Blueberry Crow's Nest: when the topping flies south

By • July 16, 2013 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: My Blueberry Crow's Nest was inspired by a recipe I found in a vintage cookbook, The Lilly Wallace New American Cookbook, published in 1945. When I was flipping through it, I found something called an Apple Crow's Nest. After reading the recipe, I realized it was an apple cobbler that had been flipped upside down after baking. I decided to try it with blueberries instead, adding lemon juice and corn starch. For the crust, I decided to to adapt a cornmeal biscuit recipe I found in a cookbook titled Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson. To adapt their crust, I just omitted the turbinado suger and installed the dough differently. I love flipping the cobbler upside down to serve because the berries are so dark, shiny, and beautiful. You wouldn't get to admire them if they were under a crust! Tavia Tindall

Serves 6 to 8

Filling

  • 3 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Crust/Nest

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons sugar for sprinkling
  • fresh whipping cream or ice cream and cinnamon-sugar for serving.
  1. Preheat your oven to 375? and place top rack in the middle. Grease an 8 1/2 to 9 inch pie pan with butter (I used a metal pie pan which worked great). Make the filling first. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and sea salt. Add the berries and using your hands, toss until coated. Add the lemon juice and stir it in. Pour the filling into the prepared pie pan and set aside.
  2. For the crust: combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and sea salt in a medium bowl and whisk together. Cup up the butter and add it to the mixture. Then, using a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingers, cut the butter into the mix working until the butter cubes are mixed in and broken down into a pea size. Pour in the cream and stir until it's absorbed into the dough and the dough is sticking together.
  3. It's easier to work with this sticky dough in small amounts. Pick up hand-fulls of the dough and flatten them into a biscuit or patty shape and lay them on top of the berry filling in the pie pan. As you lay each disk of dough onto the berries, spread it out a bit. The idea is to top the filling with the dough and spread it around so there are no gaps. You don't need the biscuit shapes to remain after you've laid them on. Once your dough is covering all the berries, sprinkle with the extra 2 tsp. of sugar.
  4. Place the pie pan onto the top rack in the oven with a baking sheet on the rack below to catch the drips. Bake for about 45 min, but start checking it when there are about 5 min. to go. The crust should be golden brown and the juice from the filling is going to be bubbling up from below. When it's ready, take it out and set on a rack to cool for about 10 minutes.
  5. I like to top it with fresh whipped cream, so I would use this time as it's cooling to make the cream or you could serve it with vanilla ice cream. After about 10 min. have gone by, find a serving platter bigger than the pie pan for turning the cobbler upside down. Place the platter upside down over the cobbler and center it. With both hands securely holding the two together, flip them around so the pie pan is now upside down on top of your serving platter. Using a large serving spoon, tap the bottom of the pie pan to help loosen the pan from the cobbler and also run the spoon along the crust edge sticking out from under the pie pan. Ease the pie pan off of the cobbler which has now been transformed into a beautiful blueberry crow's nest! Serve warm with the whipping cream or ice cream and sprinkle with a little cinnamon-sugar.
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