Even among the Pie Crust Faction, there is controversy: top and bottom crust or top crust only. There are even a few who add a third middle crust, which is fine for a really large, deep cobbler--if you want to take the trouble to roll out a third crust and prebake it before assembly (otherwise, it can be kind of a soggy mess!).
I won't be making a "really large, deep cobbler" this week. Not with the current price of organic blackberries! Besides, unless I had a big party coming up, I would be forced to eat most of it myself; and I need to save some of my calorie allowance for when the peaches come in.
My Southern grandmother made fabulous pies and cobblers. She most frequently made apple or coconut custard pie and peach (my favorite) or blackberry (my cousin Charlotte's favorite) cobbler. And she made her cobblers with pie crust, top and bottom, which explains why I make mine that way. Don't get me wrong, if you serve me one of those other types of cobblers, I'm going to lap it up; but I have to make mine Grandma's way!
(Makes 8 servings)
2 1/2 packed cups (12.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks (1/2 pound) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or cider vinegar
Ice water to make 3/4 cup liquid
4 cups fresh blackberries or 2 10-ounce bags frozen blackberries
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In large bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. (Not at all sure that baking powder makes a bit of difference. Just heard about it years ago, started doing it and, well, here I am, still doing it.) Add half the butter and with pastry blender cut butter into flour until mixture has the consistency of coarse meal. Cut in remaining butter until the butter is the size of small peas.
In one-cup glass measure, combine lemon juice or cider vinegar and enough ice water to make 3/4 cup. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of it over flour mixture; stir with large fork. Pinch dough with fingers; if dough is dry and does not hold together, stir in a little more ice water a tablespoon at a time until dough holds together.
Put half the dough in a CorningWare French White 1-1/2-Quart Oval Dish or 11-by-7-inch 2-quart Pyrex baking dish. Press it out right in the pan. There, now isn't that easier than rolling it out with a rolling pin? It should be between 1/8- and 1/4-inch thick. If it is thicker than that, just press it partway up the sides of the pan to thin it out. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
Put remaining dough on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper and press it out into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Doesn't have to be smooth, doesn't have to be pretty. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Put berries in medium bowl. In small bowl, whisk together sugar, flour and salt. As soon as you remove prebaked crust from oven, add sugar mixture to berries and stir gently to combine. Pour over prebaked pastry. Sprinkle lemon juice over berries. Remove top pastry from refrigerator, and cut into pieces and place them over berries in no particular way (doesn't matter if the pieces overlap or there are bare spots). You may not need all the pastry.
Bake at 400 degrees for 45-55 minutes until pastry is nicely browned.