Illustration by Mike Reddy
Based on the southern cuppa-cuppa- cuppa-style cobbler, this is my method for making a cake-like dessert when I don’t bring a Dutch oven. The butter melted into the pan before adding the batter will seep over the sides of the pan, creating an amazing caramelized crispy chewiness while the berries cook into intense pops of flavor—yet the center stays soft and barely set.
1 cup flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
8 tablespoons butter
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups fresh blueberries
• Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. This step can also be done at home and the premixed dry ingredients can be packed in a sealed container for transport to camp.
• Place a 9-inch, heavy-bottomed heat-resistant skillet on a grate over a campfire that has burned down to hot embers (or place the grate off to the side of an active fire). Add the stick of butter to the skillet and allow it to melt.
• Add the milk and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir together until smooth. With big oven mitts or heat-resistant leather gloves, grab the pan handle and swirl the hot pan with the butter to make sure it is fully coating the pan in a thick layer. Pour in the batter. As the batter sloshes into the pan, the butter will creep up all around the edges and over the top of the batter.
• Scatter the blueberries over the top of the batter, cover, and cook until the batter has just barely set in the middle, around 35 minutes. The bottom will most likely get burned, but we all really like the burned bottom because it is deliciously caramelized from the butter.
• Remove the cobbler from the fire and serve warm.
Excerpted from The Family Camp Cookbook (Harvard Common Press, 2022) by Emily Vikre.