This syrupy Blueberry Cobbler is crowned with buttery rich biscuits that are moist and tender on the bottom with a crunchy crispy crust. A quick and foolproof dessert that is bursting with summer flavours.
This blueberry crumble is an excellent way to use up as many blueberries as you can while they are in season. A back-pocket summer dessert, it’s ideal for serving a crowd and requires very little time or skill to prepare. Even better, you can prepare and bake this cobbler in under an hour without having to fuss with rolling out pie dough or having the oven on for too long in the middle of summer.
If you’re unfamiliar with a cobbler, it’s just about one of the easiest desserts you can make. Start with a good amount of fresh seasonal fruit, top it with quick-to-make biscuits, and pop into the oven. In about 40 minutes you have golden-topped rounds of baked goodness swimming in a pool of bubbling saucy fruit.
In this recipe, the lightly sweetened filling is kept simple to allow the fresh blueberries to shine. Serve the cobbler warm with large scoops of ice cream and off to heaven you go.
Why You Should Make A Cobbler
- Easier Than Pie: A pie dough is finicky and requires a lot more attention to detail; at least a 1/2 hour chilling time for the dough, rolling out the dough, pre-baking the shell, etc, etc. With a cobbler you’re simply topping a fruity filling with an easy biscuit topping that takes about 5 minutes to mix together.
- Comes together in flash: I’d be surprised if this cobbler takes you longer than 15 minutes to assemble.
- Not overly sweet: When you are using seasonal fruit that is naturally sweetened by nature, you really want to add as little sugars possible to let the fruit shine.
- Very adaptable: A fruit cobbler is fabulous with berries or any stone fruit you like. Try a plum cobbler when the plums are at their peak, or a pear cobbler in the fall. Apples may not be juicy enough so leave those for crisps or crumbles.
- Quick to serve: Unlike pies that require a long cooling time before serving, cobblers can be served almost straight out of the oven.
- Ridiculously good: Take one bite of this summer fruit-centric dessert and you will be hooked for life.
What Is A Fruit Cobbler?
Crisps, cobblers and crumbles are similar in that they all have a fruity filling topped with a pastry. In these desserts, the surface is usually left a bit exposed in some areas allowing the fruit to bubble up around the pastry and form juicy pockets.
Crisps and crumbles are the most similar to each other. A crumble typically has a streusel-like topping and a crisp topping almost always contains oats. A cobbler, however, has soft biscuits, or a cake batter, topping the fruity filling. Once baked, the drop-biscuits, or batter topping, ends up looking somewhat like a cobbled road, hence the name.
I am currently smitten with cobblers, but all of these rustic desserts are great to make when you need to use up a lot of fresh fruit and feed a lot of people.
Though blueberries make an exceptionally delicious filling for this cobbler, you can use any fruit (or combination). Peaches, blackberries, cherries, apricots or nectarines would all be quite lovey to use here.
Easy Biscuit Topping
As mentioned above, there a few different routes you can take to top a cobbler. All of them are super easy to make but my absolute favourite cobblers are topped with biscuits. They only require flour, butter, a little sugar, baking powder, and heavy cream. Your hand or a fork is all you need to bring it all together. No need to roll out the dough or be too precise shaping the biscuits, either.
This cobbler is meant to be rustic so drop the biscuits over the top of the filling leaving a bit of space between each small clump. A bit of exposed surface ensures the fruit has a chance to boil and bubble up so it cooks down and slightly thickens.
When baked, the biscuits puff up in the oven, becoming juicy and soft on the bottom, with a moist interior and an almost-crispy top. Before baking, I like to brush a bit of cream on top of the biscuits then sprinkle with turbinado sugar for a little extra sweetness and crunch.
If you end up with a saucier filling, don’t sweat it. It will thicken as it cools but it also means you have more fruity sauce to top over the biscuits and ice cream. Yum!
Before you know it, golden-topped dollops of baked goodness are crisping up in a shallow sea of bubbling fruit. In this version I combined rhubarb, strawberry, and a splash of port wine with a buttery black pepper, pine nut and oat crumble. Sounds a bit fancy, but really, it couldn’t be easier to make.
Ingredients And Notes
For the filling:
- Blueberries: Fresh blueberries are best for this cobbler but you can use frozen if you need to. If using frozen, pre-bake the berries for 15 minutes before topping with biscuits.
- Sugar: I like a barely-sweetened filling and topping. If you like things sweeter, feel free to add a few more tablespoons to taste. I go back and forth using cane sugar or white sugar but I might actually prefer it with white which (I think) makes the berries release a little more juice.
- Lemon Juice and zest: A bit of lemon juice and lemon zest is lovely in the fruit filling and helps boost the blueberry flavour.
- Vanilla: Adds some floral aroma to the blueberry filling.
- Cornstarch: To thicken the filling. I don’t like using flour to thicken this filling but arrowroot, or tapioca flour work really well.
For the topping
- Flour: I use all-purpose.
- Baking powder: Make sure it’s fresh or the biscuits will be thin and flat.
- Salt: A bit of salt is essential in pastries.
- Granulated sugar: Just a few tablespoons is enough to sweeten this pastry.
- Butter: The butter should be cold and cut into small pieces.
- Heavy cream: I like to use heavy cream which makes really tender, fluffy biscuits. You can use whole milk or buttermilk, if you prefer. If using milk reduce amount to 1/2 cup.
- Turbinado sugar: To sprinkle the top of the biscuits for an extra crunchy crust.
How To Make Blueberry Cobbler
Prepare the filling. In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Spread the filling into an 9-inch square pan or 8×11-inch rectangular pan. See more below on size of pan you should use.
Make the biscuit topping. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter or rub it into the flour using your fingers, until pea-sized crumbs form. Using a fork or small spatula, mix in the heavy cream just until incorporated and a sticky dough forms; Don’t over-mix.
Alternatively, you can use a food processor: Pulse dry ingredients until combined. Add butter and pulse until pea-sized crumbs form. Drizzle in cream and pulse a few times just until mixture comes together into a slightly sticky dough; Do not over-mix.
Top filling with biscuits. Using your hands, form the dough into little patties that are about 2-inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick and place them on top of the blueberry filling. Tip: The mixture will be very sticky; lightly flour your hands if needed.
Brush the top of each biscuit with a bit of cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Bake: Bake until the topping is golden-brown and the juices are bubbling aggressively around it, about 35 to 40 minutes.
- Make it sweeter, if necessary. Fresh blueberries can vary quite a bit in sweetness. I recommend you taste a few and if they seem a bit tart, add a few more tablespoons of sugar.
- Once baked, let sit for 30 minutes if using frozen blueberries. Frozen blueberries will make a very saucy cobbler but it will thicken as it sits.
- Bake in a hot oven. A lot of recipes say to bake a cobbler in a 350ºF oven but I find a hotter oven (375ºF) ensures the biscuits will puff up a bit more.
Can I use frozen blueberries?
While I prefer this cobbler with fresh blueberries, you can use frozen if you wish (do not thaw). The filling will be a lot runnier with frozen fruit so make sure you add a bit more cornstarch.
Can I assemble the cobbler in advance?
You can assemble the entire cobbler and place in the fridge for about an hour before baking. I wouldn’t wait longer than that or the biscuits may not puff up as much. Also important to note, if using berries that release more juice than blueberries, chill the filling and biscuits separately, and assemble only when ready to bake. Otherwise, the biscuits could get soggy before baking.
What size pan is best for this cobbler?
This recipe calls for 5 cups of blueberries which sounds like a lot but they do cook down considerably. I like to use a baking dish that isn’t too large so the blueberries come to at least a few inches from the top. I find an 8×11-inch baking dish, or 9×9-inch is perfect for 5 cups of blueberries. If you prefer to use a 9×13-inch pan that will work fine too but it would be better with a few more cups of blueberries.
Can I double the recipe?
Yes! You can double the filling, the topping or both without having to change the bake time. Just use a larger baking pan!
It is perfectly acceptable to serve the blueberry cobbler, warm from the oven, just as is. But to take it to pie delicious new heights we love it smothered in ice cream or heavy cream.
All cobblers are best enjoyed on the day they are baked but absolutely no one will turn it down the next day either. If you find yourself with leftovers, wrap tightly with aluminum foil and leave on counter overnight. The cobbler can also be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
More Summer Desserts To Try
Blueberry Cobbler Recipe
For the filling
- 5 cups fresh blueberries about 650g
- 1/4 cup (50g) sugar I use white or cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch can also use arrowroot or tapioca flour
- Zest of 1 medium lemon
- 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice ½ medium lemon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
- 1-2 tablespoons soft butter (for greasing pan)
For the topping
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (200g)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons (85g) fridge cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3/4 cup (165g) heavy cream, plus a bit more for brushing
- turbinado sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 375ºF and grease an 8×11-inch, 9×9-inch baking dish with soft butter.
- In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla (if using). Pour into prepared baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter or rub it into the flour using your fingers, until pea-sized crumbs form. Using a fork or small spatula, mix in the heavy cream just until incorporated and a sticky dough forms; Don't over-mix.
- Using your hands, form the dough into little patties that are about 2-inches in diameter and about 1/2-inch thick and place them on top of the blueberry filling. Tip: the mixture will be very sticky; lightly flour your hands if needed.
- Brush the top of each biscuit with a bit of heavy cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar, to taste.
- Bake until the topping is golden-brown and the juices are bubbling aggressively around it, about 35 to 40 minutes.
- Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream or heavy cream.