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Volume III
August 30, 2013


Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

Berry Delicious

By Whitney Saupan

Warning: the following recipes are dedicated to all things berry. So if you don't like delicious berries or yummy recipes, this might not be the article for you. But if you even remotely like any sort of berry, read on. We all know that strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are amazing by themselves, so what could make them better? Well, honestly, nothing; but berries can turn any dessert from bleh to yum! So here are some easy, quick and of course mouth-watering desserts that use berries!


Strawberries
Strawberry season is early spring through summer. These berries are grown in every state! This berry might be the most consumed berry out there. They are also used in a variety of ways. You can add them to salads, turn them into jam, and of course make strawberry shortcake. It was hard choosing just one recipe that uses strawberries! I went with a recipe that I had never heard of. I hope you like it!

Ricotta-Strawberry Napoleons

Total Time: 1 Hour

Yield: Serves 5 (serving size: 1 napoleon)

Calories per serving: 154

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 (14 x 9?inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (such as calabro)
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 cups chopped strawberries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons grand marnier (orange-flavored liqueur)


Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Place almonds in a mini chopper; process until finely ground. Add granulated sugar; pulse to combine.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 1 phyllo sheet on pan (cover remaining phyllo to prevent drying). Combine butter and oil; brush lightly over phyllo. Sprinkle phyllo sheet with about 1 1/2 tablespoons almond mixture. Top with another phyllo sheet; brush lightly with butter mixture, and sprinkle with remaining almond mixture. Top with 1 phyllo sheet; brush lightly with butter mixture, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut phyllo into 15 (3 x 2 3/4-inch) pieces. Separate phyllo pieces on baking sheet. Cover the phyllo with another sheet of parchment paper. Top with another baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully remove top baking sheet and parchment paper. Cool phyllo on a wire rack.

4. Combine ricotta and honey. Combine berries, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and liqueur; let stand for 10 minutes. Place 1 phyllo piece on each of 5 dessert plates; top each with 1 1/2 tablespoons ricotta mixture and about 2 tablespoons strawberry mixture. Repeat layers once; top each with 1 phyllo piece.


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Blueberries
Blueberries can be grown year round, but the season begins in May and goes through September. These sweet berries are grown all over but most are grown commercially in Maine and Michigan. When people think about blueberries and food the thing that comes to mind is probably blueberry muffins. But these berries can be used in a variety of other ways—take this delicious recipe for example!

Blueberry Lemonade Sorbet

Yield: Serves: 4

Calories per serving: 72

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup frozen lemonade concentrate
3 tablespoons honey or 3 tablespoons creme de cassis
blueberries, for garnish
lemon slice , for garnish
mint sprig, for garnish


Directions:
1. In a blender or food processor purée the blueberries with the lemonade concentrate, the honey or creme de cassis, and 1 cup cold water and freeze the mixture in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the sorbet to a freezer container and freeze until it is firm. The sorbet may be prepared 5 days in advance, covered tightly and chilled.

2. Arrange the scoops of sorbet in dessert glasses, garnished with the blueberries, the lemon slices and mint sprigs.


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Raspberries
Raspberries are grown mid-summer. My grandparents have some raspberry bushes and I swear for like a week straight the berries kept ripening. It was a raspberry lover's heaven! I just learned that each berry is made up of 100 smaller fruits or berries called drupelets. Each one has its own pulp and seed! I really like raspberry jam, but there are so many other things you can make with these berries. Give this recipe a try!

Raspberry-Almond Crumb Tart

Yield: 8 servings

Calories per serving: 282

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sliced almonds, (skins on)
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
4 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) raspberries
1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar


Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan with cooking spray.

2. Combine almonds and sugar in a food processor; pulse until the almonds are finely ground and incorporated with the sugar. Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture.

3. Add 1 1/3 cups flour and salt to the remaining sugar mixture and pulse briefly to blend. With the motor running, add butter a few pieces at a time until well incorporated.

4. Stir egg yolk, vanilla and almond extracts together in a small bowl until blended. With the motor running, add to the processor and pulse until the mixture begins to clump and form a dough, about 1 minute (the mixture will look like crumbly sand). Set aside 1/3 cup of the mixture for the topping.

5. Transfer the remaining dough to the prepared tart pan; spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust.

6. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons flour to the reserved almond mixture; stir to blend. Gently toss raspberries with 2 tablespoons of this mixture in a medium bowl until coated. Spread the berries evenly in the tart pan. Sprinkle the remaining almond mixture over the berries. Pinch the reserved dough into small clumps to make crumbs and sprinkle the crumbs on top of the berries.

7. Bake the tart for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350° and bake until the crust and crumbs are golden brown, about 45 minutes more. Let cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Remove the pan sides; place confectioners’ sugar in a fine sieve and dust the tart just before serving.


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Blackberries
The blackberry season spans from the end of summer to the beginning of autumn. It's best if you can go pick your own berries instead of buying them from the store! Up until about two weeks ago I had never had a blackberry, once I tried one, I knew that there was no going back. This is my favorite berry by far. Please enjoy this blackberry filled recipe!

Blackberry-Swirl Pound Cake

Yield: 9 servings

Calories per serving: 304

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
6 ounces blackberries (1 1/3 cups)
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature


Directions:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan and line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides; butter parchment. In a food processor, puree blackberries with 2 tablespoons sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.

Step 2: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar until light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat to combine, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Step 3: Transfer half the batter to pan and dot with 1/2 cup blackberry puree. Repeat with remaining batter and puree. With a skewer or thin-bladed knife, swirl batter and puree together. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours. Let cool in pan on a wire rack, 30 minutes. Lift cake out of pan and place on a serving plate; let cool completely before slicing.



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Sources:
  • http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/ricotta-strawberry-napoleons-50400000120718/
  • http://www.food.com/recipe/blueberry-lemonade-sorbet-506049
  • http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/raspberry_almond_crumb_tart.html
  • http://www.marthastewart.com/332899/blackberry-swirl-pound-cake
  • http://localfoods.about.com/od/strawberries/tp/strawberries.htm
  • http://www.ehow.com/about_4574395_blueberrypicking-season.html
  • http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/06/in-season-raspberries-choosing-storing-recipes-20100612.html
  • http://www.eattheseasons.co.uk/Articles/blackberries.php
  • http://www.marthastewart.com/332899/blackberry-swirl-pound-cake?backto=true&backtourl=/photogallery/blackberry-recipes#slide_2


Whitney Saupan
Weekly Newsletter Contributer since 2013


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