Blackberry Cobbler with Lavender Ice Cream

Willowsford_Blackberry_LowResBy Bonnie Moore, special to Edible DC This dessert is remarkably easy to put together and the rewards are delicious. Sweet summer fruit with a buttery biscuit topping—what’s not to love? Blackberries are at the peak of their flavor; try this now or freeze some blackberries to make a cobbler later.

Blackberry Cobbler

¾ cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

5 cups blackberries

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

⅓ cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Place the berries in a saucepan, stir in the sugar mixture and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Pour the fruit mixture into a 2-quart baking dish and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Add the butter and cut it into the flour with a fork or pastry cutter until the butter is the size of small peas. Gently stir in the buttermilk. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times until the dough forms a ball.

Roll out the dough and gently place it over the fruit just inside the baking dish. Cut a few slits in the top with a knife. Bake on a baking sheet until the biscuit topping is lightly browned, about 30 to 40 minutes. Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serves 8.

Lavender Ice Cream

This sumptuous ice cream is delightful on its own or paired with a summer fruit dessert made with berries or peaches.

4 egg yolks

⅓ cup sugar

2 tablespoons lavender blossoms

1 cup milk

1 cup heavy cream

Set aside an empty bowl for the ice cream base. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a small stainless steel saucepan. Place the milk and lavender blossoms in another small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Pour the milk through a strainer to remove the lavender blossoms, and return the milk to a boil. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the yolk mixture. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir the yolk mixture constantly over medium heat until it thickens slightly and coats the spoon. Immediately pour the custard sauce into the empty bowl, add the cream and cool. Refrigerate until fully chilled, then freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions. Makes about 2 cups.

BonnieMooreBonnie Moore is culinary director of the Willowsford Kitchen. A professionally trained chef, she began her career at The Inn at Little Washington. She has also been a leading chef instructor for L’Academie de Cuisine for over 20 years. Moore is past president and current board member of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs and consults on a variety of culinary initiatives and events.