Tag Archives: blueberries

2 Comments

raspberry sauce finished

Summer is in full swing!  I love it, even the 100 degree heat wave we are having here in Northern California.  Sunshine makes me happy!

In honor of summer I'm sharing my recipe for easy but tasty Triple Berry Sauce.  This sauce is terrific over ice cream, strawberry shortcake or my personal favorite, cheesecake.  It's the perfect light summer condiment. Let's get started!

The ingredients are so simple:

  • 1 (one) 12 oz. bag of frozen mixed berries (I like strawberry-blackberry-blueberry but use any combination of fresh or frozen berries you like)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • scant 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

raspberry sauce lemon juice

raspberry sauce sugar

raspberry sauce cinnamon

Place the berries in a medium saucepan with just a splash of water.  Add the lemon, sugar and cinnamon.

raspberry sauce bubble

Cook the mixture over medium high, stirring occasionally to coax the berries to break down and the mixture comes to a soft boil.

raspberry sauce coats

Once the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, take it off the heat and using a big spoon or potato masher, make sure the berries are all broken down, letting their juices out.  You could give it a whirl with an immersion blender to break down the fruit, just be extra careful, you don't want to wear this berry sauce!  It stains clothing, trust me.

raspberry sauce strain

Pour the mixture through a sieve, pressing and scraping the solids to get all the berry goodness out.

raspberry sauce finished

Pour the sauce into  container and place in the refrigerator to cool.  Drizzle the cold sauce over your favorite dessert!

Occasionally, I add a little framboise (raspberry liqueur) or creme de cassis (black current liqueur) to the saucepan for a little extra kick, but it's totally optional.

Just sitting here thinking about it, I'm dreaming up new ways to eat this sauce: drizzled over grilled peaches, mixed with Greek yogurt, a few dollops in a smoothie... my mouth is watering!

Give it a shot, I know you will love it!

triple berry sauce long

photo from http://www.grouprecipes.com/people/magandab at grouprecipes.com

I have a new addiction: the Blueberry Oat Bars at Starbucks.  I rarely purchase the pastries at Starbucks because, well, they are expensive and who needs all those extra calories but one day last week I was feeling "snacky" and I had never tried these bars before.  Big mistake. I am now obsessed with them.  I have cut myself off from buying and/or eating them, as of yesterday, because I really don't want to have to buy new pants.  And by "new" I mean "bigger."

But in case you're wondering here's why I love these bars so much:

  • They have an oat/crumb base and topping.  I'm a sucker for oat crumb topping.
  • They are made with this blueberry-jammy filling that is super yummy.  Not too much of it, just a thin layer to give you the taste of sweet blueberries.
  • They are sweet but not sweet enough to give me a sugar headache.  I could do with a smidge less sugar but for "fast food" I was impressed.

Since I have revoked permission to buy these bars I decided that I could be excused if I made them myself on occasion.  That wouldn't be as bad, right?  The games I play in my own brain...

I told the Starbucks-lady (she's the cutest little grandma named Mary who always remembers my drink) that I needed to learn how to make them for myself and she leaned across the register to and whispered, "Try allrecipes.com, honey.  They have everything!"  So that's what  did.  Only I didn't find what I was looking for at allrecipes.com, I found it instead at grouprecipes.com and it looks reeeeeeeally close to the original.

I have some ideas of my own so I might sit down with my Grandma Shirley to see if we can come up with our own improvised recipe, but in the meantime this one will be just fine.

The dough is super-simple, just combine the ingredients and press it into your pan.  Then for the blueberry mixture you pre-cook it by bringing it to a boil with some cornstarch, sugar and lemon.  After pouring your blueberry mixture over the raw crust, then topping with a little reserved crust, it bakes for roughly 20 minutes and after cooling you can cut it into bars and enjoy.

I hope you will try it and see if you love it as much as I do.  But be careful.  It's addicting.  And I don't think they have Blueberry Oat Bar Rehab...yet.

Again, you can find the recipe here, over at grouprecipes.com

Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone!!

3 Comments

Sweet.  Tart. Floral. Berries are the perfect combination of those three tastes.  And when you pair them up with a crusty, salty, flaky crust you just might feel like you're in heaven.  Think I'm exaggerating?  My friends, I wouldn't steer you wrong.

I first saw a version of this recipe on  the site Rachel Cooks.  She made a beautiful, shiny blueberry pie that appeared to hold together remarkably well.  That is one thing about berry pies that has always bothered me; they tend to be runny and the filling dumps into the middle of the pie pan after the first slice is removed.  I have experimented with adding tapioca pearls to my berry cobblers with great success.   But those little pearls can be telling and can potentially cook unevenly and flour just makes it murky so I knew there must be a way to incorporate some other thickener to get the results I was looking for.

After reading the full recipe I saw that she adapted it from a blueberry pie recipe by Baked Bree.   Again, she shows a glossy pie that held together quite well.

So after reading both recipes I concluded that the trick was indeed cornstarch.  A surprisingly large amount of it: 6 tablespoons.  I was a little hesitant to put that much cornstarch into my pie but then I realized, this filling is pre-cooked.  And you pour it into a pre-cooked pie shell.  Pre-cooking the filling allows the cornstarch to get even distributed and come fully up to temperature, allowing it to dissolve and thicken.  I was a tad wary that it might make my pie cloudy but if you look at their photos, it doesn't appear to have effected their results so what-the-hay, I would give it a try!
20120813-150604.jpg

20120813-150548.jpg

(Don't be confused by the sight of 2 pies below.  We had 2 family get-togethers that day so I went ahead and doubled the recipe so each gathering would have it's own pie.)

First things first, I had to get some berries.  The other 2 recipes call for all blueberries but I crave plump, juicy blackberries (or better yet boysenberries) this time of year, so instead I opted for a combo of fresh blackberries and frozen wild blueberries.   Off I went to a local farm stand to find some fresh blackberries.  5 miles down the road I found 7 full pints of the biggest blackberries I have ever seen.  I bought them all, even though I really only needed 4.  And yes, we ate them all.

Next in the order of things was to bake some pie crusts.  I shared that story with you earlier this week but you can click over here in case you missed it!

20120813-150734.jpg

About that time I realized I had not eaten lunch!  There was a brief intermission so I could whip up a fresh blackberry vanilla protein shake.  And eat a handful of berries.

While my pie crusts were cooling I worked on the filling which was as simple as throwing everything into a pot, stirring well till it boiled, stirring a few minutes more, then setting it aside to cool.

20120813-150746.jpg

I let the filling cool just for  bit then tossed in a few more whole berries for good measure, then poured it into my pie shells.  Into the fridge they went for a good 3-4 hours and then we devoured.  The filling stayed together beautifully and the flavor was intensely "berry".  The tartness of the blackberries rounded out the sweet perfume of the blueberries... ohhhhh, it was heaven.

The full recipe is below,  with my own changes.  I hope you can give it a try because it really was one of the easiest pies I've made and truly delicious.

Blackberry-Blueberry Pie

(adapted from Baked Bree)

Ingredients:

  • 1 precooked, cooled pie shell
  • 2 pints of fresh blackberries, plus 1/2 pint (optional); rinsed
  • 2 cups frozen wild blueberries (I use Wynan's brand)
  • 6 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of your blackberries)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter

In a large saucepan, combine 2 pints of blackberries (reserving the 1/2 pint for later), blueberries, and cornstarch, stirring gently so as not to damage the blackberries.  After the cornstarch is evenly distributed, add the salt, sugar, water and lemon juice and turn the heat up to medium high.  Stirring occasionally, allow the mixture to come up to a soft boil.  Continue to stir for 2-4 more minutes, letting the mixture get thick and coat the spoon.  Remove from heat and add the butter, gently stirring to combine.

Allow the mixture to cool slightly then add the 1/2 pint reserved blackberries then pour mixture into your cooled pie shell.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap (just to make sure nothing falls into it) and set in refrigerator to cool for at least 3-4 hours before serving.

PS:  You might have a little extra filling so might I recommend cooling it then using it to top a serving of full fat Greek yogurt?  Trust me, it's yummy.

Epilogue:

20120813-150755.jpg

If you must transport your pie before it has rested in the refrigerator for 3 hours, be sure to place it in a cardboard box or you will end up with blackberry pie filling all over your car.  You have been warned.

Catch a Glimpse Button

Photobucket
Somewhat Simple

Thirty Handmade Days

I was a busy little chicken this weekend but that did not stop me from working on TWO, count 'em, TWO recipes that I am very excited to share with you because... and I am not ashamed to say it... they both turned out  AWESOME!

This photo is just a teaser of what is yet to come, later this week.  Can you guess?  Isn't it obvious? Doesn't it make you drool?

You're gonna love it.