How to Make Homemade Blueberry Cobbler
A warm blueberry cobbler steals the show at any summer cookout. Here are two easy ways to make it from scratch.
The sweet, buttery smell of a blueberry cobbler baking in the oven is nearly impossible to resist. Whether it’s topped with a pretty lattice crust or a layer of pillowy biscuits, this classic baked fruit dessert is a showstopper at summer cookouts. You can showcase just about any seasonal fruit in a cobbler, but we especially love ours with fresh summer blueberries. They’re bright, juicy, sweet, and tangy all at once.
So, how do you make a blueberry cobbler? First, we'll explain the two main camps of cobblers, crust-topped and biscuit-topped, then we'll show you how to make the gooey blueberry filling. We'll also share two easy blueberry cobbler recipes to try at home—just don't forget the vanilla ice cream!
Step One: Crust-Topped or Biscuit-Topped Cobbler?
When making a homemade blueberry cobbler, there's one big decision you'll need to make—do you want a biscuit-topped cobbler or a crust-topped cobbler? And, is one type of cobbler tastier (or easier) than the other?
A lattice-topped blueberry cobbler is classic and stunning, but it may not be the best option if you’re short on time. On the other hand, a biscuit-topped cobbler is speedier and has a freeform, rustic appearance. Regardless of which cobbler camp you’re in, both types are downright delicious. To find out which one your prefer, we reccomend trying both recipes (because you can never have too much blueberry cobbler!).
How to Make a Blueberry Cobbler with a Lattice Crust
Get the Recipe: Classic Blueberry Cobbler
A traditional crust-topped blueberry cobbler is likely the type of cobbler you remember your grandmother making. Yes, the lattice pattern takes time to make, but the end result is truly impressive. A lattice crust is also functional—and particularly useful for juicier fruits like blueberries. The lattice patterns lets steam escape from the cobbler as the blueberry filling bubbles in a hot oven. This also helps the filling thicken and prevents your cobbler from turning into a soupy mess.
To make the cobbler dough, you need the same basic ingredients called for in a savory pie dough—flour, butter, and salt—plus a little cold water to help the dough come together. You can also buy refrigerated pie crusts from the grocery store as a shortcut, but the flavor and teture of homemade is far superior. Here are several points to keep in mind:
- A food processor is a quick, mess-free way to combine the ingredients, but you can also use a pastry blender. For both methods, be sure the butter is well-incorporated with the flour (no large chunks should remain) before adding the water.
- Keep the butter as cold as possible when you're working with it, and make sure to chill your dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out. Cold butter is crucial for making the crust flaky and tender.
How to Make the Lattice Top
Yes, the intricate pattern may look intimidating to an everyday baker—but anyone can nail a lattice crust with a little patience and practice. The dough is delicate, so don’t get discouraged if it breaks several times when you're arranging it over the cobbler. Start with the dough as chilled as possible and make sure to flour your workspace. Both steps make the dough easier to handle. Here are some helpful tips for mastering the lattice technique:
- Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the rolled dough into 1-inch-wide strips. The strips don't need to be exact, but you can use a ruler to guide your knife if desired.
- To make the lattice pattern, carefully weave the strips in an over-and-under pattern from one side of the baking dish to the other.
- Confused about how to start the lattice? Watch baking goddess Deb Wise demo an easy technique on a pie in the video above, keeping in mind that the method will change slightly for a rectangular baking dish. You can also reference the recipe photo as a guide.
- Take your time, and don't fret over making the lattice look perfect. Trust us, regardless of how it turns out, your friends will be seriously impressed by your efforts.
After you've made the lattice crust, prepare an egg wash and brush it over top—this step gives the crust a golden, glazed look once it's baked. Lastly, a sprinkle of demerara sugar over top gives the crust a subtle molasses flavor and a pleasing crunchy texture.
How to Make a Biscuit-Topped Blueberry Cobbler
Get the Recipe: Bisquick-Topped Blueberry Cobbler
Topping your blueberry cobbler with drop biscuits makes for a completely different—but equally satisfying—experience. There's less technique involved than there is with a lattice crust, and if you prefer a more rustic-looking cobbler, with a bit heartier ration of buttery baked topping to berry filling, this cobbler is made for you. When baked, the biscuits become crisp on the outside and fluffy on in the inside—but the tastiest part is the bottom layer that's completely submerged in the blueberry filling. With every bite, you get juicy, buttery bliss.
Whether you make drop biscuits from scratch or with Bisquick Original Pancake & Baking Mix is completely up to you. If you opt for homemade—simply make your favorite drop biscuit recipe and place dollops of the dough on top of the blueberry filling. (Need an easy drop biscuit recipe? We love these simple Drop Biscuits.) While making Bisquick biscuits is a tiny bit faster, some may be deterred by their lengthy ingredient list. Regardless, you really can't beat the convenience of simply sitrring milk into the baking mix.
Step Two: Make the Blueberry Filling
Whether crust-topped or biscuit-topped, a cobbler wouldn't be a cobbler without the fruit filling. Once you've settled on the topper for your blueberry cobbler, you'll want to make the blueberry filling. We prefer a filling that's well-balanced and not too sweet. (In fact, we use the same blueberry filling for our Classic Blueberry Cobbler and Bisquick-Topped Blueberry Cobbler recipes.)
Blueberries, lemon zest, salt, and vanilla extract—plus flour and sugar to thicken and delicately sweeten the mixture—make for a bright, juicy filling that balances a rich, buttery crust or layer of biscuits. Wondering how many containers of blueberries you'll need? If the recipe gives you a cup amount, keep in mind that one pint container should give you about two cups of blueberries. If you can't find fresh, ripe blueberries, you can substitute frozen ones in a pinch.
Step Three: Bake the Cobbler
If your baking dish or cast-iron skillet looks overfilled after you add the blueberry filling, don’t panic—that’s exactly what we want! The blueberries will shrink down as the cobbler bakes, leaving you with a perfectly flat top.
Depending on which baking vessel you're using, a 350°F to 375°F oven is the sweet spot for blueberry cobbler. Setting the oven too high can cause the crust to over-brown before the filling is finished cooking, making for a burned, gloopy cobbler. If the crust top or biscuit top becomes sufficiently browned, but the filling isn’t ready, you can tent a sheet of tin foil over the cobbler and continue baking.
Once the cobbler is ready, let it cool. Don't worry if the filling looks a bit thin still—it should thicken as it cools. Scoop a generous serving into a bowl and top with vanilla ice cream for a refreshing summer dessert that's simply divine.