I’ve been making a version of this kuchen for many years. Originally, it was a German recipe which used quark, something that is not available in most of our Cincinnati-area grocery stores. I’ve found that sour cream or yogurt are good substitutes. This is very easy to put together with a variety of fruit toppings, not too sweet and a consistency that I haven’t found in other cakes. This was a good version with some leftover blackberries and a big Bartlett pear.
Blackberry Pear Kuchen
3 Tblsp. sour cream
3 Tblsp. milk
3 Tblsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 cup + 2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 cup blackberries
1 cup pear slices
Cinnamon-Ginger Topping: 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
and 1/4 tsp. each of cinnamon and ginger, mixed together
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch baking pan
In medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, oil and sugar.
Mix together the salt, flour, baking powder and baking soda, and gradually stir into sour cream mixture. Place batter in greased pan. The dough will be stiff and somewhat sticky. Dampen your hands with water and then press the dough into the pan.
Arrange the blackberries and pear slices over the top of the cake.
Bake @ 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Sprinkle Cinnamon-Ginger Topping over top of cake and continue baking for 5 more minutes.
Place on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into 6 servings.
It’s almost time for fresh blackberries and I wanted to use a bag of frozen blackberries before the farm markets open. I needed 4 cups of fruit and only had 2-1/2 cups in the bag of berries, so I used a can of drained pear slices, which made the measurement exactly right. Fresh blackberries can also be used but if you are substituting fresh pears, saute them first in a little butter until fork tender so they will be done within the 30-minute baking time.
BLACKBERRY PEAR COBBLER
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tblsp. cornstarch
- 1 cup boiling water
- 15 oz. can sliced pears in juice, drained (about 1-½ cups)
- 12 oz. bag of frozen blackberries, thawed, with juice – about 2-½ cups
- 1 Tblsp. butter
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 Tblsp. granulated sugar
- 1-½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ cup shortening
- ½ cup milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Have a 9×9 inch baking pan/dish at hand
To make filling:
Drain the pears – I like to save the juice in a jar in the freezer to substitute for a cup of cold water when making Jello. A mixture of different juices makes it really flavorful.
In a medium saucepan, cook the sugar, cornstarch and boiling water over medium heat until mixture begins to boil; continue stirring and cooking for another minute. Remove from heat and add blackberries and pears. Stir in butter and spices and pour into a 9×9 baking pan/dish. Set aside.
To make topping:
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the shortening with your fingertips. Stir in the milk to make a soft dough.
Drop the soft dough by spoonful onto the hot filling.
Bake @ 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Place pan on a wire rack to cool.
Good warm or at room temperature. Delicious plain or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I made up this recipe for supper using what I had on hand. It was really good. The yogurt and cream cheese are smooth and creamy, the blackberry jam adds a nice sweet/tart flavor and the graham cracker crumbs are crispy. My daughter and I really enjoyed it.
BLACKBERRY HONEY CREME
- 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 6 oz. container of Greek honey yogurt (Yoplait)
- 3 honey graham crackers, crushed (about ½ cup), divided
- ¼ cup blackberry jam*
Blend the cream cheese and yogurt together until smooth – a small food processor works well for this.
Sprinkle remaining graham cracker crumbs over the top of each dish.
Cover and refrigerate at least two hours.
Makes 4 servings
*I used my homemade blackberry jam. Click here for the recipe. https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/good-blackberry-jam/
Rusty likes blackberries. It came as quite a surprise to me. We had gotten Rusty from the shelter in 1999 when he was four months old.
At the time, we lived on two acres in a rural area on the Ohio/Indiana border called Blue Jay. One day, I was preparing blackberries and looked down to see Rusty staring expectantly at me or rather, at the plump blackberry in my hand. I had never given a tart, wild blackberry to a dog before, but that’s what he seemed to want. He loved it. Luckily, I had buckets of berries picked from our wild thicket in the backyard, so he got a fair share of our bounty.
I took Rusty with me when I went out to pick berries – not always a good thing for me. I had taken off my straw hat for a minute and looked around to see this.
I wasn’t happy that my hat was all gnawed around the edges.
I scolded him a little, but not enough to warrant this sad reaction.
A year later, I wrote a piece for a web site about Rusty and his favorite fruit.
BLACKBERRY TIME IN BLUE JAY – Rusty, our year-old hound, seems to know when the blackberries are ready for picking. He takes off toward the back yard on a brisk trot, straining at his leash – past the asparagus bed and rhubarb, along the border of the vegetable garden, down to the very edge of the property where the wild blackberries grow. Rusty plucks off all the berries he can reach, always choosing the choice center berry, ignoring the thorns that prickle his nose. We still have plenty of dark, lustrous berries to carry back to the house in our graniteware bucket to cook up into summertime treats such as Blackberry Cobbler.
That was the last summer I could put on my tattered straw hat and take Rusty down to the blackberry patch. My husband’s condition worsened and we had to move to a property I could manage alone. David has been gone for over 7 years, but Rusty is still with me, an elderly 12-year-old, and I still get some blackberries at the farm market and make that good Blackberry Cobbler from a recipe found in an old Farm Journal Pie cookbook.
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 Tblsp. cornstarch
1 cup boiling water
4 cups blackberries
1 T butter
½ tsp cinnamon or ¼ tsp nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil for one minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and gently stir in the blackberries.
Pour this mixture into an ungreased 10” x 6 x 2 inch baking dish or a 1-½ qt casserole.
Dot with butter and sprinkle with spices.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tblsp. granulated sugar
1-½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ cup shortening
½ cup milk
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
Stir in the milk.
Drop spoonsful of dough over the hot fruit filling.
Bake in a 400 F degree oven about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling. Cool slightly on a wire rack.
Rusty still gets an occasional ripe blackberry tossed his way.
I found the recipe for this delicious dessert in an old cookbook, Our Favorite Recipes – Queen City Cake Decorating Club – Cincinnati. I felt the original version was much too sweet and that it needed more berries, so this is my adapted recipe for a very easy, quick way to enjoy summer’s fresh blackberries.
- ¼ cup butter, cut into small pieces
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Dash of salt
- ¾ tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. milk
- 1-½ cups fresh blackberries
- Additional 1-1/2 Tblsp. granulated sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and melt butter in 9-inch pie plate while oven is heating. Heat until butter is melted but not brown.
Meanwhile, mix flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, salt and baking powder in bowl.
Stir in milk. Pour this batter over the melted butter – DO NOT STIR.
Drop in berries, scattering evenly over surface. DO NOT STIR.
Sprinkle 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar on top…
…and bake for 30 minutes @ 350 F degrees.
The butter and batter rise to make a thin top crust that is buttery, sugary and crunchy at the edges.
Best served warm. Delicious plain or with a bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
In 1986, my oldest daughter had been entering needlework in the Ohio State Fair for several years. She kept nudging me to enter something in the food division but I was hesitant after seeing all of the beautiful entries that come in from all over the state. Finally, I gave in and decided to enter a blackberry pie to use up some of the buckets of wild blackberries we picked every day in a thicket on the far edge of our property. I used a recipe from a book by Susan Purdy that my daughter had just given me (unfortunately, I lost the book and I’m not sure of the title*) and made the long trip from Cincinnati to Columbus to enter the pie for judging.
I was pleased to win a third place ribbon on my first Ohio State Fair entry.
We no longer live in the house with the blackberry thicket but there were some beautiful blackberries at my farmers’ market in Loveland, Ohio (Blooms and Berries) and the pie turned out great.
STATE FAIR BLACKBERRY PIE
- Pastry for a 9″ two-crust pie (click here for my favorite recipe)
- 4 cups fresh blackberries
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
- 3 Tblsp. cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 1 Tblsp. quick cooking tapioca
- 2 Tblsp. butter
- 1 Tblsp. milk
Preheat oven @ 375 degrees F
In a heavy pan combine the blackberries, sugar, vinegar, cornstarch, salt, and 2 Tblsp. water.
Mash fruit very slightly with wooden spoon to start juices flowing. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, just until mixture nears boiling point (3-4 minutes). Remove from heat and cool completely. Stir in tapioca.
Pour into unbaked pie shell and dot with butter. Fit top crust over fruit, sealing well. Brush top crust lightly with milk and cut vents.
Place on flat pan to catch spills and bake @ 375 degrees F for 45-50 minutes until crust is golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack.
The flavor of this pie is so delicious – even the leftovers the next day were good.
*UPDATE: I was able to identify the book – As Easy as Pie by Susan G. Purdy and found a nice hard-cover 1984 edition on eBay.com. I feel better now. That was the only cookbook that I have ever lost and I’m happy to have a copy to complete my collection.
My oldest daughter made several trips to Ireland and always brought back an Irish cookbook for me. In May of 1987, she brought home a copy of Irish Country Kitchen and on June 17, I made this wonderful sponge pudding for the first time. We were living then in rural Blue Jay, Ohio, on the Indiana border, and every day I went to our back yard and picked a big bucket of wild blackberries. I made several kinds of pie, jam, jelly, preserves and was running out of ideas when I tried this recipe. It took a little adapting because of conversions and size of baking pans, but became a favorite.
This is a simple, light dessert of blackberries with a light sponge cake on top – just right for a summertime meal.
IRISH LEMON AND BLACKBERRY SPONGE PUDDING
- 2 cups fresh blackberries*
- 2 Tblsp. butter, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1 Tblsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. grated lemon peel
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven @ 350 degrees F
Have at hand 4 individual casserole dishes. Mine measure 4-1/2″ diameter across the top and are 2″ deep.
Have a large pan with sides in which you can bake the 4 casseroles.
Heat water for the pan in which casseroles are baked.
Place about 1/2 cup of blackberries on the bottom of each of four individual ungreased baking dishes and set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream the butter and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Add the lemon juice and lemon peel, beating to blend.
In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and the flour. In another container, mix the two egg yolks and milk.
Add the dry ingredients to the lemon mixture alternately with the egg mixture, beginning and ending with the dry.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into the batter.
Pour the batter over the berries (about 1/2 cup per serving).
Place the puddings in a flat pan with sides holding 1″ of hot water. Bake the puddings @ 350 degrees F for approximately 30-35 minutes until tops are golden brown and gentle pressure with a finger tip leaves no impression.
Carefully remove pans from hot water and place on a rack to cool.
*I can’t say whether frozen blackberries would work in this dish or not. The original recipe called for fresh and that’s all I’ve ever used.
We like this dessert slightly warm or at room temperature.
We used to love this as our dessert after having a supper of a serving of meat and multiple servings of vegetables fresh from the garden (like new potatoes, peas, tomatoes, zucchini, green onions, leaf lettuce, radishes, etc.).