This time of year, the fruit selection at the stores are at their peak! While we are fortunate enough to get berries all year round, there is something about late spring going into summer that yearns for a sweet bowl of mixed fruit. What better way to serve up that craving than in a delicious oatmeal crumble topped cobbler with a warm, flaky pie crust? I vowed when I began blogging, none of my recipe blogs would start off with paragraphs about my great aunt Martha and how she won the county fair seventeen years in a row with this recipe, so here is what you need to make my version of an old favorite.
Crust (makes one pie crust):
1 cup flour
⅓ cup shortening
¼ cup cold water
A pinch of salt
1 ½ cup strawberries
1 ⅓ cup blueberries
1 cup blackberries (one 6 oz container)
1 cup raspberries (one 6 oz container)
Juice and zest from ½ a lemon
¼-⅓ cup sugar
4 tbsp instant tapioca
1 cup of quick oats
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp softened butter
**You can also use 3 packets of instant oatmeal if you don’t have the quick oats, just leave out the brown sugar and you’re good to go!
Mix the flour, salt and shortening together in a large mixing bowl until well combined and clumped together. Add in the water and mix well. This is where I eyeball the dough (honestly, I never use recipes, so be patient with me). You want to pie crust to form a firm ball in the mixer, if the dough is sticking to the sides then it has too much water and needs a bit of flour to even out. If the dough is still clumpy looking or you can still see bits of flour, add a tiny bit more water and mix well. It’s all a balancing act but homemade pie crust is much easier than it appears! Be confident and use your instinct.
Once the dough is well mixed, put some flour on your clean counter top and roll out with dough using a rolling pin. Make sure to flour the rolling pin too so it won’t stick. Roll the dough into a square and transfer, very carefully, into a 9 x 9 baking pan. Form the pie crust into the shape of the pan, making sure it goes all the way up the sides of the pan so the crust holds in all the delicious cobbler filling. Poke a few holes in the crust with a fork to prevent bubbles. Put the crust into the oven at 350 until the crust is a light golden brown, about 20-25 minutes depending on your oven.
While the crust is in the oven, start on the filling. Wash the berries thoroughly and transfer them into a large pot. The raspberries, blueberries and blackberries can go in whole. Cut up the strawberries into quarters. Taste the berries to see how sweet they are, the sweeter they are, the less sugar you need to add. It all depends on your personal taste. Cook the berries on a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. The berries will begin to break down on their own, releasing juices. Zest a lemon into the berry mixture and then cut the lemon in half, squeezing the juice in. Careful not to get any seeds into the mix!
While you want the berries in the filling to cook down, you don’t want it to all be juice. Pay attention to the filling and turn the heat off while there are still chunks of berry. This is when you add in the instant tapioca to thicken the filling. You can also use a cornstarch slurry if you don’t have tapioca, but it’s not as good. Take the filling off the heat and let sit until the crust is ready.
Pull the crust out of the oven once it gets to that light golden brown color, if it’s done before you finish the filling, no worries. Just set it aside until you need it. Once the crust and filling are both finished, pour the berry filling over the warm crust. The tapioca will make it thicker, like a half set jello. Make sure the filling is evenly spread out.
In a bowl, add the instant oatmeal (or oats and brown sugar) to the softened butter and mix well. The butter will make the oats stick together. Sprinkle the oatmeal crumble on top of the filling evenly. Put the cobbler back into the oven until the oatmeal crumble bakes to a light brown and the filling begins to bubble, about 15-20 minutes. Pull out of the oven and let cool in the counter for 10 or so minutes. Enjoy with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and store leftovers in the refrigerator.