Skillet Blackberries and Dumplings
From Dori Sanders' book Country Cooking: Recipes and Stories from the Family Farm Stand
Dori Sanders is an African American peach farmer whose family has been farming the same tract of land between York and Clover for almost a century. She’s a novelist and food book author who has been profiled in The Washington Post and is a regular in Southern Living. She also helps run the Sanders Farm Stand, about five miles north of York. Here’s one of her tastiest — and stickiest — recipes:
Serves 4 to 6
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons plus
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, separated
2/3 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 quart fresh, canned, or frozen blackberries
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 2 teaspoons of sugar. In a large bowl, combine the egg yolk, buttermilk, 2 tablespoons of the butter, and the nutmeg and mix until well combined. Add these wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in 2 batches, mixing after each addition until just barely combined.
In a small bowl, beat the egg white until soft peaks form. Gently fold into the batter. Use the remaining tablespoon of butter to grease a deep skillet at least 10 inches wide. Drop large spoonfuls of the dumpling batter into the skillet and cook, about 5 or 6 at a time, over medium-high heat, turning once, until both sides are browned, and 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and set aside. Continue this process until all the butter has been used up.
Pour the blackberries into the same skillet. Add the remaining cup of sugar (or less to taste if you are not a Southerner) and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, place pan-fried dumplings on top, and cook, covered, for ten minutes. Serve warm.