Olallieberry Love

If I ever become a nail polish color inventor (they have those right?), I know what my first color is going to be.

It’ll be called “olallieberry,” or the color my fingers were stained for all yesterday.

The annual family berry-picking trip to Half Moon Bay went exceptionally well. We’re talking eight pounds of Olallieberries well. Plus countless pounds of tiny, perfectly ripe and sun-warmed strawberries that  never made it into the buckets.

Of course, the ultimate purpose of my family’s berry-picking extravaganza is to make jam—over the years, what was originally simply olallieberry jam has evolved into “Stralalaberry jam”—a delicious amalgamation of strawberries and olallieberries.

The jam recipe will come later.

Maybe. If I’m feeling it.

More like if I ever come out of my sugar coma.

One of my favorite people from school—we’re going to call her “S” so I can feel like Gossip Girl—spent the day with us.

Though her hilarious laugh, snort-inducing stories and enthusiasm (“Let’s dip our feet in the icy cold tide pool water!!”) made the day sufficiently entertaining, I think the MVP of her contributions to the day go to the following recipe.

(Unless you count her biting story, which almost takes the cake. Oh, excuse me, I mean cobbler.


Oh, dear God. I cannot tell you how much I winced at the thought of putting two sticks of butter into this recipe.

Good thing I only put in one.

(Because S put in the other one. Ha, ha.)

According to at least one of the reviews on allrecipes, this recipe could be made just as well with half the butter. As it turns out, when we attempted to make it, the springform pan that I poured 1 stick of the melted butter into started to leak. I’m going to guess it leaked a good three tablespoons if not at least half a stick of butter onto the counter before S spotted the transparent grease creeping over the unfortunate recipe.

Even though I thought butter had to be cold to be cut into “pastry dough,” S had an ingenious method that I’m surely going to use in the future, as long as the recipe doesn’t call for cold butter. She stuck the butter in the microwave for approximately 10 second increments until it was soft, then dumped it into the flour mixture. THEN—no pastry blender or fancy cutting method needed—she used a fork to mash it into the flour until it was clumpy and doughy and perfect—minimal muss and fuss. Easier than pulling out the food processer and way cleaner than fingers.

Rolling it out was both the best and most free-form part of the recipe. S rolled it out, eyeballing the thickness and area (supposed to be 9×13), then squashed the allotted two cups of olallieberries.

“I think it could use more…maybe another cup,” she said, eyeing the blank spaces on the dough. Even after I washed her another cup, she noted at the end that she probably usually uses even more berries because “I usually can’t roll up that easily—it usually breaks apart when I try to cut it.” Lesson: you can never have too many berries. Also, eyeball the cinnamon. S disregarded the ¼ teaspoon and sprinkled the cinnamon on like a pro. The below measurement is my best guess.


Then: the sugar syrup. Oh, how I grimaced pouring a cup of sugar into the cup of boiling water. (Shh…I don’t think I actually used a whole cup. Probably a scant 7/8!) And perhaps it was because we were using a square 8×8 glass pan instead of a 10” round pan that the cobbler looked like it was on the verge of overflowing after less than the full cup and a half of syrup, but in any case, S stopped before the cup was empty, commenting that she “never used the whole thing anyway.”

Then we popped it in the oven for 30 minutes, then another 5, and in under an hour we were chomping on a steaming bowl of delicious, melting doughy pastry coiled cinnamon-bun-like around juicy, muddled berries swimming in a sea of vanilla ice cream (because the sea of butter and sugar-water was getting lonely).

It looked much more appetizing in person...promise

Olallieberry Cobbler

Taken from allrecipes.com


  • 1 cup butter or margarine, divided
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (could sub half white, half whole wheat, all white, but probably not all whole-wheat unless you like the wheatiness)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 and ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup milk, room temperature
  • 3 cups fresh olallieberries
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. In a 8×8 square glass baking dish, melt 3 tablespoons butter; set aside. In a tea kettle, boil water. Measure water into a glass measuring cup or bowl, then stir in sugar until sugar dissolves.
  2. Place flour in a mixing bowl. Squash softened butter in with a fork until fine crumbs form. Add milk, stirring with a fork until dough leaves sides of bowl. Turn out onto a floured surface; knead three or four times.
  3. Roll out to an approximate 11-in. x 9-in. rectangle. Spread berries over dough; sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll up, jelly-roll style. Cut into 1/4-in. thick slices. Carefully lay slices in baking dish over butter. Pour sugar syrup around slices (syrup will be absorbed).
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes (check it at 30).  Serve warm or cold.

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