Monday, August 25, 2008

Blackberry Cobbler & Beethoven

Scene: Exterior shot. A family consisting of a mother, father, grandmother and 3 small children lounge comfortably on, and around. a well-worn duvet. The late august weather is gentle and warm, the slightest breeze ripples through the air. Before the family is an array of picnic food (salmon cakes, mini quiches, tomato mozzarella salad, and for dessert- blackberry peach cobbler). The adults sit on the grass shaded by a leafy tree sampling and enjoying the fare. Around them is a number of other picnicking groups, each involved in their own versions of repose and relaxation. Before long the children are climbing up the branches of the surrounding trees. Everyone is listening to strains of Beethoven's 9th Symphony that plays somewhere in the near distance.

Yesterday was a picture perfect day, one of a dozen or so in my life. The weather was idyllic, the music was sublime, and I was with the exact people I'd want to share these perfect moments with. In fact, they are what ultimately made it perfect. As the official caterer of these kind of events, as well as daily life, I packed a cooler with light yet full flavored goodies, that added to the beautiful scene, as food can often do.
Beethoven's Ninth Symphony is a piece of music that is just so brilliant. It runs the whole range of emotions- crescendoing in the exultant choral "Song of Joy". It was a real thrill for me to hear this piece live. And the bucolic New England setting of Tanglewood was literally a breath of fresh and free air.
This cobbler recipe posted below was good and juicy and the biscuit-like topping provides a nice crumbly texture in opposition to the soft and gooey fruit. I would recommend mixing 3/4 -1 c. of sugar with the blackberries and peaches. I scrimped by only using 1/2 c. - and it was a little too tart.

Blackberry Peach Cobbler
In medium bowl stir together 1 c. sliced peaches and 2 c. blackberries with Bold1/2 c. sugar (increase if you want a sweeter cobbler) and 1/2 vanilla bean scraped of it's seeds. Let stand for about 20 mins. until a syrup forms. In the meantime make batter by mixing 1 1/4 c. flour, 1/3 c. sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 c. cold butter cut into pieces, until batter resembles coarse crumbs. Add 1/2 c. buttermilk and 1 tsp. vanilla, mix until smooth batter results. Spread fruit in a baking dish. Drop spoonfuls of batter on top. Bake in 375F oven until batter browns.


Alexa said...

Hi Rachel,
I am glad you enjoyed such a perfect day. The picnic that you put together sounds delicious. Happy Labor day weekend!

Apples and Butter said...

Sounds like the perfect end-of-summer day. Oh how quickly it came and went!