The Best Blueberry Cobbler
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Still looking for something to make for Dad? I suggest cobbler. This is a good one. It comes from Cook’s Illustrated, who, true to form, analyzed to the core where cobbler can go wrong — who knew it was so troubled? — and found solutions to the issues: dry biscuits! gloppy filling! runny filling! oversweet filling!
I don’t think I’ve actually ever disliked a cobbler I’ve eaten, but what I love about the CI method is this: the blueberries bake without a biscuit topping for 25 minutes or until they begin to bubble around the edges. At this point, you drop the buttermilk biscuits over the berries, then continue to cook the cobbler for 15 to 20 minutes more at a higher temperature.
The idea is that the blast of heat from the bubbling berries helps cook the underside of the biscuits, while the hotter temperature of the oven nicely browns the top. The result? An evenly cooked — not dry! — tender, golden biscuit.
It makes sense: when you make biscuits as biscuits, they never take more than 15 to 20 minutes. So baking biscuits for close to an hour, as many cobbler recipes suggest (oops), may lead to a dry topping.
Vanilla ice cream is a must. Have a wonderful weekend, Everyone.Print
Cook’s Illustrated Blueberry Cobbler
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 8 to 10 servings
A few notes:
I made this twice in a 9×13-inch pan, and I didn’t think there was enough topping. 6 cups of blueberries, however, definitely is enough for a 9×13-inch pan, so if you like that vessel, I suggest doubling the topping recipe (without doubling the quantities of baking powder and baking soda).
I use a deep, 9-inch pie plate, but if you don’t have one, I think 6 cups of blueberries would be too much for a shallow pie plate.
I also made a few other small changes, so if you want to follow Cook’s Illustrated recipe exactly, follow this recipe.
for the filling:
- 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Pinch salt
- 6 cups (30 ounces) fresh blueberries, rinsed and picked over
- zest of one lemon
- juice from half a lemon
for the biscuit topping:
- 1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, fridge temperature
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons milk for brushing
- 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar (or not) for sprinkling
- vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream
- Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- For the filling: Stir the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the berries and mix gently with a rubber spatula until evenly coated; add the lemon zest and juice and mix to combine. Transfer the berry mixture to a 9-inch glass (or not) pie plate or 9×13-inch vessel (see notes above), place pan on a rimmed baking sheet (not necessary if using 9×13-inch pan), and bake until the filling is hot and bubbling around the edges, about 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl to combine. Cut the butter into small pieces and use your fingers to incorporate the butter into the mixture — it’s ok if the butter gets soft.
- Five minutes (longer is fine) before the berries come out of the oven, add the buttermilk and vanilla to flour mixture and mix to combine. Pat mixture into ball or rectangle and roughly divide into 7 or 8 pieces.
- To assemble and bake the cobbler: Remove the berries from the oven; increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Drop the pieces of biscuit dough on the hot berry filling, spacing them about a 1/2 inch apart. Brush biscuits with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until the filling is bubbling and the biscuits are golden brown on top and cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool the cobbler on a wire rack 20 minutes (or less) and serve.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: blueberry, cobbler, summer, dessert
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49 Comments on “The Best Blueberry Cobbler”
I never tire of CI’s solutions to problems I didn’t even know I had- always genius. This looks beautiful and delicious!
Haha, so true, Christina — love it. And thank you!
Oh wow…this is incredible!!! I LOVE CI!!! I love the science behind them and how they perfect every tiny and huge recipe! This is really fantastic, thanks for sharing!
Me, too, Mila — they are too good.
Perfect recipe for Father’s Day (or any day in my house)!
I love CI. They are a constant resource (you are as well) for my cooking and baking endeavors. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
By the way, my daughter surprised me with your Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake for my birthday last weekend. Always, so good!!
That is so sweet to hear, Trish! What a nice daughter you have. And yes, CI is too good, right? I would love to be a fly on the wall in that test kitchen.
This is the most beautiful cobbler I’ve ever seen!
Thank you, Becky!
As usual, you’re a lifesaver! Was thinking of making Bon Appetit’s raspberry-ricotta cake for tomorrow’s Father’s Day cookout, but my dad doesn’t really like cake. He likes cobblers, pies, fruit desserts! This is perfect! We have blueberries coming out of our ears so that’s even better. Beautiful-looking dessert, I know he’ll love it! Happy weekend!
Yay! I have had my eye on that ricotta cake, too, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I think your papa will approve of this cobbler — I made it twice over Memorial Day weekend for neighborhood gatherings, and it disappeared quickly. Have a wonderful weekend! Happy Father’s Day to your dad!!
This was really, really wonderful! Thank you Ali! Very simple, even adding the biscuits toward the end didn’t take me away from my guests for more than a few minutes. It was a hit!
Yay! So happy to hear this, Sophie. Hope you had a great weekend! xoxo
Wow, this looks great! I love simple summer desserts, cobblers included, and those blueberries look so plump and juicy. And your photography is incredible. I especially love the wooden background you shot these photos on – so rustic!
Thank you so much, Lindsey! And I love these simple summer desserts as well.
can this be made ahead of time or does it have to be done almost just before serving??
I have made it ahead and reheated it slightly before serving (350ºF for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through) and it was very good but it was best when I made it fresh, let it cool for 15 min or so, and served it immediately. You could definitely get some things assembled: the wet and dry ingredients of the biscuit topping measured out but not mixed, the berries in a bowl, the sugar, cornstarch and salt whisked together — I hesitate to have you mix the berries ahead of time, because I worry too much liquid might be drawn out of them.
oh my, I am going to need to try this. Thanks for sharing!
Such great timing!
With an abundance of blueberries and father’s day tomorrow. I am so excited for this.
thank you Alexandra.
Yay! So happy to hear this, Sana!
Looks so tasty!!! Will try it
This is delicious recipe that I’ve made several times this summer, and it has come out perfect each time. Not too sweet, and of course there are those yummy buttermilk biscuits. Love using the buttermilk. And it couldn’t be simpler to pull together.
I’m wondering, though, if you tell me more about the pan you baked it in? I’d like to try to find one like it.
Thanks for all your fantastic posts!
Thank you! I’m so happy to hear all of this. This has been a staple for us all summer, too.
I wish I could tell you more about the pan! It’s just an old pan my mother was getting rid of this summer when she was downsizing before moving houses. I do love it, however. It’s copper, and 10 inches in diameter and 2 inches tall. Unfortunately there are no markings on the pan.
If I ever come across one, I will be sure to grab it for you!
Thank for the reply and the info. Love that it has handles on it. I’ll keep searching. And, again, thanks for all the wonderful recipes and the great posts.
Hi, again. I think I’ve found a pan that is similar to this. Do you happen to know what the lining of your pan is? Stainless, aluminum, tin? Any help would be appreciated greatly.
I’m looking at my pan right now, and I am embarrassed but I can’t tell what it is lined with — I would guess aluminum or stainless. Just emailed you a photo.
Is it possible to make this with frozen blueberries?
I would love to show off at potluck picnic.
Thanks again for the wonderful recipe.
I have never tried frozen with this one, but it’s worth a shot! Let me know how it turns out if your give it a try. Hope you are well!
Making this over the weekend!! Could you add fresh peaches to this?!
Yes! Would be soooooo good!
This looks delicious!
As a subscriber, I have a a question about the two postings I received by email . This one stated “Cook’s Illustrated’s Blueberry Cobbler + 12 More Sweet Treats To Make This Weekend” and previously, “Cabbage Slaw with Miso-Lime Dressing + 16 More Salads”
When clicking on link I don’t see the “…..12 More Sweet Treats” or the “…..+16 Mores Salads” Where do I find these?
Thank you for such an informative blog.
Thanks so much for subscribing. When you scroll down in the body of the email, there are images each of which has a link to the recipe below. So in the recent one with Cook’s Illustrated’s cobbler, scroll down and there are 12 more recipes below. Hope that makes sense!
Made this for Memorial Day and it was AMAZING. Another great recipe!
So happy to hear this, Anne! Hugs to you.
Oh my, this was wonderful and very easy! I used a 8×11 dish because I thought the 9×13 was too long. I still happily doubled the topping (because I’d be sad if there was a bite without it). It was fantastic and I had some for breakfast the next day. The summer equivalent of eating leftover Thanksgiving pie for breakfast. Loved it! This is a keeper recipe. Thanks Ali!
Would a iron skillet work ?
I made this last night and it’s very tasty! I did the larger pan and doubled the topping…next time I will 1.5 the fruit too! I’m curious–I followed your instruction to double the topping but not the leavening agents. Why is that? Thank you!
Hi Christina! Great question. It’s just that when you increase leavening agents too much, they can taste off — kind of metallic. And for double the topping, the amount of leavening listed is enough to make the topping rise sufficiently. Hope that makes sense!
FYI only…no such thing as a 9-inch-deep pie plate but there is a 9-inch diameter deep pie plate…just here to help…lol
😂😂😂😂 Good catch Gary! Editing now 🙂
I like this recipe over all. I love adding the biscuits later. I do wish the blueberries were sweeter. Beware, the biscuits turn an unfortunate green color after sitting in the blueberries.
Hi! You can definitely add more sugar next time to up the sweetness of the berries. So strange re biscuits turning green?! That’s never happened to me.
This cobbler looks like one of the coziest summer desserts out there and tastes divine. It also appears to be rather versatile: I used 3 cups of fresh blueberries and 3 cups of frozen mixed berries (Costco has a raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry mix; the blackberries are so huge that they need to be halved). I also had to make my own buttermilk with a little vinegar added to some whole milk. Even with those changes, the cobbler turned out to be the best berry cobbler we have ever had! Thank you, Ali.
Wonderful to hear this, Alyson! Thanks so much for writing and for sharing all of your changes … so great for others to know frozen berries work just fine and that a mix of fruit works well, too. Hope you had a great long weekend.
I water down some sour cream since I never buy buttermilk. Also I prefer the original recipe of 3/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup cornmeal. I use a stovetop/ovenproof dish and bring the blueberry mixture to a boil on the burner then bake it in the oven.
Do you know why my biscuits tasted of baking powder and were not edible? I followed the recipe exactly.
Hi Nisha! I am not sure. Is it possible you switched the baking soda and baking powder amounts? 2 teaspoons of baking powder is not enough to give the biscuits a metallic taste. 2 teaspoons of baking soda, however, would definitely leave an unpleasant taste.
This was so GOOD! Yes I did add a few ingredients but that was because of personal taste. For the topping I saved some lemon zest to rub in the sugar, added toasted pecans and cinnamon. I’m so happy I doubled the recipe!
Sorry, this review was for Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake