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If you're lucky enough to live somewhere with access to fresh blackberries, when July comes it's time to put on your long sleeves and pick some berries for this quick and delicious treat.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, add 1/2 cup of sugar to the blackberries and mix lightly with a spoon. Taste them, if they're very tart you can add another half cup of sugar. Mix in the corn starch, then pour the berries into a 9" by 13" glass baking dish, spreading them out evenly.
In a second large bowl, add the flour, 1/2 cup of sugar and the salt. Cut the shortening into the flour as if making a pie crust, using two knives, two forks, or a pastry cutter (this can also be done in a food processor). Continue cutting until the pastry mixture has the consistency of coarse meal with no large lumps.
Spread the pastry topping on top of the berries, as evenly as possible. Then, using a teaspoon, splash the cream around on top of the pastry mixture, wetting it unevenly.
Bake in the center of the oven until the top is light golden brown (about 35-45 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack for at least 45 minutes or an hour, then serve warm, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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