I had no sooner walked a bit into the forest then my eyes spied something.... blue!


The Oregon grapes were ripe!  When I first tasted an Oregon grape berry several years ago, it seemed like it was sour enough to pucker my mouth permanently!  They are a very, very puckery sour berry!


However, after doing a bit of research on them, I've discovered that they do have marvelous properties, and can be used in jellies, jams, and juices.  Their root has incredible healing properties, which the travelers of the Oregon pioneer trail discovered, and why Oregon named this berry as their state flower.

If you would like more information on the amazing qualities of this sour berry, you can read this article: http://www.thepracticalherbalist.com/holistic-medicine-library/oregon-grape-gentle-protector/.


It took me quite a while to find these berries, as they grow very sparsely, and you have to hunt for them. I found that many of them liked growing around our Douglas firs.


After about an hour of looking for and picking these berries, I ended up with just a little over 1 cup of berries.  Certainly nothing like the blueberry harvest I got in last week, lol! And I certainly ended up with more than my share of scratches!  The Oregon grape bushes are from the holly family, and have sharp little thorny edges, so trying to get a few berries into the bowl meant squatting down among other thorny pointy bushes to get the berries.


Because the Oregon grape berries are SO SOUR, I knew that if I was to do anything with them, some extra sweetness had to be involved.  When I did not find any recipes for cobblers made out of Oregon grape berries online, I decided it would be worthwhile to come up with my own.



The verdict was in!  You could definitely tell the distinctive taste of the Oregon berries, but as they were mixed with the very sweet and delicious blueberries I had just picked, the sour and the sweet mixed together, to create a tasty cobber!  Every once in a while, you got a bite of the sour Oregon grape berry, but it wasn't too bad!


I cooked up the cobbler in my trusty big iron skillet, which cooked the cobbler to perfection.


And I don't have a fancy picture to show you of the cobbler, because it was being served up to friends for dessert, and I was lucky to get a picture of it, before it was eaten up in a hurry!

Here is my go-to cobbler recipe, it is simple, easy, and turns out amazing every time!

Fruit Cobbler

1 large can peaches (can use other fruit with sugared sauce)
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted in pan
Cinnamon/sugar to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Put stick of butter in 9x13 pan, or large 9" iron skillet and place in oven to melt.  Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Pour in 1 cup milk.  Stir gently.  Take pan out of oven with melted butter.  Pour in batter over butter.  Do not stir.  Then drop in fruit on top of batter.  Do not stir.  Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over top of cobbler, and place back in oven.  Cook for 30 minutes.  Check to see if it is browned and bubbly before removing from oven.

For my Oregon grape-blueberry cobbler, this is how I prepared the fruit for the cobbler:

1 cup blueberries
1 cup Oregon grapes
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp cornstarch

Mix all together in saucepan, and cook over low heat just until mixture comes to a boil, and thickens. Remove from heat and cool slightly.  Use in cobbler recipe.

I wanted to cook the Oregon grapes and blueberries together to help sweeten the overall flavor of the fruit.  However, you could just add fresh berries to the cobbler batter, if desired as well!

This turned out to be a wonderful dessert enjoyed by all with a large helping of homemade vanilla ice cream.  I'm glad that my little walk in the woods turned into such a fun dessert!

12 comments:

  1. "Eaten in a hurry" is way better than a fancy photo. I would say that's the best compliment a chef can get...especially when it comes to dessert!

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    1. Yes, so true! The skillet was practically licked clean, lol! No leftovers means only good things in the kitchen! :)

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  2. Yummo! A win-win, girlfriend! Especially baked in iron! Yeah!

    Hugs and happy summertime,
    Kelley~

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    1. Yes, I love baking in my iron skillets... everything seems to taste good cooked in them, lol! Hugs to you too, and happy travels! Are you back home yet?

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  3. You are such a busy girl.. I love that and you are an inspired cook also...
    Catching up with you ... xo

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    1. Yes, inspiration in the kitchen comes quickly at times, and other times not at all, lol! Thanks so much for your visit today... always enjoy what you are doing in your home too! Have a beautiful and blessed day :)

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  4. Mary in Idaho7/23/15, 9:05 PM

    Love your willingness to try new things. I love Oregon blueberries, but have never tried Oregon grapes. I am printing your cobbler recipe to use with good grocery store blueberries!

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    1. Thanks Mary for your visit today, and I hope you enjoy the cobbler, it is our family's favorite go-to dessert, especially when paired with homemade ice cream!

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  5. Haha! I was waiting to see what you would do with them. I'm sure it was a very tasty cobbler. Those are very healthy looking plants. The few around here are heavily browsed on by the deer. It's hard to imagine why they think those pokey leaves taste good.....

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    1. Yes, I was hoping to find some salal berries here, but I don't think we have any. I found recipes that said you could mix salal and oregon grape berries together, and so I decided that blueberries might also work too, and they did! ... and I too never cease to be amazed at what the deer and moose eat around here!

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  6. That looks very good! Glad you found a way to use them!

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    1. Sorry, that I am just now getting around to replying to this comment... it was made over a month ago - wow! I've been absent from the blog that long - whew! Hope you are doing okay friend, and appreciate your visit as always! :)

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