Sunday, July 9, 2017

Lee Bailey's Blackberry Cobbler

"Going to Lee Bailey's is like going home...
when going home is what it's cracked up to be.
It's that comfortable and welcoming."
Amy Gross

I have six of Lee Bailey's cookbooks and hope to someday own every single one.

Before there was Martha, there was Lee,
legendary lifestyle writer. 
His books make me feel exactly how Amy Gross wrote, like I've walked in his door and known immediately that there would be good conversation and good food--
all done with such ease that you know you're not a bother.

His Country Weekends was my first Lee Bailey book.

And his Peach Cobbler the first recipe I tried years ago,
best cobbler dough ever!

You use the same dough for his Blackberry Cobbler
and it's well worth passing on.

Cobbler Batter:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons frozen, unsalted butter
4 tablespoons frozen Crisco
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

Lee suggests making the dough in a food processor but I just mix the flour and salt in a bowl and use my old little pastry cutter to cut in the butter and Crisco. Then stir in the ice water until you can form it in a ball. Either refrigerate until ready to roll out, or I go ahead and roll it out right away.

Put the whole round of dough over a large pie plate and let it hang over. You're going to just fold the excess over the top after the filling is put in.

So easy! 

And if you have a neighbor like we do who brings you fresh-picked blackberries, count your blessings.

For the blackberry filling, none is easier than Lee's:

6 cups washed blackberries
(I only had 3 cups)
3/4 cups sugar (I used less)
1/4 cup unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 
Dump berries into the dough in pie pan.
Sprinkle sugar over.
Fold excess pastry over top.
Dot with pats of butter.
Sprinkle a little sugar on top of pastry.
Bake for 45 minutes, don't over brown.

Be sure to put some aluminum foil on
bottom rack to catch any spills.

The last step is to enjoy,
either with vanilla ice cream or without.

And enjoy, we did.

Blackberry Cobbler, summer is officially here!


  1. I had some of his wonderful books too! the two that I remember well were Lee Bailey's City Foods and his Country Weekends. they were my favorites.
    I used to read them like you would a novel!
    I only discovered him after Bob died so I had quit cooking like that by then.
    it's just too expensive for my budget and as just one person it's not as fun. plus I was never the cook you are anyway!

    but oh how I loved him and his books! I truly just learned so much about the style of living from him. I suppose that's why I bought them.

    he was the epitome of a host to me. Martha does her thing too but I always get the feeling she is remote from people and ever the "star."
    her persnickety perfection about everything is impressive I suppose but it just leaves me cold.
    I love that he put the people in his world first. not to impress them but to make sure they just totally enjoyed themselves.
    it was the first time I knew a homemade looking crust was preferable!

    today I suppose the Barefoot Contessa comes closest to his type of cooking. she has that same simple elegance. I had a lot of her books too and enjoyed them.

    Lee Bailey was always about simplicity and love and friendship and laughter and things that spoke of HOME. never anything too contrived or over the top. very English really for a southern guy in NY!
    such a gentleman. can you imagine a dinner with him and Norah Ephron? at the same table! I read somewhere they were friends.

    when I moved from my little cottage I gave all my cookbooks to Roger who was a great cook and a neighbor of mine. I knew he would appreciate them and more than that... he would USE THEM! lol.
    I wish I had known you then or I would have mailed them to YOU! XO♥
    this is another great post!!! xo

  2. Well, after seeing your mouthwatering blackberry cobbler, then reading Tam's comment, I just had to go and google Mr. Bailey, mostly because I like to put a face to the name, so I can visualize the person more clearly.

    What a charming gentleman he was, girls, and that face - so handsome with those twinkly eyes and warm smile. I just read that he thought of himself as 'a good cook, not a great cook' and that even if the table setting and decor was impeccable, if the meal was mediocre, then 'not enough time was spent in the kitchen'. Probably old news to you two, but I am smiling this very hot and hazy morning, right back at Mr. Bailey's sweet smile emanating from the screen.

    I can imagine how many of his delicious recipes you have cooked up, Dewena, and knowing that you are pretty particular about what you place on your table and into your tummy, and the tummies of your loved ones, I am sure that Mr. Bailey's dishes were ones that you could and can always depend on. When reading about his attention to decor detail, specifically, about the way he folded napkins or collected bunches of wildflowers as centerpieces, I was reminded of you.

    Most probably one of Martha's mentors, this southern gentleman, so multi talented and genuine, would have surely been a huge success in today's mass media world. He was the first (or one of the first) to apparently provide a photo for each one of his recipes, which I find to be very helpful.

    Enjoy your blackberry cobbler, my friend, and thanks for introducing me to another very interesting and inspirational talent!


    1. Poppy, I am so glad that you understand now why Tam and I love the nice and very talented man written about here!

      His cookbooks are piled on the very top of all the other shelves holding my cookbooks because I reach for his more often than any other. And as you said, not just for the food but for ideas how to simply but nicely present a finished dish.

      Mr. Bailey would have been happy to know that he now has a fan from the beautiful island of Crete, oh, and btw, one of his books has a whole section on meals when he stayed in Greece, a favorite place of his. I had planned sometime to to a meal from them in honor of you, must do that sometime!

      Here's to Mr. Bailey,

  3. oh for cryin' out loud Dewena.
    I just tried to delete that comment above and it's still there!
    all I needed to say was "I love Lee Bailey too!"
    I don't know why I always have to write a book. please delete it for me! XO♥

    1. Oh no, dear Tammy, why would I delete such a wonderful comment as you wrote above? I appreciate so much that you wrote it!

      Listen, girl, we both are huge fans of the wonderful Mr. Bailey! Would that he was still with us!

      You know, every single food person I've read who said something about Lee, ALWAYS had something nice to say about him. He was beloved by many and I like to think that was because he was such a kind man and kindness goes a very long way, doesn't it?

      A lesson for all there, right?

      Comment on whenever and however long you like, Tam. And don't you dare delete it!

      Love you bunches!


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