strawberry cobbler, gluten-free

danny blackberry

We wait all year for these blackberry days. For warm air, and even the hope of too much warmth for a few days. (It’s never that hot in Seattle, except for the three days of 90-degree weather. I love the way the sun stings my skin. And then I complain like everyone else.) For watermelon with flecks of salt and feta cheese, for sauteed zucchini straight from the garden, for peaches so ripe the juice runs down my neck and into my shirt.

For long-summer-evening gatherings, for friends laughing, for the sloping green lawn filled with children running and giggling together.

For the offering — blackberries picked off the vine.

vegetable hash

Of course, there was food gathered on the table. There were plates of ripe tomatoes with olive oil, pieces of flank steak marinated in gluten-free tamari and lime, a ceviche made with just-caught crab and seaweed, a corn salsa, a roasted vegetable galette dotted with goat cheese. And this hash Danny made with every vegetable left in the drawer that day, just moments before everyone arrived.

Our friends love food. A table laden with something gluten-free and good is a given.

I don’t take it for granted.

blackberry picking

But this gathering? The food on the table was only part of the joy.

When we moved into this home, we fell in love with it all — the light-filled rooms, the trek upstairs to our bedrooms, the French doors onto the back deck. It’s a moderate-sized home on a spacious plot of land. Sitting here now, in my upstairs office, I can see our neighbors’ farm, a stand of Madrona trees in the distance, green trees and overgrown bushes everywhere I look, and an enormous lawn surrounding us, the moat of protection. When we first decided to live here in January, we imagined a yard filled with kids, playing, in August days.

And that’s what we had that evening. Clumps of kids playing badminton, another group on the slip and slide. Some wandered through the garden, another couple of them jumped on the trampoline. Mostly, they foraged, finding the few ripe blackberries on the bushes that make up the back of our property.

August. We were picking blackberries together.

rebekah and abigail

These are two of Lucy’s best friends, dear girls with kind hearts and mischievous spirits.

I love that Rebekah’s shirt says LIVE.

the kids

Our girl has good people in her life. She’s surrounded by spunky kids with feisty personalities and interesting minds. This group has been part of her life for awhile now, the children of our baking club. We haven’t been baking much lately — too much traveling and too much heat to turn on that oven again — so it was good to have them with us.

I cannot wait to see these kids as teenagers together. That’s one of the beauties of living here. With all luck on our side, we’ll know these kids for the rest of their lives.

zea and shelby

Mostly, there was joy. Shrieks of giggles as these two bounced up and down. Shelby came to the party, took one look at the wide-open spaces, the clutches of children chasing each other, and she felt shy. She’s going through a shy phase at the moment, glowering at anyone new. Darling Zea, who is one of Lu’s most beloved friends, made it her mission to make Shelby to feel welcome. Within 15 minutes, they were giggling together as they jumped up and down on the trampoline.

They kill me, these kids. Standing there, that evening, I felt surrounded by people whom I adore, people who goad me to be better, who guide me to a life I once wanted to live. I feel grateful to know these kids and their stories. My own kid, a daily revelation in exhaustion and wonder. A husband who understands me like no one else can.

And to have blackberries.

birthday wishes

I am so damned lucky.

That was one good birthday party.

Strawberry cobbler


I threw this together just before my birthday party, not intending to make anything to share here. I wanted to make another chocolate cake. But time ran out. We had strawberries that had sat in their own syrup. We had flour. We had butter and milk. Cobbler. 

(That’s why I like cobblers. You cobble them together, mostly at the last moment.) 

When it came out of the oven, it was so oozy beautifully messy that I took photos. Carlos, another of Lucy’s friends, stood by my side, trying to be patient, and then saying, “Don’t you have enough photos of that yet?” I laughed. That’s the way around here. You have to wait until the photographs are done. I worried the cobbler dough would be a little too stiff. But everyone sighed when they took a bite. Light, pillowy dough atop sweet strawberries — this one I had to share. 

This weekend, I’m making this with blackberries instead. 

3 cups strawberries, green parts removed and cut in half
1 cup sugar
280 grams gluten-free all-purpose flour mix
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 ½ cups whole milk

Preparing to bake. Heat the oven to 400°. Set a large piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Macerating the strawberries. Put the strawberries and sugar in a bowl. Stir them together. Let them sit for an hour until a syrup has formed at the bottom of the bowl.

Making the cobbler dough. Put the flour, baking, powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk them together. Drop the cold butter into the flour mixture. Massage the butter into the flour with your thumbs until the butter has brown down into lima-bean-sized pieces. (You could also use a pastry cutter or a food processor here.) Slowly, pour in the milk, a little at a time, stirring the dough together with a rubber spatula. When the dough coheres together, without any dry patches, you’re done. (It’s better for the dough to be too wet than too dry, so don’t worry about adding too much milk.)

Assembling the cobbler. Pour the strawberries into a large tart pan or casserole pan. They should be lovely and syrupy. Pour it all in. Grab big spoonfuls of the cobbler dough and dollop it on top of the strawberries. Use all the dough.

Baking the cobbler. Set the cobbler pan on the prepared baking sheet. Slide it in the oven and bake until the strawberries are oozy hot and the tops of the cobbler dough are browned and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes.

Let the cobbler cool and eat.

Feeds about 8 to 10, depending on the size of the serving.

29 comments on “strawberry cobbler, gluten-free

  1. DamselflyDiary

    It sounds like you had a wonderful birthday! I love birthdays! If I had any cobbler worthy fruit in house right now I would make one of these too because I just mixed together a DOUBLE batch of your gluten free flour mix. Somehow I do not think that cantaloupe cobbler would be any good! 🙂

  2. Kristin

    what an absolutely lovely blog! thanks for sharing, that’s how I see summer days as well. The pic of the little girls on the trampoline is PRICELESS!

  3. Yuri @ Ingredients We Choose

    That looks so gorgeous, both food and family! I’ve been thinking a lot about what you wrote ages ago about how being gluten free isn’t about what you can’t have, or even finding gluten-free substitutes, but rather it is about exploring the cornucopia of delicious foods that are out there that are whole, fresh, local, and naturally gluten free. I’ve also been thinking about practice – that preparing food is a meditation practice, but it is also something that we get better at with time! I’ve been cooking almost all my own food for just over a year now. When I started it was EXHAUSTING. Many days I was almost in tears. But now? Now, I can whip up a pie or two without blinking. I can meal plan in my head, and cook extra on the weekends for the week. I actually _miss_ cooking on the nights I don’t need to/ have time to. For the first time in my life I have confidence in baking! And it is in large thanks to your wonderful blog. I’ve tried so many of your recipes, and now branch off and can try adapting gluten recipes to be gluten free, because of the techniques that you have explained. Thank you so much for these lovely gifts!

  4. Anne

    I have been eating gluten free for about two months. In that time we have moved from Missouri to Texas; gluten-free eating has been a bit monotonous to lean at times with the craziness of moving. Today I determined to bake…my first try at gluten-free baking. I had plums and I have a favorite (non-gluten-free) pie recipe that I was thinking of, but decided a plum crisp or cobbler would be an easier place to start. I was so pleased when your blog post popped up on my RSS stream! Plum Cobbler Ho!

  5. Jennie

    Not often do I see a recipe and actually feel compelled to make it right away, but the grocery store I work at had strawberries on sale, so off I went. It turned out amazing…especially with a little whipped cream on top. I just wonder if the strawberries should be so soupy…

    1. shauna

      Jennie, you can certainly make them drier next time. I just love the ooze and that deep taste that the syrup provides. But I LOVE that you made it tonight. Thank you.

        1. shauna

          No, what I’d do is use the sugar to make the syrupy lovely stuff. It builds flavor. Just use less of the syrup in the final dish than you did. (And save it for flavoring yogurt or mixing with fizzy water.)

  6. vegetablej

    Happy late Birthday!

    Berry picking was traditional in my family, long sunny days with my grandmother at the head of the troops, exhorting us to pick more and “think of the pies”. Just yesterday afternoon I went to a local U-pick farm and picked a flat of blueberries and some extra boxes for my aunt as well. Now I am macerating the berries and making your cobbler. Happiness is summer and a fresh berry recipe. Thanks!

  7. Cindy

    Now that looks yummy! Too bad our berries are done or I would be out picking some now. This is why I keep coming back. I love the pictures and your attitude. I shall have to see what fruit I can find at the store tomorrow to try this.

  8. Dana

    Oh this looks SO good to me! Unfortunately my gf girl prefers chocolate over any cooked berry (though she’ll eat them raw with abandon!) but since I love cobbler so much and since I have a fantastically large Cambro container filled with your AP flour, I think I’ll treat myself. Thanks Shauna, and I’m glad you had a lovely birthday! How wonderful that Lu has so many sweet friends.

  9. erin

    when i came across this yesterday afternoon, i just knew i needed to make it. so, i got strawberries from the store & made it. it is absolutely fantastic! i’ve not had cobbler since going gf about 2.5 years ago, so i was so happy to find an easy & delicious recipe. thanks so much:)

  10. Jana

    Another beautiful post. Your writing always draws me in and and compels me to read on. But mostly it makes me wish I was there. Enjoying the company and eating the food. And even jumping on the trampoline with those joyful faces. What blessings you have dear lady. Happy Birthday!

  11. Kimberlina

    Your posts bring so much joy and optimism to my life with every reading. Happy birthday and thank you for being an inspiration to celiac families!

  12. Sihi

    I recently found out that I have gluten intolerance:( I am so happy to find your blog. Its lovely and so beautiful! Thank you for sharing such wonderful recipes. Truly appreciate it.


  13. Shawnette Fox

    I was scouring your site on Sunday for a cobbler recipe-thbbbbbbbt. I used someone else’s (rather than my own lovely biscuit recipe and good judgement) and it wasn’t exciting. Too too dry. Too dense. Now guess I’ll have to make another….

  14. Sini

    I must admit that I’m a bit jealous…of those beautiful blackberries. They are quite hard to find here in Finland and if you do find them they are pricey. Such a shame really. My dear granny has blackberry vines hanging on the house wall in Bavaria. I love them. They make me smile. And wanting to make a pie. Or a cobbler. Or both.

  15. InTolerantChef

    Oh so lovely indeed! Love the image of a gaggle of giggles running around on the lawn 🙂 It’s not blackberry season here for ages but I’m off to buy some frozen ones for a syrup- yummo!

  16. Marney

    Just made the cobbler with fresh fall raspberries that we picked yesterday. Served it with homemade vanilla ice cream made with cream from a local dairy. So yummy!!!! Thanks as always for the delicious recipe!

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