Raspberry Cobbler Recipe | Appalachia Food and Memories

Southern Style Black Raspberry

Raspberry Cobbler Recipe | Appalachia Food and Memories

Southern Style Black Raspberry

Appalachia isn’t all doom and gloom. In fact, despite some Appalachians having little money, they are an extremely resourceful group of people who know how to enjoy food, family, music and life. That’s one of the things that I really love about the simple life of Appalachian people–their pride in their heritage.

We put a call out for favorite Appalachia family recipes and Dave Tabler–who grew up in Maryland but spent a lot of his early years at his grandparents’ place in Martinsburg, West Virginia–was one of the ones who answered our call with this amazing memory and find from his mother’s cookbook. Dave also has an awesome Appalachia history website that you must check out: Appalachia History: Stories, Quotes, Anecdotes.

Raspberry Summers | Appalachian Memories from Dave Tabler

Monkey Do Project Appalachia Recipes from Dave TablerHere’s my family’s raspberry cobbler recipe. A family standard in July, and also at holiday time using the frozen berries. My grandparents told of going out into the woods to pick berries when THEY were kids, and sure enough that tradition carried down to my generation. I cherish that tradition now, but as a young teen I hated the fact that we had to wear full length jeans and boots plus long sleeved sweatshirts in the withering humidity of a West Virginia July to prevent copperhead or rattlesnake bites. We always came back from the woods just drenched in sweat AND scratched to smithereens on our hands despite all the coverings!

Many of the recipes in my mother’s recipe book have the name of the person who contributed the recipe listed right on it; could it be that each cook added her own flourish to the core recipe and somehow wanted future readers of the recipe to know that? Crisco, listed here as an ingredient, was invented at the turn of the 20th century, so I’m sure this is the recipe my grandmother, born in 1901, used, but prior to that, I don’t know what ingredient served that same function in the recipe — lard perhaps?

I found this recipe stashed loose in my mother’s recipe book, clipped to a to-do list. That fact that one of the items says “make salad, chow-mein” dates this to-do list to mid-1960s or early 1970s, when “chow mein” was suddenly becoming newly popular in a lot of suburban homes.

The idea of clipping a recipe to your to-do list really shows just how much of a working tool the family recipe book was. It wasn’t meant to sit prettily up on the shelf, the way so many slickly produced coffee-table style recipe books are. The recipes were written, and sometimes like this, typed on individual note cards that could either be filed in a box or, like my mom’s book, put in cellophane sleeves bound into a binder.

Raspberry Cobbler Recipe

Southern Raspberry Cobbler

Rating: 51

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Southern Raspberry Cobbler

This recipe was a childhood favorite of Dave Tabler. He found it in his mom Pat Tabler's cookbook clipped to a to-do list. Visit Dave's website, AppalachianHistory.net, for more great stories and memories.

Special thanks to Dave for sharing his memories and recipe with MonkeyDoProject.org


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons shortening
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1-2 quarts fresh or frozen black raspberries + sugar, if needed


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  3. Cut in shortening and milk.
  4. Shape into 6 flat biscuits.
  5. Add water to just cover bottom of a baking pan.
  6. Place black raspberries in a baking pan on top of water. Sprinkle with sugar, if needed.
  7. Lay biscuits on top.
  8. Bake for 30-45 minutes.

If you have an Appalachian memory, story, photo or recipe to share, we’d love to featured it! Contact us!

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  • Jacqueline
    Posted at 18:31h, 09 November Reply

    I love that Dave’s mom wrote “Fix tomatoes” on her “to do” list. It makes me wonder what she was doing with them? Cooking? Canning?

  • Angela D (@LivngThisMoment)
    Posted at 12:20h, 10 November Reply

    I love raspberries so this sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing an Appalachian family tradition.

  • Crystal
    Posted at 15:43h, 10 November Reply

    WOW. This looks amazing! My mom has a similar well-worn cookbook, so this brought back lots of fond memories for me.

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