If you work in software development like we do, you probably know the phrase “failing gracefully”. A software application fails gracefully if it presents a message in an error condition instead of totally crashing. And how does this relate to cooking? Not to beat a dead horse, but we love talking about how cooking taught us to fail – and to do it gracefully. Don’t be fooled by the photos you see here: for every recipe we post on this blog, there are countless failures. Some of our best recipes have come from repeated failure (like this most recent lasagna-stuffed zucchini that was supposed to be zucchini lasagna).
This cobbler was such a giant failure that I refused to try it again for 3 years. It’s one of my mother’s favorite recipes that she nails every time we come to visit, which is probably why I couldn’t quite seem to replicate it. One of the “magical” things about the recipe is that the blueberries sink from the top of the dough to the bottom over the cooking time, as a crust forms neatly over the top. In the early years of our blog, I made countless attempts and the blueberries kept staying at the top, never sinking to the bottom like a proper cobbler. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t seem to get it right, got frustrated, and put it on the shelf.
Seeing a cheerful pint of blueberries at the farmer’s market recently got me to thinking — should I risk failure yet again and attempt the infamous blueberry cobbler? I called my mom, jotted down a few of her “secrets” (why is it that moms always keep these to themselves?), threw it together, and we held our breath. About 20 minutes into the cooking time, the blueberries were still at the top. I was prepared to fail gracefully.
As luck would have it, another 40 minutes and a lovely golden crust had formed over the top. It worked! We pulled it from the oven and served it warm with melty vanilla ice cream. As I watched our friends’ children smear the blue goo all over their charming faces, I was convinced: all that failure was worth it, for this sweet success.
After 3 years, here it is! Mom’s blueberry cobbler:Print
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 pint blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt; stir in 1 cup milk and mix batter until smooth.
- In a 1 or 1 1/2 quart casserole-type baking dish, melt 3 tablespoons butter in the microwave. Pour the batter into the baking dish, and sprinkle the blueberries on top. As the cobbler bakes, the blueberries settle to the bottom and the cobbler forms on top.
- Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until lightly browned.
- Cut individual pieces and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.