Everyone in My Life Is Obsessed with This Cobbler Pie

published Mar 14, 2021
Kitchn Love Letters
Deep-Dish Berry Cobbler Pie

Use any combination of berries you like for this sweet and juicy marriage of cobbler and pie.

Serves8 to 10

Makes1 (9-inch) deep-dish pie

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Credit: Erin Jeanne McDowell

This one’s for the fruit-lovers. The appreciators of a seasonally perfect moment of ripeness. Those who haunt farmers markets or roadside U-pick stands, and likely have a stash of some of those same sorts of treasures hidden somewhere in their freezer, waiting to be baked into something comforting and juicy (I myself used the last of my black raspberries for this particular article). If you haven’t decided to click onward in search of chocolate content yet, my beloved cobbler pie just might be for you.

When I set out to write my book, The Book on Pie, I fully expected everyone — from my neighbors to my crew — to have different favorites among the pie recipes. But even as more pies continued to emerge from my oven, everyone kept talking about (or, dare I say, moaning about) the same pie: “That COBBLER pie … ”

Credit: Erin Jeanne McDowell

Cobbler pie is pretty much what it sounds like: a mash-up of two of the best fruit desserts out there. A single-crust pie, with juicy fruit filling (in my book, it’s triple berry — but the same concept works with really anything you like), all topped with a fluffy biscuit topping. It has my favorite parts of a pie: a flaky, crisp bottom crust paired with fruit that’s just sweet enough. But it also has my favorite parts of a cobbler: an extra-juicy fruit base that’s part filling, part sauce, plus that glorious biscuit topping.

Where the biscuit and fruit touch, the biscuit is slightly denser — it almost becomes jammy itself. Then, there’s its light, fluffy interior crumb, paired with a golden outer crust. That crust is made even better with a generous coating of coarse sugar that creates for a sweet, lightly caramelized crunch on the surface. It’s truly the best of both worlds, because when it comes to the world of baked fruit desserts, one simply shouldn’t have to choose.

Credit: Erin Jeanne McDowell

3 Things I Love About Cobbler Pie

  1. It’s forgiving. Cobbler pie is more forgiving than many other fruit pies, because the filling is intentionally left looser — somewhere between a firm, totally sliceable filling (like an ideal pie) and something so saucy it requires a spoon (like a peak-season cobbler).
  2. It works with any fruit. This style of pie works beautifully with just about any fruit and can be adapted for the seasons. Strawberry-rhubarb cobbler pie in spring? Totally. Stone fruit filling galore come summer? You bet. Apple with a cinnamon biscuit topping in fall? Oh, yes, yes, yes. 
  3. It’s the perfect blank canvas. Cobbler pie is the perfect canvas for creamy finishes like a scoop of ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream, or, my favorite, just a drizzle of cold heavy cream, all on its own. 

There’s nothing like a sweet slice of pie, and there’s nothing more comforting than a warm scoop of cobbler. I firmly declare, you can (and should) have both. 

Deep-Dish Berry Cobbler Pie

Use any combination of berries you like for this sweet and juicy marriage of cobbler and pie.

Makes 1 (9-inch) deep-dish pie

Serves 8 to 10

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

All-Buttah Pie Dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    fine sea salt

  • 4 ounces

    (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 1/4 cup

    ice water, plus more as needed

Filling:

  • 6

    heaping cups (prepared/trimmed) berries—slice strawberries, if using; other berries can be left whole (see Recipe Note)

  • 1 tablespoon

    fresh lemon juice

  • 1/3 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    fine sea salt

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved

Biscuit Topping:

  • 1 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    fine sea salt

  • 2 ounces

    (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 1/4 cup

    buttermilk

  • 1

    large egg

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • Turbinado or coarse sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

All-Buttah Pie Dough:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the cubed butter, tossing the cubes through the flour until each individual piece is well coated. ‘Cut’ the butter into the flour by pressing the pieces between your fingers, flattening the cubes into big shards. As you work, continue to toss the butter through the flour, recoating the shingled pieces. Continue cutting the butter into the flour just until the pieces of butter are about the size of peas.

  2. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the amount of ice water listed in the recipe to the well, but have more on hand. Use a tossing motion with your hands to start to mix the two together (this begins to combine them without creating too much gluten). As it begins to become hydrated, you can start to use more of a kneading motion. Add more water about 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is properly hydrated: it should be uniformly combined and hold together easily, but it won’t look totally smooth. Dough that is too dry may have sort of a “dusty” appearance, or pockets of un-hydrated flour. It will not hold together and will appear crumbly. Dough that is too wet will feel sticky or tacky to the touch, and is often smoother and/or lighter in color.

  3. Form the dough into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days before using.

  4. To roll out the dough, lightly dust a work surface with flour, and lightly dust a rolling pin, if desired. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick, rotating it as you work to help prevent it from sticking. To transfer the dough to the pan, gently roll it up, wrapping it around the pin, then unfurl it into a deep-dish pie plate.

  5. Use scissors to trim away the excess dough, leaving about 1/2 inch excess all the way around the outside edge of the pie plate. Tuck this excess dough under, pressing gently to make it flush with the edge of the pie plate. Crimp the edges as desired, and dock the base and sides of the crust with a fork. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.

  6. Par-bake the dough: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF. Cut a square of parchment paper slightly larger than the diameter of a pie plate, and press it into the base of the pie plate. Fill with pie weights to the top inner rim of the pie plate. Bake until the edges begin to lightly brown, 15-17 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and pie weights, and return to the oven until the lower portion of the crust appears dry and set, 2-3 minutes more. Set aside to cool completely while you make the filling.

Macerated Berries and Biscuit Topping:

  1. In a large bowl, toss the berries with the lemon juice and granulated sugar. Let macerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 hours; toss the berries occasionally during the first 15 to 20 minutes to help ensure they’re all getting evenly juicy.

  2. Biscuit Topping: Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine. Add the butter and mix with your hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

  3. In a container with a spout (such as a liquid measuring cup), whisk the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the buttermilk mixture into it. Use a silicone spatula to stir the mixture until it comes together into a dough. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Finish the filling, and assemble and bake the pie:

  1. Place a colander over a medium pot and pour the berries into it. Press down gently on the berries—you don’t want to smoosh the fruit too much, but you want to get all of the juices that you can into the pot. Transfer the berries to a bowl.

  2. Set the pot over medium heat, bring the juices to a simmer, and simmer until they have reduced to 1/4 cup. The amount of time this takes will depend on how much juice your berries yielded. Remove from the heat.

  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the lower third (preferably with a Baking Steel or stone on it).

  4. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla bean seeds, if using (if using extract, you will add it later). Use your fingers to mix the ingredients until they’re uniformly combined.

  5. Toss the brown sugar mixture with the berries to combine well, then pour the reduced juices over and toss again. If using vanilla extract, add it and toss to combine.

  6. Place the cooled crust on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Add the filling to the crust and spread into an even layer. Crumble the biscuit topping evenly over the top of the pie, leaving some of the filling exposed at the edges. Sprinkle with turbinado or coarse sugar.

  7. Transfer the pie to the oven and bake until the crust is deeply golden brown and the filling is bubbling around the edges and/or a tester inserted into the center of the biscuit topping comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

Recipe Notes

Berries: You can use one type of berry or a mix. My favorite combo is 2 heaping cups blueberries, 2 heaping cups sliced strawberries, and 2 heaping cups blackberries or raspberries.

Topping: The biscuit topping is a very flexible recipe. You can add 1 to 2 tablespoons more buttermilk for a more batter-like topping. Or use 1 to 2 tablespoons less for a drier, more streusel-like version. It is best used the same day it is made, but it can be made ahead and held in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours before using.

Make ahead: The tightly wrapped disk of dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Wrapped in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil, the dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.

Storage: The pie is best eaten the same day it’s made. Store leftovers at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap.

Excerpted from THE BOOK ON PIE © 2020 by Erin Jeanne McDowell. Photography © 2020 by Mark Weinberg. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

At Kitchn, our editors develop and debut brand-new recipes on the site every single week. But at home, we also have our own tried-and-true dishes that we make over and over again — because quite simply? We love them. Kitchn Love Letters is a series that shares our favorite, over-and-over recipes.