Blueberry Cobbler with Cornbread Biscuit Topping
August 12, 2021
I love a good fruit bake in the summer, especially when I am able to feature not just one but two of my favorite types of seasonal produce. This cobbler combines fresh blueberries and sweet corn for a pairing that is not only complementary in color, but also a delicious fusion of summer flavors.
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I think I might have an addiction to blueberry treats that allow the gorgeous purple color of these cooked berries to contrast against something bright yellow. In this case, it’s the cornbread biscuit topping on this cobbler. It was fun to take a fairly traditional method of biscuit baking and add both cornmeal and fresh corn to make it into a new concept.
And the tart blueberries also match up nicely with the sweet and buttery flavor of some local corn. This time of year, sweet corn is everywhere and super cheap, so I am always trying to incorporate it into anything from brunch to dinner to desserts. I especially love treating it like a fruit.
What You Need to Get Started
You can easily find all of the ingredients for this blueberry cornbread cobbler at your grocery store:
- Produce: Blueberries, Corn
- Pantry: Sugar, Cornstarch, Apple cider vinegar, Flour, Cornmeal, Salt
- Fridge: Milk, Butter
- Equipment: Pie pan, cake pan, or casserole dish; Mixing bowls, Whisk, Pastry blender
- Optional Equipment: Sheet pan, Foil, Ice cream scoop
Let’s Make Blueberry Cobbler
The first thing you’ll want to do when making this recipe is gather up some blueberries. You can pick them yourself, which is one of my favorite summer activities. When we go picking, the blueberries are at the perfect height, which means no bending or reaching. Plus they are quite abundant, so it’s easy to fill up a bucket fast.
Before getting started on the filling, preheat your oven and arrange it so you have a rack in the middle. I also like to line a sheet pan with some foil and be sure my second oven rack is toward the bottom. This helps catch any juices that may overflow from your pan so they don’t burn in your oven.
Speaking of cornstarch, combine it with the sugar in a small bowl. These will work together to help thicken up the filling of this cobbler. The blueberries contain pectin, which will be released as they burst and bubble in the oven. Pectin and sugar are the pair responsible for the texture of jam.
Cornstarch combines with the liquid of the berries and the heat to also help thicken the filling. Together, these mean no runny juices when you serve up scoops of your cobbler, just purple syrupy goodness.
Rinse your berries, and then toss them up with the sugar and starch mix until they are nice and coated. Add these into the bottom of a pie pan, cake pan, or casserole dish. It’s a cobbler, so you can go as fancy or as rustic as you’d like when it comes to presentation.
How to Make Cornbread Biscuit Topping
Set the pan with the blueberries aside, because now it’s time to start making the cornbread biscuit topping. When I make cobblers, I alternate between drop biscuits and the ones that you roll out and cut with a biscuit cutter. In this case, we are going with drop biscuits. They are a lot easier to work with and more forgiving.
First, you’ll need to prepare some soured milk. Stir a little bit of apple cider vinegar into a cup of milk, and then set this aside for about five minutes. You can use any type of milk you want for this. Also, if you prefer, you can swap out the vinegar for lemon juice.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients for the biscuit dough: flour, cornmeal, and salt. Using both flour and cornmeal will create a nice flavor and texture combination for these biscuits. The gluten from the flour helps form structure, while the cornmeal adds a nice sweetness.
Add in some cold cubes of butter. To keep the butter cold, I like to cut it into cubes before starting the rest of the recipe. Then I toss these into a bowl in the freezer for about ten minutes. Cutting frozen butter is tough, but freezing cut butter works perfectly.
To combine the butter into the flour mixture, your best bet is to use a pastry blender. This will help cut the butter, which means to break it down into smaller pieces and get all of that surface area coated with flour.
You can use two butter knives, a potato masher, a large fork, or even your hands if needed, but the pastry blender is made for this job. If you do use your hands, be sure to keep them cold. If needed, place the whole bowl into the fridge for five minutes to chill it.
Why cold butter? It doesn’t incorporate into the dry ingredients as well when it’s cold, which means you end up with larger pieces of butter surrounded by flour. In the oven, this butter melts and the water in it evaporates, creating pockets of steam, trapped by the gluten structure of the flour, for light and fluffy biscuits.
Add in the corn kernels next. You will want these to be pretty dry, so I recommend using it fresh off the cob. However, this recipe will work with canned or frozen corn. Thaw it in the fridge if frozen, and thoroughly drain and pat dry in either case.
Quickly toss the corn with the butter and flour, allowing it to get coated as well. Then, form a well in the center, to make room for the soured milk.
Pour about three quarters of the milk into that nice well you just made. Then use a spoon to knock the flour from the edges into the pool of liquid. Continue using the spoon or switch to your hands to knead this together into a uniform dough.
If needed, add a bit more milk just a splash at a time. You are looking for a dough texture that is a bit sticky, but holds its shape well. If you have added too much liquid, you can always fix that by adding in just a little bit more flour.
Putting it All Together
Drop biscuits means this step is super easy. Basically, you will just be adding spoonfuls of the cornmeal biscuit dough on top of the blueberries that you had set aside. I like to add a spoonful per serving, so that it’s easy to separate out scoops when doling out the finished cobbler.
In a round pan like this, that means a biscuit in the middle surrounded by seven similarly sized biscuits around the outside. If your scoops try to join together, just use your spoon to guide them apart. Even just the tiniest bit of differentiation will help serving later.
Place the cobbler into the oven on that middle rack. Then place the foil-lined sheet pan on a lower rack underneath it. You don’t want to place the pie pan right on the sheet pan, since that can disrupt the airflow to the bottom, changing the way it cooks.
This bakes for just about forty-five minutes. When it’s done, the filling should be bubbling throughout, both around the edges and in between any biscuits. The biscuits themselves will appear golden and dry on the top, with a slight glossiness. You can use a toothpick to assure they are cooked through.
Allow the finished cobbler to cool for about ten minutes on a trivet or cooling rack. Then you can serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This will taste best fresh, but if needed, you can cover and store this at room temperature for a couple days.
Looking for a quick and easy summer breakfast? This blueberry cobbler is beautiful and delicious, with a cornbread biscuit topping!
How to Serve Blueberry Cornbread Cobbler
I would theme an entire brunch around this dish. It’s the perfect way to build a three-course menu, using the delicious ingredients included here. Begin with a basket of banana rum muffins with blueberry compound butter. Then serve huevos rancheros with mango and corn salsa as the main course. Finish up with this cobbler, and serve the whole menu alongside blueberry moscow mules.
To make this more of a dessert, try serving it topped with a scoop of blueberry goat cheese ice cream or homemade strawberry ice cream. For a gorgeous dessert spread, try serving this next to a plate of blueberry gingersnap lemon bars.
Use Up Leftover Ingredients
- Blueberries are perfect for breakfast! Try them in these streusel-covered pancakes, or in a cozy french toast bake.
- For another delicious summer corn treat, try sweet corn fritters with bourbon maple syrup.
- Use up extra cornmeal in the flavorful and moist butternut squash cornbread with cinnamon and curry.
Blueberry Cobbler with Cornbread Biscuit Topping
- 4 Cups Blueberries
- ¼ Cup Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Cornstarch
Cornbread Biscuit Topping
- 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1 ½ Cups All-purpose flour
- ½ Cup Cornmeal
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ Cup Butter cubed and cold
- 1 Ear Corn about ½-¾ cup of kernels
- Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center and another rack on the bottom. Line a sheet pan with foil and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, toss together the blueberries, sugar, and cornstarch to combine. Place the berry mixture in bottom of a 9-inch high-sided pie pan or cake pan.
- In a measuring cup or small bowl, stir the apple cider vinegar and milk together to combine. Set aside for at least 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, and salt until combined.
- Add the butter, and use a pastry blender to cut it into the flour, until the butter pieces are no larger than a pea, and they are fully coated with flour. Finally, stir in the corn until combined.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and slowly add in about ¾ of the soured milk. Push the dry ingredients into the milk, and then use a spoon or your hands to knead together until a dough forms.
- Add additional milk as needed. The texture should be sticky, but not so wet that it flows together. Drop spoonfuls of the biscuit dough on top of the berries in the pan.
- Bake on the center rack for 40-50 minutes, with the foil-lined pan on the low rack to catch any drips. When it's done, the berries will be bubbling throughout, and the corn biscuits will appear dry and slightly glossy.
- Let cool in the pan at least ten minutes, then serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.