Shauna Sever's Blueberry Cobbler on the grill


Photography by Paul Strabbing

Now you’ve made the chicken thighs from the last post why not go full out and throw a quick and easy dessert together for the grill. I had asked Shauna for something to cook outside so you don’t get the kitchen all warmed up on a hot day and true to style she responded immediately with this yummy recipe.

I had the massive pleasure of working with Shauna Sever on her soon to be out cookbook.  I’m in awe of Shauna’s talent and dedication to her work.  Making a cookbook (not just one mind you), alongside a wider and demanding career and family is no mean feat. She does it with soul and a fantastic wit to be reckoned with. 

We photographed her book both at Parchment Studio and House.  The House was great for being in the rural landscape, and not that far from Chicago.  We went apple picking, visited fruit farms, went to markets, saw animals and wildlife and took advantage of all kinds of great life style opportunities for photo.  Plus all the really good wineries, distilleries, breweries and restaurants to frequent on the off hours.  However I think my favorite part was the ice cream moment with her kids and their friends in front of the barn. Made me weak at the knees to imagine being single digits again, in the reliably hot sun, sweet stuff in front of my face.

Grilled Blueberry Cobblers

By Shauna Sever

It’s such a shame that the best summer berries appear in markets right around the time that it gets too warm to turn on the oven indoors. This grilled version of a blueberry cobbler features a hit of lemon, a sparkle of spice, and toasty pillows of buttery biscuits, all without having to heat up the kitchen. As grills can vary so much, it’s important to use the visual cues here in addition to the general time estimates for baking. Double these amounts and use one big cast iron skillet, 10 to 12 inches, to serve a crowd.

And it’s probably not necessary to say, but a vanilla ice cream topper on this cobbler is the easiest way to make yourself a summertime domestic hero. 

Serves 4

For the filling:

1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch 

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups fresh blueberries, washed, patted dry and picked over for stems
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

For the biscuit topping:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons cornmeal
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Coarse sugar for sprinkling (such as sanding sugar, turbinado or demerara)

Preheat a gas grill to high heat and line the grates with heavy duty aluminum foil. Have ready 4 x 3 1/2-inch cast iron skillets (or similar-sized grill-friendly dishes).  

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt. Add the blueberries, lemon zest and lemon juice and fold gently to combine. Divide the berry mixture among the skillets. Set the skillets on the grill on top of the foil. Close the lid of the grill. Cook until the fruit is hot, bubbling up (and maybe even bubbling over), and beginning to soften, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the biscuit dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground ginger. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stir gently until the dough is just combined with no dry pockets. Softly pat the dough into a rough ball in the bottom of the bowl, and score it into 4 equal pieces.

Open the grill, and carefully top each skillet with a quarter of the dough, flattening each portion with your fingertips a bit before placing it. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Close the lid of the grill, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the topping is deeply golden and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the skillets carefully using a thick oven mitt, and allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with a warning that the skillets may be hot!

Johanna Lowe