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Tried and True Berry Berry Good Recipes

August 27, 2008

“Better than any argument, is to rise at dawn
and pick dew wet berries in a cup.”
Wendell Berry

One of the most difficult things to do, for a crazed foodie, is to pick a favorite food, or for that matter a favorite season of food. But… I’m going to go out on a limb here and say late summer, early fall is my favorite. There are foods available in this season that you simply can not get any other time of year. I like that. It creates a delicious invitation to fall in love with the foods of that season, all over again. Some of my favorites are, stone fruit, corn and berries. My oh my, I can not get enough of them.

Last issue I was just talking about terrior (pronounced ter wior) and how it means the taste of a place. Well, I have another food to add to the list, blackberries. Blackberries have got to one of the best examples of terrior in our region, outside of salmon. Most blackberries are not native to our soil, but they might as well be, the way they have made themselves at home. They have become important food source for much of our wildlife and brave two-leggers willing to pay in blood for that pie.

The blackberry most of us love and hate was imported into the Northwest around 1850, where it promptly made it known that it LOVED it here. After a bit of creative science at OSU, a new and improved blackberry, with less seeds and more fruit, was introduced in 1956 as the Marionberry. It quickly became one of the main cultivars of the region, where it still is the king crop in the Willamette Valley.  90% of the world’s Marionberries are grown near Salem.

Blackberries are so much fun to bake with. This is one of my all time favorite berry muffins recipes. It has excellent crumb, texture and flavor for a light recipe. I stick the berries in the freezer while I am mixing up the batter to help prevent the batter from turning purple. This recipe is easily doubled and any berry can be used.

IMG_1667

Berry Cream Muffins
2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour
¾ cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of salt
2 eggs
1 cup of non-fat sour cream
½ cup of applesauce
1-2 teaspoons of good vanilla
2 cups of fresh or frozen berries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Get your best muffins pans out, (mine are heart shaped) and spray them with cooking spray. In a medium bowl combine flour through salt and stir well with a whip. In a second, but equally important medium bowl, combine eggs through vanilla and mix well with the whip. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry stirring only till just mixed. Resist the URGE to mix well here or you will have bumpy muffins. Fold in the berries. Fill the muffin cups about ¾ full and then sprinkle with a sugar for sparkle. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes till a toothpick comes out clean.
Nutritional Value if divided into 12 muffins; Calories -155, Fat -2 grams, Fiber- 1 gram
This lightened up cobbler is the bee’s knees! You can make this cobbler with all blackberries, or any berries for that matter, if you wish. Peaches can be substituted for the nectarines, just make sure and peel them.

Blackberry Nectarine Cobbler

For the fruit layer
¼ cups of whole wheat pastry flour
8 cups of sliced nectarines
4 cups of blackberries
¼ cup of honey
The juice from one lemon

For the crust

2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour
¾ teaspoon of salt
¾ cup of sugar
The zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of baking soda
5 tablespoons of butter cut into small pieces
1 ¼ cups of lowfat buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the peaches, honey and lemon juice in a large bowl. Sprinkle the flour and a pinch of salt over the bunch of goodness, then toss gently inhaling the sweet sent of summer. Let it rest for 15 minutes while you make the topping, then fold in the blackberries and pour the mixture into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Meanwhile, bring out a medium bowl and combine the 2 cups of flour through the baking soda and stir well with a whisk. Drop the butter into the mix and stir again. Here’s the fun part. With clean hands, squish the butter into the flour mixture till you’ve got a coarse looking meal. (You can also use a pastry blender if you have one, it’s just not so entertaining.) Add the buttermilk and stir till just moist. Plunk spoonfuls of the dough onto the fruit till it is reasonably covered, then sprinkle with some sugar. Bake for about 40 minutes till golden brown and bubbly. Enjoy the taste of our place.

Nutritional Value if you divide into 12 servings; calories – 285, fat – 6 grams, fiber – 5 grams

Just a note to let you know that I have changed the name of my column to the “Go lightly Gourmet, Eating and walking lighter on the Earth.” I think it fits better the philosophy behind my recipes and ideals. Thanks for all your support.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 27, 2008 8:02 am

    Wow!

    Your pictures and descriptions leave me speechless and drooling! One of the most beautiful blogs I have seen.

    As if looking at and tasting beautiful berries wasn’t enough, the fact is berries should be a daily staple in a health conscious diet. They fight off cancer, arthritis and aging.

    What a wonderful food!

  2. August 28, 2008 4:40 pm

    i am hungry, my stomach is grumbling, i am drooling….gosh…. the agony….

  3. Carolyn Larson permalink
    September 15, 2008 3:29 am

    This recipe sounded really good to me, but there are serious omissions, which I discovered when I tried to make it. Where do the sugar, lemon zest and ginger go??

  4. August 1, 2009 11:12 am

    I couldnt pick a favorite food either!!!

    I LOVE that you used ww pastry flour and sour cream in these! YUM!

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