Thursday, June 26, 2014

Quick Blackberry Cobbler, Blackberry Crisp, and Blackberry Swirl Cheesecake!

There has been a lot of construction near us in the last few years, and anywhere the soil has been torn up brambles have sprung up like CRAZY.

Well, it turns out all those brambles are WILD BLACKBERRIES, which have just started to ripen this last week.

I've gone about every 3 days to pick the blackberries - the first time I made a blackberry cobbler, the second time I made a blackberry crisp, and this morning I picked blackberries and made a blackberry swirl cheesecake.

It's been so magical to be able to just wander up and down our gravel driveway and pick a few cups of blackberries.  I love the process of slowly getting in touch with the seasons so that I am learning when elderberries are flowering and when the wild blackberries are just starting to ripen.  Things change so quickly during the summer, and I feel like I'm learning so much!

I've definitely been learning new recipes to use up these blackberries I can't help picking!  The nice thing about these recipes is that they all use either an 8x8 pan, or a pie plate.  I was also pretty thrilled to find a cheesecake recipe that only calls for ONE package of cream cheese!

Blackberry Cobbler
Adapted from Mommy's Kitchen

1 cup self rising flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk
Grated lemon peel from 1 lemon
1 stick butter (1/2 cup), Melted
2 cups fresh blackberries
Coarse Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and pour it into an 8x8 pan.  Mix flour, sugar, lemon peel and milk together. Pour the batter over the melted butter.  Top with blackberries and sprinkle with coarse sugar if you like.  Do not stir. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until golden on top and the cobbler pulls away from the sides of the pan. Let cool a bit and serve with fresh whipping cream or vanilla ice cream.

Blackberry Crisp
Adapted from Brandy's Baking

4 cups blackberries
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup nuts
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
6 TBS (1 stick) cold butter, cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease an 8x8 baking pan.  In the bowl of a food processor add flour, oats, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Pulse until combined.  Add the butter and pulse until mixture forms a sandy, crumbly texture.  Press 1/2 of the mixture into the bottom of prepared pan.  Pour berries over the top.  Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the berries.  Bake for 40-50 minutes until the fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown.  Let cool for about 20-30 minutes before serving.

Blackberry Swirl Cheesecake
Adapted from Watts Cooking

1 sleeve of graham crackers
1/2 stick of butter, melted

Combine crumbs and butter and press into a buttered 8 inch pie plate or a small spring form pan. If you use the spring form pan, line the bottom with parchment or wax paper first.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, then set aside to cool.

2 cups blackberries
1 - 8 ounce pkg. cream cheese - room temp.
1 TBS lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 cup corn starch
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup half 'n half
2 eggs - room temp.
dash of salt

Puree blackberries, then strain through a fine metal strainer to remove the seeds.  Set the blackberry juice aside.  Beat cream cheese till fluffy. Add lemon juice, vanilla and salt and mix till blended. Add corn starch, sugar, and half n half and mix well. Add eggs one at a time until well blended. Pour into crust. Drizzle blackberry juice lightly over the cheesecake batter, then swirl using a toothpick.  If you are using the spring form pan, wrap the bottom of the pan in foil and place into a baking dish, then add hot water to the baking pan till about half way up the side of the cake pan. If you are using a regular pie pan, place a pan of water in the oven with your cake when you bake it and it will less likely crack when baking. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes until golden on top. Your cake should not jiggle when done. Set cake on wire rack and allow to cool for one hour, then cover with foil and refrigerate at least 4 hours, but best over night. If you are using the spring form pan refrigerate the cake in the pan. Do not remove from the pan while the cake is still warm.

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